What’s new in NB?

Population decrease in Northern N.B.

According to data from the 2016 census, northern New Brunswick accounts for much of the population decrease seen across New Brunswick in the past five years. The Campbellton-Miramichi region dropped from 158,741 people in 2011 to 154,351 in 2016, a decrease of 2.8 per cent. The data shows that both Anglophone and Francophone communities have been impacted, as well as both rural and urban communities. New Brunswick was the only province in Canada to experience a population decrease in 2016.

Moncton the most populous city in province

According to the 2016 census, Moncton has surpassed Saint John as the most populous city in New Brunswick. Greater Saint John currently has 126,202 people as of 2016, which is a drop of 2.2 per cent from its 2011 population. Greater Moncton’s current population is 144,810, which is a 4-per-cent increase from 2011.

Health Canada to randomly test medical marijuana products

Last year, Moncton- and Toronto-based medical marijuana producers Organigram and Mettrum recalled their products voluntarily due to the discovered presence of prohibited chemicals, including myclobutanil, bifenazate and pyrethrins. This recall affected nearly 25,000 customers and led to reports of ailments and a potential class action lawsuit. Health Canada will now begin randomly testing batches of medical marijuana products to check for the presence of banned pesticides.

new provincial budget released

The new provincial budget was presented to the legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 6. The expected 2017-18 deficit of $192 million is forecasted to be paid off by 2020-21, when they expect to run a surplus of $21 million. There were also major departmental budget increases as a result of the HST tax increase, including a 3.3 per cent increase in Health, a 4.9 per cent increase in Education and Early Childhood Development, a 5.4 per cent increase in Post-Secondary Education and a 17.6-per cent increase in Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

finance minister fails to commit to carbon pricing for 2017-18

Despite indications made in 2016 by Premier Brian Gallant, Finance Minister Cathy Rogers did not commit to instituting carbon pricing for 2017-18 in the recently released provincial budget. The Trudeau government is giving provincial governments until 2018 to adopt their own carbon pricing system before it will be federally imposed.

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