Released September 17, 2010

Gander Conference Marks 25 Years of Tenant Volunteerism

More than 100 Newfoundland Labrador Housing tenants, representing 28 tenant associations throughout the province, will attend the 25th Annual Tenant Conference being held in Gander today.

The Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, will address the opening of the conference, which runs from September 17-18 and whose long-running theme is We Put the Unity in Community. 

"In addition to being an opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work and dedicated volunteerism of our tenant associations, who are making a difference throughout the province, this conference is an excellent opportunity to involve tenants directly in the continued implementation of the Provincial Social Housing Plan, Secure Foundations," said Minister Hedderson.  "During this conference we will be seeking their ideas and suggestions because we believe that no one can have a better understanding of living in social housing than the residents themselves."

Minister Hedderson will also take the opportunity to congratulate the tenant associations for their charitable and community enhancement efforts over the past year. "The tenant associations are to be commended on their many successes of the past year, including fundraisers in support of the Haiti Relief Fund, staging family day events, and banding together to beautify their neighbourhoods," said Minister Hedderson.

Conference registration begins at 6:00 p.m. today (Friday, September 17), and will be followed by Minister Hedderson's remarks. The minister will also present plaques recognizing anniversary milestones being celebrated by the tenant associations.  This year's recipients include Dunfield Park Tenant Association of Corner Brook which is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Three others -- Farmdale/Green Garden/Hendon Drive Tenant Association of Corner Brook, and West Heights and Virginia Park Tenant Associations of St. John's -- are celebrating their 25th anniversaries.  In addition, the Community Improvement Association, Chalker Place, St. John's, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Two presenters are also scheduled for this year's conference: burn survivor and motivational speaker Michael Gaultois will speak about overcoming adversity, while Gerry Dooley, a registered psychiatric nurse experienced in health care and intervention, will focus on coping with difficult circumstances.

Media contacts:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-6112
Jenny Bowring
Manager, Communications
Newfoundland Labrador Housing