A University of New Brunswick researcher is helping lead an initiative aimed at increasing citizen engagement in learning and innovation.

A series of public dialogue sessions on learning were launched in Fredericton this week. The sessions are part of the second phase of public dialogues for a citizen engagement initiative on learning and innovation entitled Learning: Everybody’s Project.

Initiative co-chairperson Andy Scott, Andrew Senior Fellow in Social Policy at the University of New Brunswick and the Executive Director of the NB Social Policy Research Network, said this project aims to improve the lives of New Brunswickers.

“Learning increases our ability to participate more fully in society, and plays a major role in helping us maintain our physical and mental health,” Scott said. “In short, learning is the key to improving the quality of our lives. We need to value learning more so we can live better lives. So we ask everyone to get in on this conversation on learning as it is an opportunity to their ideas and concerns heard.”The 24 public dialogue sessions on learning are being held in 19 communities throughout the province and will conclude Feb. 23 in Caraquet. Interested individuals can also take part in the discussions online, by telephone, e-mail and through social media.

“I ask the public today to become a part of this process to improve learning in our province at all ages of life,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr, who is co-chair of the initiative. “Imagine what would happen if we all learned something new each day. Would our neighbourhoods be better places to live, work and play? Join the conversation and provide us with your thoughts and ideas on how to grow a learning culture here in our province.”

The sessions are being presented in the context of four learning environments: Learning at Home; Learning at School; Learning in the Workplace; and Learning in the Community. Discussions will centre on lifelong learning that happens at all ages and all stages of life. What and where people learn will be discussed.

Launched in November 2010, the goal of Learning: Everybody’s Project is to connect and engage citizens in a discussion on the value of lifelong learning. The result of the project will be a vision for a learning agenda outlining how New Brunswick can be transformed into the learning province of Canada.

“We need to change the way we learn and become a learning society so we can generate the ideas and innovations we need to build and enrich our families, our communities and our economy,” said initiative co-chair Marie-Paule Thériault. “Now, we need to hear from New Brunswickers in every corner of our province. We need everyone’s ideas on improving the way we learn.”

Following is the list of public dialogue sessions, all of which will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.:

Jan. 11 – Fredericton – French – École des Bâtisseurs, 715 Priestman St.

Jan. 12 – Fredericton – English – Royal Canadian Legion, 199 Queen St.

Jan. 17 – Bathurst – French – Centre des jeunes, 895 Ste-Anne St.

Jan. 17 – Bathurst – English – Knights of Columbus Hall, 335 Douglas Ave.

Jan. 18 – Campbellton – French – Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, 47 Village Ave.

Jan. 18 – Campbellton – English – Lions Bowling Centre, 4 Ramsay St.

Jan. 24 – Saint John – English – Boys and Girls Club, 1 Paul Harris St.

Jan. 24 – Saint John – French – Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain, 67 Ragged Point Rd.

Jan. 25 – Chipman – English – Chipman/Minto Area Lions Club, 6408, Route 10, Upper Salmon Creek

Jan. 26 – Sussex – English – Royal Canadian Legion, 55 Magnolia Ave.

Jan. 31 – Dieppe – French – Club des garcons et filles, 76 Emmanuel St.

Jan. 31 – Moncton – English – Lions Community Centre, 472 St. George St.

Feb. 1 – Rexton – English – Lions Club, 145 Main St.

Feb. 1 – Richibucto – French – Club d’âge d’or, 9350 Main St.

Feb. 2 – Sackville – English – Lions Club, 10 Dufferin St.

Feb. 7 – Perth-Andover – English – Royal Canadian Legion, 44 Legion St.

Feb. 8 – Woodstock – English – Knights of Columbus Hall, 143 Charles St.

Feb. 9 – Saint-Léonard – French – Salle des Chevaliers de Colomb, 15 Union St.

Feb. 15 – St. George – English – Royal Canadian Legion, 4 New St.

Feb. 16 – Doaktown – English – Royal Canadian Legion, 8 Dr. Hamilton Dr.

Feb. 21 – Miramichi – English – Newcastle Lions Club, 324 Morrison Ln.

Feb. 21 – Miramichi – French – Carrefour Beausoleil, 300 Beaverbrook Rd.

Feb. 22 – Tracadie-Sheila – French – Centre Bellefeuille des Chevaliers de Colomb, 4293 Beauregard St.

Feb. 23 – Caraquet – French – Club du Bel Âge, 331 St-Pierre Blvd. E.LINK:• Learning: Everybody’s Project: www.learninginnb.ca

Media Contact

For more information, contact:

Craig Chouinard,
Communications New Brunswick,
506-444-2519.