New Brunswick wants significant immigration increase

The Government of New Brunswick is calling for a significant increase in immigration to the province over the next five years.

The government’s new population growth strategy would see the number of economic immigrants settling in New Brunswick each year reach 7,500 by 2024. This would raise New Brunswick’s immigration rate to almost one per cent of its total population and nearly double the current number of immigrants settling in the province.

“Population growth is crucial to the future success of our province,” New Brunswick’s Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Trevor Holder, said in a statement. “The attraction and retention of new Canadians is critical to helping us increase our province’s population and meet the needs of our employers.”

The report says around 120,000 jobs will become available in New Brunswick over the next 10 years, while statistics compiled by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) show the province’s labour force losing 110,000 workers during this same period, primarily to retirement.

“International migration is a key strategy to lessen the impact of this decline,” the strategy reads.

The strategy says increasing immigration to the province will be achieved mainly through the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

The province’s allocation under these programs is currently 2,100, up from 625 in 2014.

Among other goals, the strategy also calls for achieving an immigrant retention rate of 85 per cent by 2024 and raising the number of French-speaking immigrants by two per cent annually over the next five years up to a total of 33 per cent of all immigration to the province, which recognizes both English and French as its official languages.

The government’s strategy echoes the findings of a report issued last November by the NBMC, which also called for increasing immigration to the province to one per cent of New Brunswick’s population.

Article published 30th August 2019