Another Recording-Breaking Year in Nova Scotia Population Growth, Op-ed
NOTE: The following is an op-ed from Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration.
Nova Scotia is a province on the move with another record-breaking year for immigration and population growth.
The latest data from the federal government confirms that Nova Scotia communities welcomed 12,650 permanent residents in 2022 – an all-time high that surpassed the previous year’s total by 38 per cent.
Nova Scotia continues to successfully attract newcomers through a variety of immigration programs, including those that are designed to attract the skilled workers we need to help fill the labour gap in sectors such as healthcare, skilled trades and child care. Premier Houston has set a goal to grow the population to two million people by 2060.
Since breaking one million in population at the end of 2021, we’ve already added more than an estimated 35,000 people (Statistics Canada Population Clock).
But it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about building a province we only dreamed was possible 10 years ago.
With growth comes unprecedented opportunities. Population growth means new businesses, new jobs, a larger tax base for new public programs and services, more workers, more infrastructure and more people to build that infrastructure, more diversity and more innovation.
We also recognize that it comes with challenges that need to be addressed. We have labour market needs, a high demand for affordable housing, and a healthcare system under pressure.
While these challenges are not unique to Nova Scotia or the rest of Canada, people are asking: Are we growing too fast?
As Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration, I believe that welcoming more people to Nova Scotia is an important part of our plans to grow the provincial economy and fix healthcare.
One of our province’s biggest challenges right now is finding healthcare professionals to fill the positions we have available across the province. We are actively recruiting doctors, nurses and continuing care assistants through targeted immigration efforts; we know there are talented and skilled people around the world who would love to come here, and we would love to have them.
In order to build the healthcare and housing infrastructure we need, we are also working to attract more skilled trades workers through immigration and interprovincial migration efforts.
We know that population growth must be strategic and well-planned. We are working with business, industry and across government to find solutions to our most pressing challenges.
So, as more newcomers than ever before begin their lives here, I thank Nova Scotians for welcoming them.
Work may bring people here, but it’s communities and friends that keep them here.
Many people are looking for welcoming and safe places to build their lives. We want new arrivals to recognize and achieve their potential in communities throughout this province. No matter where they choose to settle, we want them to stay here and thrive. I believe together, we can help them do that.
I tell people why Nova Scotia is the best place to live and work; but as a community, you show them each and every day. Their unique experience, skills and drive are not just welcomed here, but valued and celebrated.
The secret is out – Nova Scotia is a great place to live and work.
Let’s keep showing one another why.