New Brunswick is one of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces (together with Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) and is the only constitutionally bilingual (English–French) province. Fredericton is the capital, Moncton is the largest metropolitan (CMA) area and Saint John is the most populous city. In the 2011 nationwide census, Statistics Canada estimated the provincial population to have been 751,171, being on an area of almost 73,000 km2. The majority of the population is English-speaking, but there is also a large Francophone minority (33%), chiefly of Acadian origin. The provincial flag features a ship superimposed on a yellow background with a yellow lion passant guardant on red pennon above it.
New Brunswick’s urban areas have modern, service-based economies dominated by the health care, educational, retail, finance, and insurance sectors. These sectors are reasonably equitably distributed in all three principal urban centres. In addition, heavy industry and port facilities are found in Saint John; Fredericton is dominated by government services, universities, and the military; and Moncton has developed as a commercial, retail, transportation, and distribution centre with important rail and air terminal facilities.
The rural primary economy is best known for forestry, mining, mixed farming, and fishing.
The US is the province’s largest export market, accounting for 92% of a foreign trade valued in 2014 at C$12.964 billion. Refined petroleum accounted in 2014 for 63% of the total, followed by seafood products, pulp, paper and sawmill products and non-metallic minerals (chiefly potash).
Forestry is important in all areas of the province but especially in the heavily forested central regions. There are many sawmills in the smaller towns and large pulp and paper mills located in Saint John, Atholville, Miramichi, Nackawic, and Edmundston.
Heavy metals, including lead and zinc, are mined in the north around Bathurst, but the area has largely been mined out: the Brunswick Mine’s massive sulphide orebody was discovered in 1953, opened in 1964 and employed more than 2,000 people at its peak, but closed in April 2013. One of the world’s largest potash deposits is located in Sussex. Two mines exist there, named Penobsiquis and Picadilly, the latter of which cost over two billion dollars since 2008 and ceased operations in 2016. Some of the laid-off workers were given opportunities in Saskatchewan. Oil and natural gas deposits are also being developed in the Sussex region.
Farming is concentrated in the upper Saint John River valley (in the northwest portion of the province), where the most valuable crop is potatoes. Mixed and dairy farms are found elsewhere, but especially in the southeast, concentrated in the Kennebecasis and Petitcodiac river valleys. New Brunswick was in 2015 the biggest producer of wild blueberries in Canada, with the rural (northern) Acadian region a major contributor to the total revenue of over $39 million. Maple syrup and sugar products earned New Brunswick’s 191 farmers over $30 million gross in 2014.
The most valuable seafood catches are lobster, scallops and snow crab. The farming of Atlantic salmon in the Passamaquoddy Bay region is an important local industry.
In the 2014-15 fiscal year, provincial debt reached $12.2 billion or 37.7 per cent of nominal GDP. This represented a significant increase over the $10.1 billion recorded in 2011-12, when provincial debt was 32.2 per cent of provincial GDP.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program
- NBPNP – Express Entry
- NBPNP – Skilled Worker with Employer Support
- NBPNP – Skilled Worker with Family Support
- NBPNP – Business Applicants