The government of New Brunswick has released its population growth strategy; immigration plays a key role also featured is a focus on youth and an emphasis on being family friendly.
The government of New Bruswick has just released Be Our Future which is the government's strategy to increase the province's population.
Business New Brunswick Minister Greg Byrne, Minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat, says in the government press release that the made-in-New Brunswick strategy is both comprehensive in nature and contains specific benchmarks for measuring success.
"In their final report, the Self-Sufficiency Task Force identified the need to increase our population and labour force as the number one ingredient for reaching self-sufficiency," Byrne said. "With this strategy, we intend to meet the challenges of population decline and increase our population by 6,000 through 2009 and 25,000 by 2015. This will put us on track to grow our population by 100,000 by 2026."
The growth strategy has four areas of focus:
· increasing and targeting immigration;
· increasing settlement and promoting multiculturalism;
· retaining youth and repatriating former New Brunswickers; and
· adopting family-friendly policies.
The 43 action items outlined in the strategy include specific initiatives to increase immigration by 5,000 by 2015.
"Our intent is to work within the Provincial Nominee Program to focus on immigrants with the skill sets that will be required by our employers and on fostering immigrant entrepreneurs," Byrne said. "The strategy contains other measures to assist immigrants, such as providing more support to multicultural associations, so they can help us assist newcomers to participate as soon and as fully as possible in our economy and society."
Byrne said that the growth strategy has another purpose and that is to keep young New Brunswickers here, and to attract home those who have left over the last few years.
The retention and repatriation measures in the strategy include working with New Brunswick employers to better connect expatriates and those thinking of leaving with career opportunities in the province.
"Too many of our bright, skilled young people are leaving or have left for other provinces," Byrne said. "This is the generation that has the greatest potential to stimulate future prosperity, raise young families and be leaders in bringing our province to self-sufficiency."
There is also an emphasis on family-friendly policies.
"These measures are aimed at all the groups we are targeting - immigrants, expatriates, and those we want to retain," Byrne said.
"These measures focus on everything from ensuring childbearing and childrearing is not detrimental to a family's economic health to the availability of affordable, quality day care."
The population growth strategy is ambitious and not something government will be able to accomplish by itself.
"For this strategy to be successful, for our province to be the place to be for newcomers, residents and returning New Brunswickers alike, we will need the involvement, input and co-operation of all stakeholders, levels of government and communities throughout our province," Byrne said.
"What excites me about this strategy is that it isn't just a blueprint to solve a problem, but a solution that builds opportunities for a prosperous, self-sufficient future for everyone who calls this place home."