Global leader Siemens established a smart grid development centre in Fredericton several years ago as part of a partnership with NB Power. A “smart grid” is an electricity supply network that integrates digital technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity demand. Based on this foundation, New Brunswick is working to become a hub for smart grid development by attracting start-ups and national and international firms to do their testing and development work in New Brunswick.
Boosting new farmers
The attraction of farmers from abroad has a long history in New Brunswick. Many of New Brunswick’s current farmers are close to retirement and do not have a proper succession plan. Some are retiring on their farms and letting the farmland go fallow. Others would like to sell but there is not a ready pool of new farmers ready to take over. In addition to helping young farmers, this opportunity involves attracting a new round of farmers from abroad (local people can also access the new entrant program). Hundreds of new farmers would boost economic activity and strengthen our important agriculture sector.
Cybersecurity has the potential to create hundreds of new, high value jobs in New Brunswick. The global cybersecurity market is estimated at $75 billion and expected to grow to $170 billion by 2020. New Brunswick is home to several world-class cybersecurity firms, including IBM which is boosting its significant cyber-related activity in Fredericton. We have the opportunity to take advantage of the emerging cybersecurity talent shortage expected to reach 1.5 million people by 2019.
There are areas in New Brunswick that are ideal microclimates for the production of blueberries. In the past decade, total blueberry production has more than tripled and become far more productive. With the large Oxford investment and the allocation of additional Crown land to other players, the industry is expected to grow even larger. New Brunswickers will soon be the largest producer of blueberries in the world. This opportunity requires a strong eco-system which includes smaller local producers being given opportunity to fully participate.
More firms in diverse – from information technology support to financial services and graphic design – are building distributed workforces. This opportunity involves the provincial government developing an inventory of people interested in this type of work, along with the skills and home work environment (home office, broadband, etc.) and matching them with potential employers in New Brunswick and across North America. If there are gaps in skills or home-work environment, existing training programs could be used. This is a great opportunity for more employment in
rural New Brunswick.
Business services centres
The business services centre industry (a.k.a. contact or call centres) had its beginnings in New Brunswick more than 25 years ago when an available, skilled and bilingual workforce was leveraged by the provincial government to attract global companies such as IBM, Xerox, ExxonMobil, Purolator Courier, Federal Express and the Royal Bank of Canada. Importantly, the sector generates more than $1 billion in annual export revenue for New Brunswick. This opportunity involves finding ways to help the sector grow. Other initiatives such as home-based work and the new immigration pilot project will boost the available workers for the industry. We need to assess new opportunities such as social media interaction and the development of technologies to support the industry. This was also identified as a priority through the opportunities summit process. More…
New Brunswick has struck a committee of key stakeholders to study the public safety challenges. This committee will also explore economic development opportunities stemming from marijuana. The legalization and control of marijuana will significantly expand the industry across Canada. Some provinces will take advantage of this opportunity to foster the creation of new production activity and value-added, specialized product development. In addition, there are numerous supply chain opportunities such as testing, R&D and other services. New Brunswick already has one marijuana production facility, another in the development phase, and other potential opportunities Fredericton-based RPC is the country’s leading tester of medical marijuana and has additional testing capacity. Federal/provincial research facilities in New Brunswick have capabilities that could be leveraged to help maximize the potential of this new industry. More…
Local food and beverage strategy
New Brunswick households spend $2.6 billion on food purchases each year. Much of the food consumed in New Brunswick is produced elsewhere (the total GDP contribution from food – wholesale/retail/restaurants – is about $1 billion per year). Efforts to promote locally produced food and beverage consumption can contribute to GDP growth due to import substitution.
A successful tourism industry requires attractions, service providers and promotion. Investments in tourism infrastructure will help boost the number of tourists and their satisfaction rates. The Bay of Fundy and its surrounding parks, trails and attractions is New Brunswick’s most sought after tourism offering. Fundy National Park already attracts 230,000 visitors per year. With strategic infrastructure investments, industry collaboration and a comprehensive development strategy, we plan to co-create a unified Fundy Coast experience that will increase visitor traffic and tourism revenues
A significant number of tourism service providers around New Brunswick (inns, cottages, motels, tours, outfitters, guides, campgrounds, artisans, gift shops and stores) are small, often family operated, independent businesses. They must be supported with their succession challenges. The ROI in promoting New Brunswick is significant and must be increased, creating a need for better signage throughout the province and more promotion to bring tourists to New Brunswick year round. More…
Maple syrup and maple syrup tourism
The provincial government is focused on developing complementary economic opportunities from its vast forests. A good example is maple syrup. Revenues from this sector rose from $3 million in 2000 to nearly $32 million in 2015, and they are poised for addition growth as a result of an expansion of Crown land for maple syrup production. The Department of Energy and Resource Development allotted an additional 4,400 ha for maple sugar production last fall bringing the total Crown land allocated to 13,500 ha. New Brunswick is the third-largest producer of maple syrup in the world, after Quebec and Vermont. The industry creates about 2,300 seasonal and part-time jobs each year and that number is set to rise significantly. Plus, there are lessons to be learned on how to turn this industry into a tourism draw like is done in Vermont. More...
Energy East is a large scale oil pipeline transmission project that would bring western Canadian oil for export through Port Saint John. It also involves investment in a new marine shipping terminal and oil storage facility. It could also enable other secondary processing opportunities. Government is pursuing multiple opportunities to ensure maximum economic benefit should the pipeline pass all regulatory hurdles. These include helping determine supply chain opportunities for New Brunswick firms, maximizing the benefits to New Brunswick’s existing trades and heavy construction workforce, training young and First Nations workers on the skills needed to work in the heavy construction sector, and seeking other opportunities such as monitoring and dispatch activities.
Sisson Molybdenum/Tungsten Mine
Mining is a high-value industry offering high wage jobs and royalty revenues to