COVID-19 made the space for the sort of bold action that is difficult in normal times, and that is desperately needed as the pre-existing challenges of an aging population and looming healthcare pressures are exacerbated by lost provincial revenues and increased spending during the crisis.
Turning Point was a virtual conference and podcast series focused on interactive online dialogue where attendees were encouraged to pose questions – even uncomfortable ones. Ten partnering organizations created this initiative in May-June 2020 as a venue to advance ideas, including – especially – bold ones. Streaming in English and French, each session explored a different theme, including demographics, the labour market, social services, entrepreneurship, education and more.
New Conversations hit the road in 2018 for a 15-community tour inviting New Brunswickers to join a crucial dialogue on immigration, the economy and the vitality and sustainability of our communities.
As the labour force grows in the rest of the country, New Brunswick’s declines. With fewer young people and workers, our public services, economic prospects and communities’ vitality are threatened. Many industries can’t find the talent they need to expand or sustain operations. Community organizations, public services and even minor sports teams are shrinking. Some are at risk of disappearing.
Immigration is a key solution to growth and meeting workforce needs. But the broader community must play a supportive role. New Conversations invited New Brunswickers to help spark new ideas and solutions to welcome more people to our communities.
Building Bridges was a multi-stakeholder forum on newcomer mental health and wellness.
The forum was an important first step that brought together passionate partners from multiple sectors, including: health, mental health and addictions, education, social development, immigrant settlement agencies, and many more.