New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network

New Brunswickers banding together to improve retention of immigrants

News Release:

For immediate release

June 7, 2017

New Brunswickers banding together to improve retention of immigrants

New Brunswick is currently facing the double threat of an aging and shrinking population, which has led to a significant shortage of skilled workers in our province. This imbalance not only puts strain on our shrinking tax base, it also inhibits the ability of New Brunswick businesses to grow and compete in the national and global economies. The New Brunswick government is focused on retraining and repatriating New Brunswickers but also on attracting skilled newcomers to our province.

“Your government is working hard getting things done to create jobs, secure health care and grow the economy,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “New Brunswick is faced with an aging and shrinking population. Welcoming skilled foreign workers and repatriating former New Brunswickers will help our province meet its labour needs and grow the economy.”

The business case for immigration is clear – every 1,000 new immigrant families that settle in New Brunswick, with an average household income, creates $50 million dollars in new consumer spending for the province. The Economic Immigration Lab will focus specifically on how we might become leaders at attracting, welcoming and retaining newcomers in order to  grow the New Brunswick economy.

“If businesses cannot find the labour they need here in the province, the risk is that they will be forced to expand their operations outside of the province. The Economic Immigration Lab will helps us determine to the best way to attract and retain newcomers to NB will to help grow stable jobs for everyone.” Adrienne O’Pray, Executive Director, NB Business Council.

NouLAB, New Brunswick’s public and social innovation lab is launching a provincial Economic Immigration Lab. A social lab is a multi-faceted approach that involves facilitated processes to help anybody – from individuals to multi-stakeholder groups – address complex problems. The lab will bring together businesses, settlement agencies, all levels of government and newcomers to work together on how we might become leaders at attracting, welcoming and retaining newcomers New Brunswick.

“It is not an understatement to say that the future of our province depends on how we handle the immigration and multiculturalism file.  Whether you’re concerned with fueling your workforce, selling real estate, filling classrooms or growing the economy – they all depend on immigration,” said Alex LeBlanc, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council and member of the Leadership Council for the immigration lab.  LeBlanc added, “People from all different sectors are raising their hand and saying ‘we need immigration in our business and our community’ and our mission with this lab is to outline how best for those stakeholders to help these collective efforts.”

We are looking for people who recognize that our current approach to addressing this challenge is not enough and who are keen to improve our attraction and retention of newcomers to the region. Lab participants will be positioned to share of their unique experience, develop cross-sector relationships, connect with the right people to create sustained change, try potential solutions and gain experience in an innovative lab process. If you or your organization is interested in joining us on this journey, please contact Amanda Hachey, or join the upcoming informational webinars; June 13th 3-4 pm in English and June 15th 3-4pm in French You can also visit our lab website,, for more information.

The lab is supported by the Government of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Business Council, New Brunswick Multicultural Council, Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, City of Moncton, and Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick.

NouLAB helps the public and innovators act together to address our most pressing social, environmental, and economic challenges. By connecting change agents from across sectors, convening them around pressing issues, and facilitating their journey to deep change, NouLAB is making the change process smarter. Find out more at:

The first sprint of the lab kicks off in September 2017 and will run until December 2017 – but that’s just the beginning. NouLAB expects to prototype potential solutions and incorporate learnings and feedback into several sprints throughout the three-year multi-stakeholder project.

Media Contact: Amanda Hachey, NouLAB Director,  506 850 6569

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