A Quality of Life for ALL Monctonians
It's a fact that social inclusion is an important determinant of health, and we all know that with barriers to such determinants, like experiencing social exclusion, people are more likely to experience poor health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. So I begin with the question of what is social inclusion?
Social inclusion is your right to be useful, respected, accepted, and equal regardless of age, ability, gender, culture, or religion. Social Inclusion means we are all equal, we all have the same rights- to take responsiblity for our lives. On the other hand, social exclusion is the process whereby certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills.
In our community, many individuals suffer with difficulty in Moncton and its surrounding area because basic needs are not being met. These individuals are typically of low socioeconomic status. Because individuals of low socioeconomic status are not given the same opportunities as their peers, they are often mislabeled and socially excluded from participation within our community. Many times, however, these individuals are simply not havinf their basiv needs met. Many of these individuals may be too worried about when their next meal is or where they are going to sleep that night to even worry about what they need to look like, what their role within the community is, or how to be motivated to achieve an improved quality of life. They are surviving, not living to their full potential.
The City of Moncton's Social Inclusion Plan's vision that " All citizens of Moncton enjoy a great quality of life available in the city", along with our mission " The City of Moncton will work strategically with community and government partners to improve the quality of life of its most vulnerable citizens." Reflects itself within the goals, objectives and actions presented in our plan.
Our social inclusion plan articulates around five elements, similar to the hierachy of needs coined by theorist and psychologist Abraham Maslow. Each pillar of our plan corresponds to our pyramid for social inclusion. There isn't necessarily an order of importance; however, we have determined which steps are the most inclusive and sustainable to deliver long term results.
As Psychologist Abraham Maslow mentions, without the bottom layer of the hierachy met, individuals cannot reach the next level. Each level, once met, allows individuals the ability and motivation to keep moving forward, contribute, and be an active citizen within their community. It's clear that with safe, quality, and affordable housing, we have better opportunities for the other pillars identified, thus, in turn; we have better opportunities for quality of life and inclusion.
Another important aspect of this plan is its components of inclusion and diversity, this is essential to the health of our citizens. This involves diversity in who are represented and included at all levels and the development of cultural competence ( the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviours and policies) required to meet the needs of our citizens.
As a city, capacity-building must be inclusive, allowing a wide range of people- not just traditional community leaders- to participate in finding solutions and creating new initiatives. We all have important knowledge to contribute about the realities of our own lives and experiences. In addition to this, participation is necessary to the democratic process and to a health public system.
A great city will recognize each individual's strengths and help them to excel in those areas providing them with a sense of worth. Inclusive city values diversity, promotes respect, equal treatment and opportunties. The work of building an inclusive city is not easy; results will not occur overnight. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and courage, because this work is about transforming attitudes, behaviours, and polivies. It requires strategies that operate at multiple levels, including the individual, group, and institutional levels.
We continue to look forward to our ongoing work with the community in addressing the various objectives and goals, identified in our social inclusion plan.
This plan has given our city the opportunieis to implement actions that can ensure everyone has a choice in order for them to progress to higher levels of development, achievement, and innocation. But most importantly a bette quality of life, for all.
I encourage you all to view our Social Inclusion Plan.