The New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party led by Blaine Higgs came to power after winning the recent provincial general elections held on September 14. The party has promised to increase immigration to the province to help grow the population and economy.
As a result of policies proposed by the Progressive Conservative Party, New Brunswick could profit from an increase in the number of newcomers over the next three years.
The premier, Blaine Higgs pledged to continue the five-year action plan of his government on population growth during the election campaign. The government had already announced its objective of attracting 7,500 immigrants every year by 2024. This is the maximum numbers permitted by the federal government.
The ambition of the Liberal Party over the next decade is to welcome 10,000 new immigrants per year. On the other hand, the Progressive Conservative Party told that by 2027, its goal is to attract 10,000 people per year to the province. Both the major parties promised strong immigration flows during their election campaigns.
The province wants to raise the number of francophone immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program to support the growth of the francophone culture. The platform of the party sets a goal that would allow 33% of the population to be made up of Francophone immigrants by 2024.
This objective reflects the proportion of Francophones in the population of New Brunswick was intended to be achieved this year. But it has been postponed and is now being re-established.
Higgs says, attracting families to the province while also encouraging them to stay is the key to increasing the population. The party set a retention rate target of 75 per cent for the next five years within its platform.
Another goal of the party is to work with higher learning institutions and professional associations to attract foreign students, professionals, skilled workers. The province wants to maintain young people population in it. The party promises to continue investing in experiential learning initiatives, such as FutureNB, which has already helped 240 employers connect with more than 1,000 students.
Due to the lack of skilled workers, New Brunswick is facing labour shortages. According to provincial government projections, over the next ten years, some 120,000 jobs will remain unfilled. An acute shortage of skilled workers in the province has been created by a few factors. The low birth rate, the growth of the elderly population, and the rate of youth migration.
New Brunswick plans to continue to depend on immigrants in order to increase its population. As newcomers have helped the province see the longest period of sustained growth since the 1990s. Migrating large numbers of people to the province will contribute to population growth. Thus it will help meet the needs of the labour market.
The Premier earlier in January stated that in order to promote immigration to New Brunswick, the province would open offices in India and Europe. The objective of this initiative is to draw foreign workers and investors interested in New Brunswick.
Opportunities New Brunswick is the government’s business development agency. It is committed to attracting businesses in the prominent sectors such as cybersecurity, digital health, and energy innovation in the upcoming years stated the premier Higgs.