NouLAB Academy 2018 Cohort


Housing for people with complex needs - from pei

In Prince Edward Island there is a lack of appropriate residential services for adults experiencing disabilities with complex needs. The complexity of the problem is multifaceted and is described in the responses provided within this question and the following two.
• It is estimated that in PEI, 5-13% of adults with complex needs are inappropriately residing in Long Term Care and Community Care Facilities or are occupying inpatient beds, predominantly in our acute mental health units.
• Many adults (aged 45-60 years) with complex needs are living with aging parents leading to significant parental anxiety for their children’s wellbeing, if they should become ill or die. There is significant concern over the ability of ageing parents in these situations to provide adequate care to ensure the security and safety of their adult children as well as themselves.
• The parents of younger adult children have different expectations than the previous generation of parents. They expect their young adult children to experience full citizenship, which includes leaving home and living without parents present.

This problem is important for many reasons, including, but not limited to:
• The current situation places pressure on acute care, long-term care, community care and mental health beds. This results in significant bottlenecking along the care continuum with individuals unable to access the appropriate level of care when needed. Additionally, there are a number of individuals living at home, and the scope of the problem is not fully understood. Many times, families approach government for a residential placement during a crisis; in most situations, there is not a placement available, leading to additional stress and inappropriate placements, or additional burden on acute care.
• Adults with complex needs are not receiving the appropriate supports and interventions required for them to thrive. In many instances, individuals regress which makes appropriate placements more difficult.
• Burden placed on families with adult children is enormous.

The team came out the end of the academy with a prototype idea called 'Home-ful' (a play on hopeful) to work on centralizing service to reach those with disabilities and their families before the housing need is in crisis.



Team members

Jennifer Burgess - Team Lead - Manager Corporate Support and Seniors -

Mike Gaudet - Acting Coordinator Residential Services

Joe Coade - Provincial Manager for Residential and Support Services

Bill Lawlor - Executive Director - Queens Country Residential Services Inc.

Calvin Joudrie - Long Term Care Subsidization Manager - Health PEI

Literacy needs

Becoming a literate citizen is foundational to success and empowers people to reach their full potential and thrive in their communities. By improving New Brunswicker’s value for literacy as well as their access to programs and resources which support literacy development we will improve quality of life, economic growth and output and have a healthier population.
Acquiring literacy skills has traditionally been and continues to be a significant challenge in New Brunswick. All sectors of society play a role in literacy acquisition as it is a shared responsibility of individuals, parents, families, government, employers and community organisations. Currently our province has a multitude of literacy programs and resources in government and non-government entities, but we believe that they are so busy working on individual mandates that many of these groups do not have time to align resources, collaborate or work in partnerships to complement each other. Resources are stretched and we suspect competition exists for limited funding and services.
We know that we need to build on existing strengths and better coordinate efforts for the best return possible, but how do we do this? The problem is complex because there are so many factors that have an impact. Influences include the shift from being resource based to a more specialized service based economy, intergenerational values, parents believing that learning begins in school, student absenteeism, marginalized and missing citizens, access in rural areas to programs and resources, language duality and the stigma related to accessing literacy related services.

The literacy team came out of the academy with a prototype to test a mobile book service to reach those in vulnerable communities.


Team Members

Nathalie LeBlanc-Boswall - Team Lead - Senior Policy Advisor responsible for the New Brunswick literacy strategy -

Beth Corey - Early Childhood Literacy Project Manager

Cheryl Brown - Community Literacy Coordinator

Wendy Sinclair - Literacy Learning Specialist

Clare Archibald - Regional Director, Early Childhood Services, Anglophone East School District

Food bank team

Food banks have been distributing emergency food to people in need in New Brunswick since the early 1980’s. As the demand for emergency food continues to increase, the availability of donated food and money is getting more and more difficult to come by and is not sustainable in the long-term. OPT 2 plan builds on the momentum of the first New Brunswick’s economic and social inclusion plan launched in 2009. The process provided an opportunity to restate values and actions identified in the first plan and identify new priority actions to be taken in the future. It was acknowledged that emergency food programs such as food banks, community kitchens and school breakfast programs essential for some people to meet their basic food needs. In fact, nearly 20,000 New Brunswickers use food banks every month and nearly 60% of food banks across the province have reported an increase in use in recent years. As a society, we need to act collectively to implement sustainable measures addressing the challenges of food security.

To get all 60 food banks on the same page, collaborating with one another in one unified effort will be our complex challenge. To have food banks embrace both a philosophical change and a change in process will be key in moving this effort forward. As food banks work to end hunger and increase food security within New Brunswick it will take a real unified effort from the food bank front-line workers of more than 60 food banks in New Brunswick. Historically, food banks have been very independent in their efforts, relying on themselves fully without a real focus on collaboration and communication.

The food bank team is working on a standard of care and incentive program for all 60 food banks in NB to improve services and work toward ending the hunger cycle.


Team members

Christine LeBlanc - Team Lead - Provincial Consultant - GNB, Department of Social Development - Wellness Branch -

Benjamin MacMichael

Christine Bourgoin - Coordinator - Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation

Sarah Norman - Executive Director - St. George and Area Food Bank

Carol Boudreau - Executive Director - Vestaire St Joeseph

Laura Reinsborough - Network Director - New Brunswick Food Security Action Network

NouLAB Academy 2016-2017 Cohort


Team Members

Gisele Ferguson

Director of Nursing and Operations, Villa Providence Shediac Inc.

