The Why

Why have a Social Innovation Lab focused on Economic Immigration in New Brunswick?

New Brunswick is at a crossroads. This may sound like a tired cliché, but it is true nonetheless. In fact, the next five years could well be the most important in at least a half century. What we will do, or fail to do, over that period could have a decisive impact for decades to come. - Richard Saillant

The challenges facing New Brunswick’s economy are multifaceted and complex. According to New Brunswick’s former chief economist, David Campbell, the province’s declining population is the biggest public policy challenge of our time. The labour market is in structural decline and there is a dire need for workers to grow existing businesses. The combined out-migration of working-age New Brunswickers with a higher than national average median age is putting serious pressure on the labour market’s ability to supply workers to grow and support business in the province.

It is clear that traditional methods of attracting and retaining workers and their families to NB are not working and systemic barriers hinder current immigration efforts. These challenges called for a new approach to immigration and to growing NB’s economy.