Cruise on in, cruise on out: Today thousands sail into Saint John harbour to visit for the day; it’s been over 100 years since that many people walked off a boat and decided to stay for a lifetime. The last significant immigration to New Brunswick was the 1840s, led by impoverished Irish chased out of Ireland by the potato famine.
For the past two decades the Maritimes has hosted its own diaspora – and for the next couple of weeks the Government of New Brunswick wants to know what you think we could do to slow it down.
To put it in perspective, imagine the entire population of Fredericton moved out and then everyone in Dieppe and Riverview decided to retire.
Over the past two decades, about 50,000 young people – defined as between 10 and 34 years – have left New Brunswick. Meanwhile, over 40,000 people celebrated their 65th birthday and became eligible for seniors’ discounts.
As we’ve said before, New Brunswick, along with Nova Scotia and PEI, is in a pickle – and the Government of New Brunswick is looking for ideas from all of you. It’s issued a discussion paper on its current population problems and it’s asking the public to respond to a series of questions by November 1st. We’ve listed the questions below.
The paper is a scary read. Here are the highlights.
So here’s the thing; I know there are a bunch of you out there with thoughtful observations about why so few people choose to live in New Brunswick. Please, tell us what you think – and then tell the people in government who are trying to solve this problem.
You do that for us, and in return, we’ll do something for you. On Halloween night, once the trick-or-treating is done, I’ll sit down with our leftover candy bowl and I’ll write up a summary of everything you’ve told us and I’ll submit it too. Because, hey, I can’t ask you to do something, if I’m not willing to do it myself. Deal?
You can send your thoughts to the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 506-444-6729
Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Population Growth Strategy Consultation
PO 6000, Fredericton NB E3B 5H1
Read the full report here. These are the questions:
- How do you see immigration contributing to the economic growth of New Brunswick?
- Do you have any ideas for how Government can increase immigration to the province?
- Do you have any suggestion for how government and communities can help support immigrant entrepreneurs establishing a business in New Brunswick?
- Do you have any ideas for how the Government and communities can promote newcomers settling in rural parts of New Brunswick?
- Do you think there is anything the government or stakeholders can do to enhance New Brunswick as a welcoming community?
- Do you have any ideas for how communities and the private sector can support the development of more welcoming communities in New Brunswick?
- What factors do you see influencing the movement of people to and from New Brunswick?
- Do you have any suggestions for how the government and communities can encourage New Brunswickers to return to the province?
- Do you have any suggestions for how government and communities can support First Nation’s entrepreneurs in New Brunswick?
- Do you have ideas for how New Brunswick can improve the retention of our youth population?
- What should government do to foster youth innovation and entrepreneurism?
- What can government and communities do to increase Francophone immigration to the province?
- Do you have any suggestion on how we can enhance settlement services for Francophone newcomers?