Paul Davis launches population growth strategy
Details to be released in the coming weeks
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has launched a series of policy goals in an effort to increase the province's plunging population.
The long-awaited population growth strategy to combat an aging demographic will focus on workforce development, family, communities and immigration.
Live Here, Work Here, Belong Here, A Population Growth Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador contains four five-year action plans from 2015 to 2020, with a second set of action plans to be announced in 2020.
"This province is now at a point where the number of people leaving the workforce each year is exceeding the number of people entering," said Premier Paul Davis at the launch in Conception Bay South Thursday morning.
Davis admitted the province has a challenge ahead with low birth rates, out migration and a forecasted decline in population.
"We want them to stay here and raise their families and be home for good," Davis said, adding a big part of a plan is to encourage people from across Canada and the world to build a life in the province.
Students protest outside
Over the course of the first five years, $29-million will be put towards the policies.
While trumpeting its plans to swell the populations by promoting the province, encouraging families to stay in the province and fostering a good environment for newcomers, the announcement did not detail any specific policies as to how the action plan will come to fruition.
Davis said specific policies related to the growth plan will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The strategy comes two years after former premier Kathy Dunderdale announced a plan was needed to deal with the population decline.
As the launch was championed inside the Manuel River Hibernia Interpretation, students protested outside against what it calls "hypocrisy of a government that announces a population growth strategy barely two months after undermining one of the province's best demographic hope: accessible post-secondary education."
A proposed hike to tuition fees at Memorial University prompted the protest of students outside the centre.