There is increasing evidence that people are moving to Moncton – deliberately. What I mean is that people are choosing to move here primarily for quality of life and related issues not because they were forced to because of a transfer.
Now, as a lifetime New Brunswicker and used to people a) leaving or b) complaining, it takes sometime for this stuff to sink in. Sure, I see it in the ‘statistics’ but real live examples are much more compelling.
For example, there’s a new Brazilian couple in Moncton. Moved here from one of the hottest areas in the north of Brazil. They wanted to emigrate to Canada and they wanted a smaller city location. The husband got a job with one of the large multinational firms that moved here in the 1990s.
Anyway, apparently, there are dozens of people at his place of employment that moved here from Toronto, Vancouver, etc. – not transfered to Moncton – wanted to come here. Applied for the job here. They, apparently, are telling this Brazilian couple that Moncton is an excellent place to live and raise a family.
Now, this is not a plug for attracting multinational firms and how that will bring in immigrants and migrants. I do that enough elsewhere.
This is a blog about how the ‘armpit’ of the Maritimes with garbage blowing through a boarded up downtown can become a place that people want to move to. In my office, there are Campbelltonians, Bay St. Anners, Frederictonians, Tunisians, French, Edmundstonians, Saint Johners and Antigonishers.
Whereas in the past people would say “why Moncton?” now they are saying “why not?”.
Remember, folks. There is a clear story about the revitalization of Greater Moncton. A simple history, really. A lot of folks locally saying enough’s enough. A catalytic event (the Shops closure). Serious leadership at the local level. And oodles of national and multinational firms brought into the community (over 35 in 20 years) supplemented with a very stong entrepreneurial climate that gave rise to a number of successful local businesses.
The next 20 years for Greater Moncton will be about attracting people and higher end business investment.
It’s tough but actually not as tough as the last 20.