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Population growth strategy lacking, says some critics [CA-NB]

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New Brunswick, CBC News
Publication Date: 
6 Feb 2008

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The New Brunswick government's plan to increase the province's population may create discussion, but it doesn't provide much in the way of concrete answers, say some critics.

Greg Byrne, minister responsible for the population growth secretariat, released the government's population growth strategy on Tuesday.

The 43 strategies outlined in the report indicate the government will focus on increasing immigration, promoting multiculturalism and establishing more family-friendly policies in the province to increase the population by 100,000 by 2026.

The minister also said an important part of the strategy is its emphasis on family-friendly policies, including increasing the number of child-care spaces and providing greater financial assistance to daycares.
That's meant to encourage childbearing while ensuring it is not detrimental to a family's economic health, Byrne said.

But the government will need to provide more incentives if it really wants New Brunswickers to have more babies, said mother Carrie Harris.

Harris spent more than $12,000 on fertility treatments in Moncton to be able to have her baby.

"People want to have children, it's just hard to have children nowadays," Harris said.

"We're all older, we're all over 30 &emdash; careers are coming first. Our eggs are getting old. I have quite a few friends who are going through the same process as we did, and no luck and no help from the government whatsoever," Harris said.

- reprinted from CBC News