Stemming out-migration

The CBC is hosting a public forum on Oct 25 in Fredericton entitled “Turning back the tide”.

On Oct. 25, CBC is hosting a public forum at St. Thomas University about out-migration and the New Brunswick of the future. We’re bringing together students, young people in the workforce, business people, and political and community leaders for a discussion on how to make New Brunswick a more attractive place for people to live and work.

This would be an interesting event to attend; but I won’t be able to make it up to Freddy Beach so here are my comments.

I expect the CBC will get the usual diversions at this forum. We need to make ‘post secondary education’ more affordable. We need to provide tax incentives to stay. We need to create a better environment for young people so they will want to stay. There will be general discussion around New Brunswick needing to have jobs that are attractive to young people.

The truth is, there are two things driving out-migration: 1) the weak economy here and 2) the strong economy over ‘there’. I went to Alberta in 1991 to get a job and there were very few to be had. Now, if I went there I could get a blue collar job that pays more than my white collar one. BC is also attracting people.

I’ll make a bold (and maybe stooopid) statement. I don’t think we should do much to stop out-migration. Kids are going to leave. If someone wants to make $100k to work on the road seven days a week in the tar sands, so be it. New Brunwick will never compete. If I want to ‘spread my wings’ and move to the big city of Toronto, why should the government put incentives in place to try and keep me around? I’ll just use up those incentives (i.e. the $10k tuition tax credit) and leave.

We need to stick to the basics. New Brunswick needs to have a few key growth sectors that it is focused on and we need full alignment of the education sector, immigration strategies, marketing activities, etc. There will always be out-migration. What we need is in-migration and those folks won’t come unless there are good jobs here.

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0 Responses to Stemming out-migration

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is interesting, but two problems I see are who is running it.This is why it would be nice to see a group of people get together.

    Making tuition affordable is hardly not an important issue. People LIKE to stay close to home (if they didn’t, they’d go to other provinces where tuition is cheaper). That’s besides the obvious that a dumber population is by no means a good thing.

    But I suspect it WILL get overrun by issues about education (institutionalized) and of course the CBC is not a shining example of easy access. When I first read the first paragraph my thought was to get somebody there with a video camera and a mic and record the damn thing, as soon as I saw CBC that idea left. Hopefully the CBC will air it and keep it posted, and you should link to it.

    The public forum is a great idea, but nowadays it doesn’t need to be physical. There also needs to be two sides, as we’ve established, most people don’t even know the basic facts.

    And to all the readers out there, this blog might be a good place to make a ‘wish list’ of all those policies. If NOW is the time to make an impact, and I agree it is, because the more vocal people get the more likely this tenuous government will listen.

  2. Anonymous says:

    During the last election campaign I heard alot about the importance of attitude.
    Ok. Shawn won. So it is time to ‘show us the money’.
    Here is a concrete idea: We need a team of travelling NB ED officers…going to places where the cost of business is high(BC & Alta) and demonstrably prove the cost of doing business in NB is less. Money talks.