From the TJ:
A revised estimate of New Brunswick’s population has shown there are about 4,600 fewer people than originally believed living in the province. Statistics Canada initially reported New Brunswick’s population was 751,250 in January 2008, but the new estimate – based on revisions dating back to the 2006 census and other data compiled since – is 746,603, meaning there were 4,647 New Brunswickers that never existed in the original calculation.
There are two things here. One, the province has a website called “Components of Growth” – a bit ironic as 8 of the last 11 years have shown a decline – it should be called Components of Decline – but the web page was set up when the province was actually adding population. On this page you can see there is a column for “Residual Deviation” which has always been negative since 1992.
Two, population does matter as most of the federal programs now are either explicitly or de facto based on population (i.e. less population – less money). At the broader level, you can’t have government expenditures going up every year at three times the rate of inflation on a shrinking population base. Eventually, that is a terminal propostion.