The draw of New Brunswick for newcomers to Canada

In a country as vast as Canada, it’s not easy to visit every province or explore every town or city. As such, some newcomers to Canada are limited to being familiar with a few of the country’s larger urban centres. 

The province of New Brunswick is hoping to change that through a number of efforts aimed at increasing the maritime province’s population.

While the province is already a participant in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, other programs and promotions are in place to attract talent from across the country and around the world. While many of the promotional videos and websites feature beautiful scenery, the landscape isn’t all that New Brunswick has to offer.  Here are three reasons why New Brunswick is a draw for newcomers:

  1. Affordable cost of living. According to the Live for the Moment NB website, a site dedicated to attracting people to move to the province, New Brunswick has Canada’s most affordable houses. The site suggests that a home in New Brunswick costs 81% less than in Vancouver, 77% less than in Toronto, 56% less than in Montreal, and 53% less than in Calgary, with the average house price in Fredericton listed at $196,511. This difference is highly attractive for newcomers – or others priced out of hot housing markets – who would like to consider home ownership. 
  2. A growth of new sectors means new employment opportunities. New Brunswick might be best known for its resource based economy, including forestry, fishing, and mining. But new sectors are quickly emerging in the province, including advanced manufacturing, digital health, IT, cybersecurity, agritech, and energy innovation. In fact, the Government of Canada recently announced a $50.5 million investment in the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology, which is a non-emitting source of energy. Not only will this project help move Canada towards a carbon-free future of energy, but will create jobs and increase competitiveness for the region. 
  3. An aging population means a labour shortage in certain regions. The number of New Brunswick residents over 65 reached an all time high for the province near the end of 2020. In fact, it’s the second oldest population in the country. This aging population means that some areas of the province, including the Acadian Peninsula, are facing labour shortages. This means that opportunities are opening up for newcomers to Canada, who are actively sought out by employers. In a New Brunswick Labour Market Outlook 2018-2027, it’s forecasted that there will be 120,000 job openings during this time. The outlook estimates that 19,400 of those positions will be filled by workers gained from other countries.