New Brunswick

Create entrepreneurs to stem out-migration, says expert

A labour history expert from the University of New Brunswick says creating entrepreneurs is one key to stemming the latest tide of regional out-migration.

Population drain due to lack of opportunities

A labour history expert from the University of New Brunswick says creating entrepreneurs is one key to stemming the latest tide of regional out-migration.

About 2,000 people from across the Maritimes showed up for a job fair hosted by Alberta oilsands companies in Fredericton last week, ready to move west for work.

Bill Parenteau says people are leaving due to the declining number of opportunities in rural areas.

"I don't know that there's any resolution to this phenomenon that's really been going on for 150 years, but part of it is targeted immigration programs, which bring in people that will start businesses," he said.

Earlier this month, Michael Haan, UNB's Canada research chair in population and social policy, told CBC News the province is at the start of another surge in out-migration.

The Maritimes saw a similar population drain between 1881 and 1911, when people left to find work in the so-called Boston States, said Parenteau.

A second wave was lured west to the wheat harvests in the 1920s, helping to spawn the Maritime Rights political movement, he said.

McAdam tracks exodus

The southern New Brunswick village of McAdam is losing so many residents to western Canada, a local group has started to track the numbers.

At least 83 of the village's 1,300 residents have left for work in Fort McMurray, Alta., this year.

The group says there are additional people who have left for jobs in other places in Alberta or Saskatchewan, but they're only keeping a record on Fort McMurray so far.

Alberta has the lowest unemployment rate among all the provinces at 4.6 per cent in July, according to Statistics Canada.

Alberta also boasts the highest growth rate in employment, up 2.2 per cent over the same period last year, the report states. 

Meanwhile, New Brunswick's unemployment rate increased to 10 per cent, as the provincial economy shed 1,100 jobs, the figures show.

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