A New Brunswick economist wants the government to open its doors to more immigrants.
David Campbell said the higher the population, the sooner New Brunswick's economy can improve.
“Well a thousand immigrant families I estimate would bring in $65-million a year in consumer spending and that would support about 1,200 jobs right there,” he said.
Campbell said the consumer-spending impact of immigration would include:
- $7 million on food
- $11 million on lodging
- $11 million on transportation
- $20 million in local, provincial and federal tax revenue
Between 2006 to 2011, New Brunswick welcomed just over 7,000 immigrants.
Kha Quach and his family immigrated to Moncton five years ago and opened a restaurant a few years later. He's even convinced other Vietnamese to move here too.
“We already brought seven family [members], my friend ... to New Brunswick — And four of them have received the visa cards,” said Quach.
Quach's wife, Oanh Tran, admits at first her family had to adjust to life in Canada. But she said it has been worth it for her three sons.
“My sons have the very, very good education since they came here. And they grow up very well, they have good friends, good teachers, the best, best teachers,” she said.
Quach employs up to five people at his restaurant.
He said he knows many more Vietnamese families willing to make the move to New Brunswick.
“They have their own skills and they establish business and employ the people and spend money,” he said.
A spokesperson with the department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour said the federal government caps New Brunswick's immigration at 625 people a year.
Campbell said the province should lobby the government to up that number to 2,000 or 3,000.
“If you look at Prince Edward Island, which had the biggest increase on a relative basis on immigration, it actually has the best employment growth and the best GDP growth of any of the three Maritime provinces,” he said.
Quach and his wife say a restaurant is just the beginning. He was an architect in Vietnam and wants to design and manufacture furniture — he said then he can employ and contribute even more to the province that welcomed his family.