For Immediate Release
[7 June 2013]

(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and Fredericton North Rotary Club co-hosted a luncheon on 6 June 2013 with guest speaker Don Mills of Corporate Research Associates.

Mills made a presentation titled “Province at a crossroad: The economic, social and political challenges facing New Brunswick,” which included some of the recent statistical findings from CRA’s Atlantic Quarterly. The presentation focused extensively on the current economic climate of Atlantic Canada and New Brunswick in particular and the interconnected nature of social and political factors in our economy.

Mills highlighted the relative economic strength of urban areas in the region – particularly highlighting the significant disparity in unemployment rates and population growth compared to rural areas of the province and region. He went on to advocate for a new urban economic development strategy, which was similar to suggestions made in the chamber’s 2013-14 pre-budget submission to Minister Higgs, which identified urban areas as the ‘economic engine’ of the province.

“As seen in the relatively strong urban figures presented, our members are cautiously optimistic about Fredericton’s current economic position,” stated Chris Johnston, president of the chamber. “That’s not to say that they aren’t facing challenges or appreciate that other parts of the province are struggling, but ultimately this lends itself to the urban economic development zones that was contained in Mr. Mills’ presentation.”

Fredericton was added to CRA’s list of cities specifically surveyed this past quarter. The chamber echoes CRA’s findings that 93% of residents rate Fredericton as an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ place to live, as well as the relatively high satisfaction rate with city council of 75%, as evidenced by a presentation and brief to city council last week that contained much praise for council.

“The great thing about a presentation from Don Mills is the amount of empirical data provided to support his positions,” Johnston added. “Whether you agree with him or not, you know where he is coming from and can have a fact-based dialogue on many of the items discussed.”

With more than 950 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.

Contact: Krista Ross, CEO, 458.8006.

pdfJune 7, 2013 – Chamber co-hosts Don Mills with Fredericton North Rotary Club