Cities of NB Celebrate Record Year for Immigration in 2019
The Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has just released final quarter data on permanent resident landings in New Brunswick. The total number of new permanent residents for 2019 was a record 6,000, a 30% increase from the 4,610 landings in 2018 (see tables below for detailed breakdown).
“The 8 Cities of New Brunswick are thrilled by the news that the hard work to attract more newcomers to our communities is paying off.” said Adam Lordon, President of the Cities of NB Association and Mayor of Miramichi. “Our cities recognize the importance of welcoming more people to participate in our economy and enrich our communities.”
While Moncton and Fredericton continue to lead the province in total immigration numbers, Miramichi and Edmundston saw the highest percentage increases in 2019. Miramichi welcomed a record 140 people in 2019, representing an increase of 133% from the 60 they welcomed in 2018. Edmundston was a close second with 135 newcomers, representing an increase of 125% from the 60 they saw in 2018.
“The city of Edmundston along with surrounding communities in the Madawaska region have been working hard on a ‘Welcoming Communities’ project that will help us attract, settle, and retain more newcomers.” said Cyrille Simard, Mayor of Edmundston. “We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the province, so our employers are facing serious labour shortages.”
“The City of Miramichi has been working with our Chamber of Commerce, the Multicultural Association of the Miramichi Region, the WorkingNB staff, and other partners to build a plan for immigration and population growth.” Said Adam Lordon, Mayor of Miramichi. “We would far rather tackle the challenges and opportunities of growth over the challenges of decline.”
The 2019 data shows a trend of increased immigration outside of Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John. In 2017, only 14.4% of newcomers chose to settle outside of the Tri-Cities, but that increased to 18.9% in 2018, and 24.6% in 2019.
Economic immigration streams continue to drive more than 90% of immigration to the province. In total, the province welcomed 5,060 economic immigrants through both the Provincial Nominee Program and Atlantic Immigration Pilot; 420 government assisted refugees; 70 privately sponsored refugees; and, 425 sponsored family members.
“Now that we are seeing more success in attraction of newcomers, all levels of government and settlement partners need to ensure these individuals and families have the support they need to settle, belong, and stay in our province.” said Alex LeBlanc, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “These newcomers are coming to participate in our economy, but they will only stay if they are meaningfully included and can build good lives in our communities.”