Sylvio Allain

Member, Adagio-seniors

Delma Brideau

Assistant Secretary, Adagio-seniors

Annette Johnson

Member, Adagio-seniors

Jeanne Brideau

Founder and Director, Adagio-seniors

Jamie Howie

Program Consultants, Social Development GNB

Laurie Young

Coordinator - Wellness Branch, Social Development(GNB)

Healthy Aging Team

As the demographic landscape changes, the need for collaboration and integration between generations becomes more important.  However, negative stereotypes often hinder this process and the consequences can lead to seniors’ abuse, exclusion and ill health.  It is in the interest of everyone: policy makers, educators, academics, caregivers, professionals, the media as well as seniors themselves to acknowledge that ageism calls for a change in attitude.  Respect  for seniors'  opinions as well as their positive contribution to society are summoned.  New Brunswickers are working together to meet the challenge and to shift the paradigm on ageing from a mostly negative viewpoint to a win-win situation for the community as a entity.

Ageism influences the way society perceives elders.  Education provides a process whereby perceptions are modified.  Intergenerational projects, within an educational framework,  can contribute to mutual understanding and cooperation between the senior community and students.  The Adagio-seniors' Team aims to co-create an Intergenerational project, as well as to provide a framework for such projects based on objectives within the curriculum.

To contact the Healthy Aging team, please e-mail Jeanne Brideau

Gender Equality Team

How can we work together to ensure capable, qualified women are rising to leadership roles in the emerging tech sectors in New Brunswick?

To contact the Gender Equality team, please e-mail Beth Lyons.


Team Members

Nelly Dennene

Directrice, Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick

Beth Lyons

Executive Director, New Brunswick Women's Council

Reid Estey

Acting Vice President - People, Culture, and Finance, Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL)

Lorraine Whalley

Executive Director, Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre

Mary-Clare White

Senior Advisor, Policy and Strategic Initiatives - Executive Council Office, Province of New Brunswick


NouLAB Academy 2015-2016 Cohort

Food Lab –

The Food lab team brought together community leaders in food security, the National Farmers Union in NB and the Department of Agriculture.  We looked at many ways to get more local food in the hands of New Brunswickers and ultimately came to see that we really need an increase in new farmers and food production to make this a reality.  Our idea is to launch a good food and farming accelerator by next year, bringing together new farmers and new entrepreneurs who are interested in building a strong local food system for NB. 

Rebuilding Rural NB Lab–

The rural communities our team members work with lack the agency, voice, and resources to address the challenges they face. Our team focused on addressing the issue of rural entrepreneurs who want to work from their land being unable to do so without exploiting and degrading local natural resources, and being unable to take the risk of innovating new approaches to business development that were both environmentally and economically sustainable. Our solution uses our 700 acre farm and forest as both a site of- and platform for rural innovation. Our current and future projects on the property, such as carbon offsetting and the polyculture orchard, are prototypes for rural enterprises that combine environmental sustainability and economic viability.

Newcomer Employment Lab–

The newcomer employment lab is concentrated on improving the retention of immigrants in New Brunswick by developing innovative pilots that increase labour market attachment and employer/community capacity for integration.

Adult Literacy Lab–

Almost all everyday activities require basic literacy skills, but in the province of New Brunswick the international studies over the past 30 years demonstrate that our adult literacy levels have not improved, to the detriment of of our economy, the health of our citizens and our social welfare. This is a complex problem that has not been resolved by tinkering with the education system, and the lack of a learning culture in N.B., compounded by the general attitude that a fundamental basic academic education is not important, are contributing factors to the problem, which, together with the minimal resources devoted to resolving the major issues, are some of the factors to be addressed if we are to enable those thousands of older youth and adults with low literacy levels to become functionally literate citizens. Towards the end of the various NouLAB workshops we confirmed that we would work on a local (south-east New Brunswick region) prototype that would create awareness of the importance of literacy in the lives of all ages so that there will be a greater participation in literacy programs.

Social Housing LAB 

The housing lab is changing the way the government manages the supply of social housing.  By working more closely with those who have benefited from social housing to help them transition to market housing, families and individuals in greater need can also benefit from social housing as they too make the transition to greater self-reliance.

Policy Approaches to Wellness LAB -

Our Lab was designed to gather diverse opinions and expertise to inform the development of a government action plan.  The vision is that the plan will include policies from multiple departments that will contribute to reducing obesity and tobacco use; through the creation of environments that enable all New Brunswickers to be healthy.  The work is being led by Department of Social Development.  Through the lab, a strong productive relationship was developed with the Department of Health (Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health) which has led to joint leadership.  We also developed strong collaborations with our non-governmental partners such as the NB Food Security Action Network, Healthy Eating / Physical Activity Coalition, and the NB Medical Society.  Since completion of the lab, the partners have continued to collaborate and contribute on the development of the action plan. 

Healthy Aging Lab -

We want to assist communities in unpacking the variables that empower (or disempower) a community to action by creating and offering a readiness assessment tool kit - a prototype that guides communities in understanding their present reality, and assists them in mapping where they want to go by leveraging assets they already have. These will be unique to each community based on historical, socioeconomic and cultural factors. Once these are understood at the local level, communities can begin the process of meeting the most important challenges first, which will go a long way in defining the way residents wish to live and age well in their community. For more  information on the healthy aging lab or to learn about New Brunswick’s Collaborative for Healthy Aging and Care, please visit, or find us on social media CHAC / CVSS or @CHACCVSSNB.