Twelve members appointed to poverty-reduction advisory council

Supporting Island Families

The twelve members appointed to the Poverty Reduction Advisory Council bring a variety of experience and knowledge that will help to reduce the impact of poverty in the province.    

“We have a strong group of diverse individuals and I'm really looking forward to working with them,” said advisory council chair and Adventure Group executive director, Roxanne Carter-Thompson. “The council will play a very important role in developing the provincial action plan focusing on housing, food, education, employment, community capacity building, and health.” 

“The members of this council bring unique insight that will help us look at the many factors contributing to poverty, and find ways to take action on short and longer-term solutions,” Family and Human Services Minister Tina Mundy said. “The council will also engage with the public, community groups, not-for-profit and service organizations, leaders in private and corporate sectors, and provincial and municipal governments.”    

Islanders will have a variety of ways to provide input over the coming months. Upcoming engagement activities include: 

  • Early March, 2018 - Community partners meeting – invitations and details to follow;
  • Mid-March – early April - Survey for public input – dates and details to follow;
  • Mid-March – mid-May - Community focus groups - dates and details to follow;
  • Late May – Six public meetings - dates and locations to follow

The poverty-reduction action plan will build on recent government initiatives to reduce poverty which include:    

  • increases to social assistance food rates and personal comfort allowances;
  • increases to seniors and low-income home repair programs;
  • increases to school breakfast programs;
  • increases to minimum wage;
  • income Tax Act changes to help lower-income Islanders;
  • introduction of Generic and Catastrophic Drug Programs;
  • introduction of Harvest and Prosper Program; and
  • introduction of a Grandparents and Care Providers Program

“Government cannot address poverty alone and our action plan will focus on the role of all partners,” Minister Mundy said. “We must work together to ensure everyone has the chance to be self-sufficient, healthy and able to thrive in our Island society.” 

The poverty-reduction action plan is expected to be completed in fall 2018.  


Media contact:

Darlene Gillis
Department of Family and Human Services



Here are the twelve members appointed to the Poverty Reduction Advisory Council:

Roxanne Carter-Thompson, appointed as chair, has 25 years of experience in developing and delivering programs that address social issues in PEI.  She has been the Executive Director of the Adventure Group since 2003.  Roxanne was a faculty member of UPEI’s Centre for Conflict Resolution Studies for 10 years and she created and taught adventure based short courses for Holland College Sport and Recreation students for more than 10 years. Her work with the Adventure Group also involves working with the business community to support hiring of vulnerable individuals.  Roxanne lives in Mount Stewart.

Marcia Carroll has worked in community development for over 20 years.  She is the Executive Director of the PEI Council of People with Disabilities.  She brings a wealth of knowledge and passion related to the challenges of housing, poverty, and how they intersect with women, people living with disabilities and seniors.  Marcia lives in Charlottetown.

Richard Deveau brings a variety of volunteer and work experience in housing and economic development.  He grew up as part of a family of 15 in the Souris area. Richard has volunteered as President of the Eastern Kings Enhancement Corporation and the Apprenticeship Board of Alberta. He has also worked in the construction industry.  Richard currently lives in Charlottetown.

Wil Gunning was formerly in the foster care system in Prince Edward Island.  He speaks openly about the impact Child and Family Services had on his life. He now operates a deep sea fishing business and acts as a youth mentor. Wil lives in New London.

Dr. Gulrose Jiwani has a broad knowledge of poverty issues and research. She is the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at UPEI and a Magnuson Scholar, a prestigious honour awarded by the Warren G. Magnuson Institute of Biomedical Research and Health Professional Training, University of Washington. She has extensive experience in collaborating across sectors to support policy reforms and innovation. She is part of the senior leadership team and National Training Stream Lead for a large-scale poverty elimination initiative across Canada. Gulrose lives in Cornwall.

Pamela Large Moran is a lawyer, mediator and arbitrator specializing in Employment Law and Harassment issues, Human Rights, Social Justice and Women’s Rights.  She has extensive experience in negotiation, mediation, and collaboration. Further she has a significant background and a passion for working with Indigenous Peoples. For the past seven years, she has acted in the capacity of an Adjudicator with the Indian Residential Schools Independent Assessment Process (IAP) and conducts work in various Restorative Justice processes.  Pamela has two grown sons and lives in Charlottetown with her husband.

Marilyn LeFrank is the Director of Child and Family Services with the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI.  She began her career in child protection on Vancouver Island, BC and has worked as a frontline worker and supervisor in the field of child and family services for more than 30 years. Marilyn is on the board of the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, the Child Welfare League of Canada, and is a member of the National Advisory Committee on First Nation Child and Family Reform.  Marilyn lives in Stanley Bridge.

Andrea MacDonald has 18 years’ experience working in community development.  She is the CEO of United Way of PEI where she engages with a wide variety of stakeholders locally and nationally.  Through her work at the United Way she collaborates with a number of groups to address the root causes poverty and respond to the immediate needs of Islanders in need.  Andrea lives in Charlottetown.

Ray Murphy has spent over 35 years acting as a health and community leader across PEI.  He has grown his business from one pharmacy in Parkdale to numerous pharmacies and long term care facilities across the province and has received national recognition for his work.  Ray has ongoing involvement with many volunteer organizations and is responsible for the non-profit Murphy’s Community Centre.  He has a reputation of nurturing business excellence and has employees across the province.  Ray lives in Stratford.

Dave Poirier has extensive experience with the justice system and has seen first-hand the impact of poverty.  He has worked with the Summerside Police since 1978 and has been Police Chief since 2006.  Dave has served on many policing committees and has volunteer experience in a number of community organizations.  He has also received numerous awards for his work and received training in a variety of social justice related topics.  Dave lives in Summerside.

Tayte Willows brings knowledge related to mental health challenges and how they link to poverty. She is Community Development Manager with the Canadian Mental Health Association.  Tayte’s work with vulnerable Islanders brings first-hand knowledge of the struggles faced under the weight of poverty and mental health.  She lives in Charlottetown.

Regina Younker brings a strong knowledge of the challenges faced by people living in poverty. She was part of the Women’s Network’s participatory research project called ‘Paths to Prosperity.’ She sees the difficulties in breaking the cycle of poverty and living in poverty with dignity.  Regina lives in Cornwall.

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