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City of Saint John celebrates a second banner year for number of immigrants choosing to call Saint John home


Last year was a record year for the number of immigrants moving to New Brunswick, and for Saint John, it was the second highest year for immigration to the City since the 2016 Syrian refugee crisis.

According to an announcement from the Government of Canada this week, immigration numbers are on the rise in New Brunswick, and Saint John is no exception. High numbers have been recorded for the city, with 1,035 new permanent residents in Saint John in 2019, representing a 24 per cent increase over 2018.

City officials welcome the news as an indication of positive momentum for growth within the region and expect that the number of new immigrants who choose Saint John as a place to start new lives with hope, opportunity and freedom will continue to climb.

“We are grateful that so many newcomers are choosing Saint John as their home,” says Saint John Mayor Don Darling. “Saint John is aspiring to be the most welcoming community in Atlantic Canada and we have a plan in place to grow our population. This week’s news tells us we are well on our way to achieving our goals.”

Immigrants moving to Saint John have a number of avenues available to them to become permanent residents, and an increasing number of Saint John employers are using the innovative Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program to successfully fill their workforce needs.

“There is a lot of support available to immigrants settling in Saint John,” says David Dobbelsteyn, the City’s population growth manager. “All three levels of government, immigrant serving organizations, businesses, schools, the health authority, community organizations, and our citizens are all working together to attract, welcome and support more and more newcomers.”

In January 2020, Saint John Common Council sent a letter to the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, to express early interest in being a participant in the proposed Municipal Nominee Pilot Program. While details of the plan have yet to be released, the program has potential to open the door for more immigrants to move to Saint John.

For information on living and working in Saint John, New Brunswick, and to hear first-hand newcomer success stories, visit www.lifeinsaintjohn.ca.

New Immigrant Porgram Saint John Photography By Scott Munn 2019447
Florence Nwokocha, UNBSJ MBA graduate, with daughters Isabelle and Michelle.

Quick Facts

•    Saint John was the only CMA in Canada to shrink during the 2016 census (-2.2% or -2,855 people)
•    In early 2018, the City of Saint John released the Population Growth Framework, the City’s first strategy to grow its population.
•    Over 3,000 new immigrants have moved to Saint John since the 2016 census.
•    The Population Growth Framework stretch target for 2019 was 1,075 landings of permanent residents. Newly released figures mean that Saint John achieved 96% of its stretch goal in 2019.
•    Saint John is home to immigrants from 98 countries who speak 63 different languages.
•    Saint John is also home to approximately 1,100 international students.

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Corporate Communications
City of Saint John
11th floor, City Hall
(506) 649-6008