New Immigration Minister Illustrates Provincial Priorities

by New Brunswick Multicultural Council
September 30, 2020

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council and its member organizations working in the immigration and settlement sector across the province are pleased to finally see the historic appointment of a newly designated Minister Responsible for Immigration.

As a longstanding priority for the sector, Premier Higgs has demonstrated the need to prioritize this file as a means of enriching New Brunswick communities. NBMC and its member agencies congratulate the appointment of Arlene Dunn and all other appointed Ministers to the Cabinet, and look forward to advancing the immigration, multiculturalism and inclusion file in the province.

NBMC has called on previous governments to do this in order to signal the importance of the file to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the province.  As the newly elected politicians work to agree on priorities for the province, NBMC encourages Minister Dunn to work with constituents and experts across the province to move forward with solutions on key issues pertaining to the immigration file, including, but not limited to: housing, foreign credential recognition, stabilizing investments in settlement services, increasing multicultural representation throughout government, and, addressing systemic barriers faced by Black, racialized and immigrant communities in NB.

“Designating a Minister of Immigration is a historic moment and sends a signal to New Brunswickers that welcoming newcomers here is essential to the economic and social vibrancy of our province,” said Moncef Lakouas, President of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “We see first-hand at NBMC how immigration is a file that touches virtually all parts of the provincial government, so we urge all departments to work with Minister Dunn and to adopt a newcomer lens to the services they offer”, adds Mr. Lakouas.

Given Minister Dunn is responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs, NBMC also expresses its full support for the call by indigenous leaders and communities for a public inquiry into systemic racism in New Brunswick.

“As we welcome newcomers to our province, we must be honest and recognize that the first people of this land are experiencing injustices and inequalities”, said Lakouas.  “We need to move forward with an inquiry into systemic racism so we can acknowledge its existence and put into action strategies that will create a more equal, just and fair province for everybody that lives here.”