New Brunswick

Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside's tweet about jobs causes stir

A speech from Premier Brian Gallant followed by a tweet from Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside has led to some confusion as to how many jobs would be coming to the capital and from where.

Tweet said 400 technology jobs coming, but government says, 'We don't know specifics yet'

Brad Woodside will be running for a ninth term as Fredericton's mayor in May. (CBC)

A speech from Premier Brian Gallant followed by a tweet from Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside has led to some confusion as to how many jobs would be coming to the capital and from where.

On Wednesday morning Woodside tweeted, "Cyber security centre of excellence coming to Fredericton creating upwards to 400 jobs. Great announcement."

But since then, nobody at the city, the province, or the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is confirming much.

Sheila Lagacé, a government spokesperson, said there was the mention of around 400 hundred jobs at the speech but that no specifics about jobs numbers or companies were announced.

"The premier in his speech this morning referenced the potential for hundreds of jobs to be created in the sector in New Brunswick in the near future," Lagacé wrote in an emailed statement.

"Government looks forward to speaking more about the specifics around these jobs in the coming weeks," said Lagacé.

Gallant has voiced his intentions of creating "a centre of excellence in cybersecurity" in New Brunswick.

The premier spent time earlier this month at a major cybersecurity conference in San Francisco promoting the province as an IT hub.

"But I don't think that was intended to be a specific announcement," said Krista Ross, the chief executive officer for the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.

"More of a general statement."

Premier Gallant wants to create a centre of excellence in cybersecurity in New Brunswick. (iStock)
Greg Byrne, a spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, wrote in an emailed statement, "It is my understanding that the premier indicated that specific job announcements for this sector would be made by ONB [Opportunities New Brunswick] in the coming weeks."

Woodside stands by tweet

But Woodside is defending the tweet.

In an email to CBC News, Woodside wrote: "I picked up the info at this mornings Chamber meeting. The 400 number are tech jobs the premier was working on."

"I don't think that's what the Premier said," said Valerie Kilfoil, spokesperson for Opportunities New Brunswick.

"The mayor may be mistaken."

"There's definitely jobs coming," said Kilfoil. 

"There are over 400 IT jobs coming to Fredericton but not all specific positions with a cybersecurity center of excellence."


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