Self-Sufficiency Task Force

Self-Sufficiency Task Force releases first report (07/01/18)

NB 67

Jan. 18, 2007

FREDERICTON (CNB) -- Increased incomes, increased productivity, and increased exports are among the seven realities New Brunswick must confront if it is to chart a new course, say the co-chairs of the Self-Sufficiency Task Force.


Task force co-chairs Gilles Lepage and Francis McGuire released the first of three papers today. Entitled The New Brunswick Reality Report, Part I: At the Crossroads, the report outlines the major issues facing New Brunswick and suggests a course of action to follow.

"It is important to me that we set a clear agenda that enables each region of New Brunswick to maximize its potential," Lepage said. "We must be prepared to acknowledge where we need to change, such as in the natural resources sector, and move quickly to improve operations and efficiency so these industries can continue to contribute to the New Brunswick economy."

The task force outlines seven realities it believes New Brunswick residents must consider: the baseline for change. Those realities are:

  1. We need to increase our population and our labour force and reverse shrinking population trends by raising incomes to the national level.

  2. We need to be prepared for sweeping changes of unprecedented magnitude. Half measures will not work. Acknowledging the need to focus on opportunities that will produce the scale of change required is imperative.

  3. We need to increase labour productivity by providing people with the right tools for the right jobs.

  4. We need to strengthen the connections between urban and rural New Brunswick through large-scale investments in infrastructure.

  5. Export growth must drive overall economic growth. This will create prosperity.

  6. We need to quickly and aggressively expand our existing corporate base.

  7. Leaders at all levels of New Brunswick society must step forward.

"The bottom line is that New Brunswick needs to raise incomes if it is to increase its population. "That is the path to self-sufficiency," McGuire said. "I believe the way to do that is to concentrate on improving productivity within the existing business base, and to attract world-class corporations in niches where New Brunswick has a competitive edge, such as information technology."

The report is designed to stimulate a conversation among New Brunswickers about the priorities that need to be set by both the public and private sectors in order to expand economic growth. It is available online.

The second report will be released Feb. 9, 2007.


MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Langille, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-5070.