Government of New Brunswick

It has been estimated that more than 80 per cent of the decisions relating to where an entrepreneur will set up a business are related to the local community, not provincial or national factors. These decisions in­clude the quality and availability of the labour pool, real estate issues, access to suppliers and transporta­tion infrastructure, etc. It is important to have strong economic development resources in communities as advocates and champions to help entrepreneurs make this decision. This can be challenging, however, in a small province with a dispersed population. The ability of small communities to organize effective economic development teams been a challenge for decades.

We do not want to return to a centralized economic development model directed and funded by govern­ment. We will work with our local partners, including First Nations, to establish a new model. The approach taken in one area may not be the same as in another, but the outcome will be that each region of New Bruns­wick has empowered and engaged local economic development teams.

The elements of a successful regional economic de­velopment model include:

  • local leadership – it is important for each region to have strong local leadership supporting devel­opment. This leadership should include business, community and local government stakeholders. It should also include both volunteer time and fi­nancial support;
  •  a regional economic development plan focused on developing specific attributes and opportunities in each region of the province;
  • a robust start-up support system to support en­trepreneurs;
  • local market intelligence – deep knowledge of the state of the local economy, labour market and key assets; 
  • infrastructure development – ensuring the region has the economic infrastructure it needs to support long-term economic growth; and
  • active and focused support from the Government of New Brunswick via ONB.

Government will work with our partners to ensure all regions of New Brunswick have a strong economic development infrastructure in place.

All areas of the province have specific attributes, assets and industrial clusters that could be developed for further private-sector investment. Charlotte County has the highest concentration of aquaculture work­ers in Canada adjusted for population size. Nearly one in 10 workers in Carleton County is employed in the agriculture sector – five times more than the overall Canadian economy. Restigouche County has the highest concentration of forest products employ­ment among all regions, with more than nine per cent of the working population employed in related activi­ties. Greater Moncton has the highest concentration of tourism-related employment of any region. The Acadian Peninsula has one of the best microclimates for blueberry development in the world. Fredericton has one of the highest concentrations of engineering talent of any urban centre in Canada. Saint John is home to  a year-round, deep water port that handles an average of 28 million tonnes of diverse cargo annually with global connections to more than 350 ports around the world. Government will look to partners from around the province to define and develop opportunities in their region.