For a number of years, the N.B. government has been ‘talking’ about immigration but doing almost nothing. In the last five years, we have received only about 1/3 of the immigrants that came to New Brunswick in the early 1970s (I covered this in a previous blog). Further, Nova Scotia and many other provinces actually have a plan to attract immigrants – unlike New Brunswick.
But now, in the new budget we have $1 million in new money to help attract immigrants. Sounds like a good number until you realize it is only a fraction of what our neighbours in Nova Scotia are spending.
But let’s be optimists. A colleague of mine suggested that we should have a lottery – all immigrants get a chance to win $1 Million just by immigrating to New Brunswick. You would have a 1 in 700 chance of winning!
In addition to the lottery, New Brunswick provides other benefits to potential immigrants including:
*Not having to work for eight months of the year (the government just enhanced the program – why not promote it?)
*Lots of cold weather recreational activities – but if the immigrant is not interested in the outdoors, that’s fine. We aren’t either. New Brunswick is the least physically active province in Canada. There are lots of in-door activities such as cable TV, bingo, bridge, etc.
*Finally, we could give all new immigrants a framed, autographed picture of Bernard Lord.
In the absence of a real plan, I think this one just might work.