Ilia Reschny is 21 and in late September decided to pack up her dog, Pecan, and move from the British Columbia interior to New Brunswick, even though to that point she had never been east of Saskatchewan.
“We’re not used to seeing the ocean,”said Reschny. “Pecan didn’t know what the ocean was when we got here, but everyone’s been super nice. I love it so far.”
Reschny’s mother and her husband had moved to Saint John earlier in the year, attracted by affordable New Brunswick real estate, and so Reschny thought she would try it too.
They’re part of a growing number of newcomers fuelling the largest increase in New Brunswick’s population in two generations.
“The growth was the strongest since 1975, so in almost 45 years,” Statistics Canada demographer Patrick Charbonneau said of the increase in people calling New Brunswick home during the spring and summer.
Driven by the unprecedented arrival of immigrants and a surge of residents moving from other provinces, New Brunswick’s population grew by 6,134 between April and September, pushing it to a record 780,021.
The increase is slightly below the national average but still a remarkable development in New Brunswick, which, as recently as 2007, had been shrinking.
“It’s really international migration that is fuelling population growth in New Brunswick,” said Charbonneau, noting most provinces are having similar experiences.
“It’s really part of a larger trend in Canada,” he said.
New Brunswick set a modern record in 2018 by attracting 4,609 immigrants. That’s the most since current Statistics Canada records began in 1946, but the province will shatter that number this year. It is already 100 people beyond last year’s total, with three months still to be counted.
That is a major change.
Six years ago, the province took in just 2,023 immigrants for the entire year and 20 years ago just 662.
Trevor Holder, the provincial minister in charge of population growth, said Thursday he’s encouraged by the new numbers.
“They represent very positive news for New Brunswick,” Holder said in a statement released by his office.
But in addition to immigrants, there are large numbers of people like Reschny moving to the province from other parts of Canada.
During the first nine months of 2019, more than 11,026 people came to New Brunswick from elsewhere in the country, the most for the first nine months of any year since 1986. It was also nearly 1,400 more people than left New Brunswick to settle in other provinces — a net gain that Reschny is now part of.
“It’s way more affordable and I do like it,” she said.
Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.
Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.
“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.
Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.
Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”
In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.
Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.
“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.
Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
Donors pledge $1.5 billion for Venezuelan migrants, humanitarian crisis
More than 30 countries and two development banks on Thursday pledged more than $1.5 billion in grants and loans to aid Venezuelan migrants fleeing a humanitarian crisis, as well as their host countries and vulnerable people still in the country.
The $954 million in grants announced at a donors’ conference hosted by Canada – which included pledges of $407 million from the United States and C$115 million Canadian dollars ($93.12 million) from Canada – exceeded the $653 million announced at a similar event last year.
But that fell short of the needs of countries hosting the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have left their country since 2015, as the once-prosperous nation’s economy collapsed into a years-long hyperinflationary recession under socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Most have resettled in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who have themselves seen their budgets stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Does this cover all needs? Of course not,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters. “We will have to continue to encourage donors to support the response.”
At the conference, Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso announced that the country – which hosts some 430,000 Venezuelans – would begin a new process to regularize migrants’ status. That came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the 1.8 million Venezuelans it hosts.
Karina Gould, Canada‘s minister for international development, said the amount pledged showed donors were eager to support such efforts.
“There is that recognition on behalf of the global community that there needs to be support to ensure that that generosity can continue, and can actually deepen, in host countries,” Gould said.
In addition, the World Bank and Inter-American Developmemt Bank pledged $600 million in loans to address the crisis, Gould said.
($1 = 1.2349 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Luc Cohen, Michelle Nichols and David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Aurora Ellis)
Ecuador to start new ‘normalization process’ for Venezuelan migrants
Ecuador will implement a new “normalization process” for the 430,000 Venezuelan migrants living in the South American country, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, without providing further details of the plan.
Lasso’s announcement, at a conference hosted by Canada intended to raise money to support the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have fled an economic crisis in the South American country, came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the nearly 2 million Venezuelans it hosts.
“I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new regularization process, which in order to be an effective, lasting and permanent policy should be complemented by strategies for economic integration and labor market access,” Lasso said.
Ecuador in late 2019 launched a regularization process for Venezuelans who arrived before July of that year. That included two-year humanitarian visas meant to facilitate access to social services.
Lasso said Ecuador needed outside funding to continue caring for Venezuelan migrants, estimating that more than 100,000 additional migrants were expected to arrive before the end of the year.
“I call on our partners in the international community to be co-responsible and have solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, and with the countries that receive them,” he said.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Barbara Lewis)