ew Brunswick has stepped up its campaign to lure former residents back to their home province.
Premier Bernard Lord took time out to visit with 1,300 ex-New Brunswickers at events in five cities across Canada recently in an effort to encourage skilled workers to return home to work. He brought along other members of his government and more than a dozen employers, including the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and J.D. Irving Inc.
“In order to grow our economy and create more opportunity and prosperity for all New Brunswickers, we need to retain the skilled people we have, but we also need to attract more to the province,” said Lord. “Former New Brunswickers are often pre-disposed to coming home. They know the province, have ties here and, in many cases, would be interested in returning if they can be assured of challenging work and good compensation.”
Lord was pleased with the numbers, saying the 1,300 people who came out at events in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal “greatly exceeded” the attendance targets.
The events were part of the latest phase in the province’s campaign to get its skilled former residents to come home. In February 2003 the province launched
, a Web site designated as the anchor for the repatriation program.
Individuals can go to the Web site, add their names to the list and receive an e-mail notification every time a new posting comes up in their area of interest or expertise.
Since last year, the province said the site has posted more than 6,500 career opportunities and attracted more than 3.9 million hits. With 75 per cent of firms reporting results, more than 2,200 New Brunswickers have found employment through the site and nearly 150 former residents have come home — exceeding the province’s goal of repatriating 90 in 2004.