April 1, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A realignment within the provincial government is expected to renew New Brunswick's focus to achieve self-sufficiency by growing the economy and the population.
"Keeping our kids at home is a top priority of our government," said Premier Shawn Graham. "To achieve self-sufficiency, we need to grow our economy and keep New Brunswickers in New Brunswick. These changes will better position us to achieve these goals."
Effective today, the responsibilities for the Population Growth Secretariat are being transferred to the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour from Business New Brunswick. The announcement represents the provincial government's commitment to increase the population of New Brunswick through immigration and immigrant settlement support, repatriation and youth retention.
"I am pleased to have the responsibility of the Population Growth Secretariat added to the department," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. "The placement of the Population Growth Secretariat under the department will allow for a more strategic alignment of existing human resource development programs offered though the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.
"This move will give the Population Growth Secretariat closer access to expertise in skills training and program development as well as support for various youth retention and immigrant settlement initiatives," said Arseneault. "This move will further enhance the secretariat's ability to meet population-related challenges. The provincial government recognizes how important population growth is to our future and in reaching our goal of self-sufficiency."
As part of the announcement, Business New Brunswick will be positioned to focus on growing the economy and creating jobs - another critical component to achieving self-sufficiency.
"I am very proud of the success that the Population Growth Secretariat has enjoyed in attracting close to 6,000 residents to New Brunswick during the last few years," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau. "The staff has brought valuable energy and vision to the government. This move will fit strategically with the objectives of the Department of Post-Secondary Education and Labour, helping retain our young people and attract new, skilled workers to the province."
In 2008, the provincial government laid out an objective of growing New Brunswick's population by 6,000 people by the end of 2009, which would put the province on track to grow the population by 25,000 by 2015 and by 100,000 by 2026. The population grew by 5,778 by the end of 2009, nearly reaching that interim goal.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Langille, communications, Population Growth Secretariat, 506-471-3264.