NBMC Urges Political Parties to Reimagine Immigration Targets and Policies
As aspiring federal election candidates work hard to gain support for their vision for New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) urges all political parties to agree on one priority for the province: increase population growth targets and invest in the wrap-around policies and supports to foster the successful retention and integration of newcomers in New Brunswick.
“We continue to face the same pressing demographic and labour market challenges in New Brunswick, but the impacts of Covid-19 have slowed down immigration efforts and employers across the province and across all sectors are urgently calling for more staff, entrepreneurs and skills to bring to the table”, said Moncef Lakouas, President of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. David Campbell of Jupia Consultants recently developed labour market projections for NBMC. He found that in order to achieve modest annual workforce growth of 0.5% across all regions in the province, New Brunswick needs to increase immigration levels to 10,000 immigrants/year by 2024, then to 16,000/year by 2029, and then tapering back down to 13,000/year by 2037. “New Brunswick not only needs to welcome at least 10,000 new immigrants per year by 2024, but it also needs to expedite stable employment opportunities for them as a central pillar to the province’s economic recovery plan.”
Parallel to the needs for population growth, New Brunswick is also facing a critical shortage of health care workers, an imminent housing crisis, and the prospects of welcoming many refugees from Afghanistan in short order.
“It is critical for all immigration policies to be complemented and supplemented with strong investments in wrap-around support services and interdepartmental, intergovernmental collaboration to address the complex challenges before us,” added Ginette Gautreau, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “We are calling upon all party candidates to commit to higher targets, to act upon, and prioritize the collaboration and investments needed to create ethical and inclusive pathways to employment and retention in our province.”
NBMC has collaborated with several provincial and local organizations to host a multi-party roundtable on population growth, immigration, and economic growth, taking place on September 9th at 11 am. Candidates will have the opportunity to present their party’s stance on a range of related questions and express their vision for the future of New Brunswick.