Population crisis? What population crisis?

Last year, Canada admitted an estimated 260,000 immigrants, up from 235,000 in the previous year. Since 1990, nearly four million new Canadians have arrived, a staggering 12.5% of our total population.

-National Post editorial today.

Someone should give some thought to why New Brunswick’s immigrant numbers were three times higher in the early 1970s than they are today while at the same time Canada’s immigrant levels are at record highs.

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0 Responses to Population crisis? What population crisis?

  1. Anonymous says:

    You should complete those thoughts instead of leaving them open to vague ideas. One clue I’ll submit is the seventies represents the highest proportional spending that the federal government ever did. Government jobs were available all over the place, and all the jobs that fed off those jobs were available as well.

    Now of course, far different story. I just love the immigration story where they spent millions to bring in an african family to a boony town up north and paid his way through FORESTRY SCHOOL. And this was a FEDERAL program! Anybody that wants to see an example of federal initiatives in this province should just check out that story!

  2. Geeks on ice says:

    I think the biggest issue is that we, the province, do not market ourselves to immigrants wanting to come to Canada.

    Like Americans, most immigrants think that Canada is Toronto.

    Immigrants also like to go where they have a cultural base that they can identify with. Imagine moving from China to Caraquet… If they do not own a car, they have no transportation, no access to markets that have the types of food they are accustomed to, and most of the family does not know the native language(s) to communicate.

    So there are many symptoms as to why we don’t attract immigrants to NB. It’s going to require some bold initiative and vision to appeal to these groups. And we do need them…

  3. MonctonLandlord says:

    Well, like Megadeath would say “Peace sells but who is buying”; Moncton can say immigrants are here but who is hiring?

    Why wouldn’t programmes exist to hire international students after they spend 4 years in Moncton at the local university? Why spend thousands of dollars flying overseas and promoting immigration when they are already in Moncton? (but leave because no one hires them).

    Ever been to a job interview in Toronto where the recruiter is from Chinese descent and the HR manager is of Indian descent? Talk about feeling like an immigrant (in your own country…) a real eye opener for what is happening in NB.

    Sample Data from the survey (below):

    – Own your own busines: 72%

    – Attracting and retaining new immigrants 42% (very important)

    Source: Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce election survey, released september 15, 2006:

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/DisplaySummary.asp?SID=2522422&U=252242233802

  4. Anonymous says:

    Amen. The ‘we need better marketing’ sounds very much like painting your Ford Pinto bright purple. To be brutally honest, why would any immigrant want to live in NB?

    As said above, there are no jobs. I’ve worked in many different work environments and anybody that thinks the racism shown against asian students in Saint John is a fluke or one time thing has blinders on.

    In the major cities immigrants practically outnumber other folks, at least visibly. So at least they know they aren’t being gawked at.

    And of course in an area with high unemployment bringing more immigrants in from outside is just another way of taking jobs.

    That’s the reality. That of course doesn’t mean its an insurmountable problem, nothing is.

    These are just some of the issues.

    However, I was wondering where to post this but on a news program they featured rural Manitoba and their new ‘immigrants’ which were old order mennonites.

    In southern ontario they are running out of room. My inlaws have a cottage in northern ontario and they now also have communities of mennonites buying up land.

    I don’t know the land situation all over NB, but this would at least be interesting for rural New Brunswick. Municipalities could send people to southern ontario (since you can’t email or phone them) and show them whats available. It’s not that much further than northern ontario and closer than Manitoba for sure.

    Of course you might want to pick and choose. Old order mennonites might buy supplies while building, but after that they are pretty self sufficient (you can buy produce from them though, a plus in rural areas with lousy grocers).

    It just goes to show you never know where immigration can come from or what form it can take.

  5. Geeks On ice says:

    Dear Anon,

    I view “Marketing” ourselves as a self-discovery of what we need to do to attract immigrants to NB. You are right, we can’t compete on the same level as Toronto or Vancouver in our existing state. However, my employer does have a percentage of immigrants that live and work in Moncton and they like NB for raising their families. What they see as our biggest weakness is our lack of cultural diversified activities. In other words, they get bored.

    An example of this is a co-worker of mine that loves cricket. He always expresses to me his disapointment that Moncton does not have a cricket field for him and his friends from the the Middle East, Bahamas, South America and African can play on.

    The second important piece of the puzzle is that the public needs to want immigrants. I meet many NBers that do not see the need for immigration simply because they perceive that if our economy is booming, job creation will lure most of our ex-pats back from central and western Canada.

    Even if all the ex-pats do return, we will still lack a critical mass to transform the province into a have province. Which is the the vision I have for my future children.

  6. Anonymous says:

    All the above is true, but I doubt building cricket fields is going to make a difference. Go to ontario and you won’t see cricket fields, heck, they’re just discovering soccer.

    The cultural awareness thing is good on all fronts though, if for no other reason than that its a wide world out there and you never know where opportunities are going to come from.

