New Conversations Inspire Proactive Planning for the Future
“Immigration may be controlled federally, but integration is entirely local.
That’s where the real horsepower is. If we discover how to unlock it and create a culture of welcoming more people, I think we’ll see a real turning point for our province.”
– Alex LeBlanc, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council
New Brunswick is the only province in Canada to see a decline in population, according to the 2016 census. Its population declined by 0.5% from 2011-2016, while Canada’s population overall rose by a modest 1% over the same timeframe. Communities across New Brunswick are feeling the economic and social impacts of a declining population and shrinking workforce.
In an effort to turn the tides, the New Brunswick Multicultural Council launched an innovative 15-stop town hall educational tour to raise public awareness and inspire action, entitled New Conversations. This spring, residents, newcomers, local economists, employers and municipal governments came together to speak openly about labour market and demographic realities – and about the cultural and attitudinal shifts needed to build a promising future for communities in New Brunswick.
Century Initiative was a proud partner and participant in this bold and necessary initiative, and we are excited to share the outcomes and resources from the tour. New perspectives were offered, and provocative conversations about local issues took place. Customized action plans were developed by participants to build local economies and to attract and integrate newcomers. We believe that this approach has value for towns facing similar challenges across the country.
Vision for Miramichi in 2100:
We don’t have to try to be someone else. We don’t want to be Toronto, or Moncton. We need only be the best, most vibrant version of ourselves. I see Miramichi in 2100 as a small city, oriented around our river, with an unparalleled quality of life. We embrace diversity and inclusion. We celebrate small urban centres and rural experience too. In 2100, our population will have doubled. The groundswell has already begun.
– Mayor Adam Lordon, Changemaker
Sparking New Ideas. Leading To Change.
New conversations are the starting point for New Brunswick’s successes and growth. New conversations – between neighbours and new friends – can spark new ideas, innovative approaches and solutions to the demographic challenges facing New Brunswick. New conversations lead to change.
To overcome today’s challenges, we must welcome more people to New Brunswick to help build its future. Workers, communities and economy suffer when New Brunswick falls behind the rest of Canada as a destination for new talent from around the world.
We are facing the choice between planning for growth and managing decline. New Conversations invites New Brunswickers to lead a constructive dialogue around immigration, the economy, and the vitality and sustainability of its communities – one that will pave the way to inclusive prosperity, now and into the future.
Explore the community profiles and presentations below: