15 Virtual Events Planned Across NB to Discuss Future of Population and Workforce

by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council
February 22, 2021

This week the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) is launching its second New Conversations Tour in 15 communities across the province, bringing together municipalities, community leaders, settlement agencies, and key employer. Economists David Campbell and Richard Saillant will lead virtual discussions to engage communities in a dialogue about the future of their population and workforce, sparking new ideas and solutions in order to welcome more people to our region.

Building on the success of its pivotal 2018 New Conversations Tour, NBMC is collaborating with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Province of New Brunswick and over 60 regional partners to hold a series of virtual sessions over the next month, with the kick off session taking place on February 23rd for Carleton County. The tour aims to elevate the conversations and mobilize community engagement, industry collaboration, and government policy advocacy.

The implementation of the strategies we recommended to government and industry have already created a remarkable effect in our population trend,” explains Moncef Lakouas, President of NBMC, “but much more has to be done—especially in the face of the drop in new arrivals driven by the pandemic-related travel restrictions. We’re facing a tough road to economic recovery, and it simply won’t be possible without a strong focus on rebuilding the foundations of our population growth. New Conversations 2.0 is designed to create a space where we can have the discussions needed to do exactly that.

Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across the province were working to reverse decades of population decline and strains on the labour force. Immigration was already a key solution for the province to spark growth and meet workforce needs, and now we need to seek new paths forward to ensure this vital asset is protected and enhanced.

Returning to share their vital insights will be Richard Saillant, Economist and Public Policy Consultant, as well as David Campbell, of Jupia Consultants and former Chief Economist of NB, to present key findings from a recent analysis of local demographic and labour market trends. “It would be a mistake to treat New Brunswick as a single, uniform place,” explains Campbell. “So, in the last tour, we developed and shared a unique profile of the labour market and demographic projections for each region, and this has now been updated with the latest facts and commentary. But, just as importantly, these events will give everyone an opportunity to hear from local employers and newcomers about the challenges they face in their local reality, and their vision for the sustainability and vitality of their communities.

NBMC hopes the tour will spark communities to activate around the new data and work collaboratively to plan for population growth and diversity in their regions. “Employers are seeking to fill labour demands and we see governments responding to those needs, but we all have a role to play in ensuring strong retention strategies and for immigration to be successful and meaningful,” adds Ginette Gautreau, interim Executive Director at NBMC. “Communities need to look at their infrastructure, their public services, and their neighbourhoods and ask how they can support in welcoming newcomers, and what can be done to ensure their regions remain vibrant and prosperous in the decades to come. New Conversations is an opportunity for local citizens to ask tough question and become champions and change makers in their communities.”


For more information about the tour, including dates and locations, please visit:

English: https://www.newconversationsnb.com/

French: https://www.nouvellesconversationsnb.com/