    However, the other problem is perhaps best exemplified by our style of government. I remember reading that the first thing the swiss do when confronted with a problem, they say ‘what can we do about it’. Meaning, they set about to fix it.

    In Canada, its either ‘whats the government going to do about it’, or more likely ‘gee its too bad the government hasn’t done something about it’.

    I think cricket is a neat, if somewhat bizarre sport, however, all you need is 450 feet in diameter.

    Even the professional tests are merely ‘roped off’, so if you want to play cricket, you find a field, there are lots around. Then if you don’t have enough players you put in an ad. If, as you say, people are ‘bored’ then the curious will show up. As more people show up more will get interested..or not, depending on the needs of the community.

    In fact, this group could simply go to the local paper and say what they are interested in and the paper would probably do a story.

    So sitting around grousing does nothing. People wanted to play frisbee golf, so they went out and found a field. If you want to play cricket, do the same. Actually, that’s an excellent idea because I can tell you from going across Canada that its not largely recieved. In other words, it may actually provide something for people to talk about when trying to entice immigrants, or in fact anybody.

    But wishing doesn’t make it so. If anybody needs any help with organizing it, just post it here. I know fields in Moncton may often be used in the evening, but I find it hard to believe that an old farm field or unused city lot doesn’t exist somewhere. If you want a website with instructions and things like that listed in order to get more interest, again, post it here, just ask those fellas just how much they want to play cricket.

    If people just have ideas, complain about them, then forget about them, well, there’s your answer as to why there are no cultural events. Don’t like cricket, think of another one or ask an immigrant and start it up, or rather help them advertise because I guarantee you there are probably plenty…check with their churches or cultural groups.

  7. Geeks on ice says:

    I beleive they use the soccer field at UdeM to play “pickup” matches, but expressed that it would be nice to have a field, which wouldn’t take much room to build. At least what I am told by my cohorts. In order for their sport to fleurish, they need the consistency of an official field to pplay and teach their children a litle but of their culture.

    I know from experience that when you want something you do not need goverment to do it for you. However, I will say that at least I had an infrastructure(Govt) to play my own hockey tournament in, which has contributed to the success of Geeks.

    I did encourage the individual to approach EGM and the city, but some individuals are intimidated by goverment. If they want it badly enough, I would expect they take charge but our culture does seem to be that Govt should know everything.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thats why the response was directed at YOU. And why I volunteered. I can well imagine that people would be intimidated by government, that’s no surprise, particularly if you are an immigrant. Now would be the time to start to prepare for next year. I was at the Moncton website where it lists recreation but it doesn’t have an email specifically for that.

    There are two ways of going about it, simply call the recreation department stating what you are looking for. Ask if there are any vacant fields, or whether one of the existing fields can be somewhat converted.

    The chief difficulty is the pitch, which is usually very short grass. I’m assuming that’s their chief problem because apart from that a soccer field is fine. The main problem may be that soccer fields are typically all used up in summertime.

    However, find out who is head of parks and recreation and perhaps they may be keen on it. Problem is, parkland is limited.

    What could be a good idea is to find a local park that has a high level of immigrants and see about the possibility of a sports field designed specifically for their needs.

    Namely, I’m thinking of all the alternative sports that are just gaining ground,namely bocce and lawn bowling. Other sports like horseshoes are also gaining in popularity, but have few opportunities.

    Here it depends somewhat on a forward thinking recreational director. Some places have people who are phenomenal and just the mention of a new idea really charges their batteries. I have no idea who that person is in Moncton. But like I said, a quick phone call is all it takes to find out.

    After that it may be a scenario where you have to hit local counsillors, and if there is a vacant area in one ward then its not a bad idea to get the counsillor on board because they always want to be seen as ‘doing something’.

    But immigrants aren’t going to do that, in fact most canadians don’t bother. I don’t know these people so it would be presumptuous of me to call and then find out it was two guys kidding around or something.

    I would suggest talking to these guys. Like I said, the pitch is the only real hangup, so I don’t know what the problem is. Beyond that, if you work with these people, gather them around one lunch hour and just for fun say, ‘why don’t I call the recreational director?’ And then ‘why don’t I call or email our ward councillor?’ Perhaps it will snowball from there.

    But it may have been ‘just talk’ and when you get down to specifics, there may not really be an issue there at all. If there is, well, every problem has a solution. Everything is solved with action.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just looked at the map of centennial park here:

    http://www.moncton.org
    /search/english
    /CITYLIVING/yourparks
    /cent.pdf

    You’ll notice that there is an island there, and just north of it there is an open field that doesn’t seem to have trees or sports fields. I’m not from Moncton so I don’t know what is there, but I did notice that Moncton has skateboard parks, so obviously they are fairly proactive. I know many cities that have closed them down for fear of injuries.

    Find out what their needs are, because I’ll call Monctons rec department if they want. There’s nothing worse than a problem that languishes.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mapleton park also has vacant land right by the parking lots.