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The refreshing wind of change blowing on Edmundston

This is THE BEST NEWS of the last census of Statistics Canada. Really.

Let me explain why.

You remember my pleasure when, in my last blog post, I shared that our city had seen an increase in its population between 2011 and 2016.

That was the first good news.

The second good news is that this increase appeared to be due to the arrival of new families.

But what has just been published by Statistics Canada is the absolute best news from the census in my opinion. It is that the arrival of young families in particular seems to explain this increase and especially the start of the population renewal of Edmundston since 2011.

Indeed, as shown in the figure below, the number of children aged 0 to 14 has increased 8.3% since 2011 in Edmundston.

tableau-8-pourcent-ENG

It can be easy to sweep such statistics aside, and this may seem trivial. But it is not.

Far from it.

Here are reasons why:  

  • Only three other cities (Dieppe, Fredericton and Moncton) experienced an increase of this type. These three cities are growing and our results compare to theirs.
  • For the same period and same age group, New Brunswick stats are at -2.7 %.
  • Canada registered 4%. Edmundston has thus doubled the national result!
  • And do you know what’s even more exciting? For the previous period (2006-2011), the number of children aged 0 to 14 decreased by 10.2% in Edmundston!

Is this not a refreshing wind of change?

This is why the news is so important. It points to a major shift from what was emerging as a trend in our city's population, particularly in the provincial context.

It stresses that a positive renewal of our population has begun. This is excellent news that shows hope for up and coming generations.

Of course, the game is not over. This trend reversal must be consolidated and supported. It is our business, each and every one of us.

This way, we can say for a long time that Edmundston is youthful by nature!

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A Lesson from the Census

  • Written by Cyrille Simard
  • Published on 10 March 2017

Some data from the 2016 census has just been published, in which we find good news for Edmundston : a demographic increase, unheard of here for a very long time.

Since 1981, we have been on a downward slope. Not different from many other northern communities in fact. Overall, since 1981, we have lost 2000 people. This is major.

Carte3RegionsGrandSo, the fact that, according to the last census, there are 500 more people in the municipality, gives us cause to rejoice. It's not the Eldorado, that's for sure. But it is still an important catch-up. Nearly a quarter of the population, lost for 35 years, has been caught up in just five years!

In addition, this increase is largely due to the arrival of new families. Family units increased by 3.2%, about the same as the general population (3.4%). In a context of demographic aging, this is all the more interesting.

We can try to discuss at length the reasons for this increase in population. In the absence of more detailed census details, which will be published later, many scenarios are possible. It's premature to expand on that.

But one thing is certain. Let us observe all the municipalities that surround us. Only Saint-Quentin and Edmundston have experienced an increase in population in the last 5 years.

So I have a simple question for you. Is this sustainable?

We dedicate ourselves to the promotion of our attractions and our assets. We can develop all the community-building projects we want. We can take charge and roll up our sleeves to meet the many challenges. But the fact remains that the results on the ground show that the whole region is affected.

Now, understand me well. I’m not pleased with our neighbours' population decline. And I’m certainly not suggesting that our neighbours are not making their best efforts to develop their municipality. On the contrary, everybody is giving it their best fight.

What I'm saying is very simple. If the population base of our region as a whole decreases (and this is truly the case) the whole region suffers. Our city also suffers as a regional pole of services and shops.

With Saint-Quentin, we surely did something good in Edmundston to get good results. I am convinced that our friends in Upper Madawaska, soon united in a single rural municipality, are aiming to do the same, and they are already doing so by amalgamating. The same is true for the municipalities of Lower Madawaska / Victoria. And what about our friends in Northern Maine and those in Témiscouata?

We must not delude ourselves. Like a tsunami, the demographic wave is vast and deep. To think otherwise is to abandon oneself to the fate of forces that are much greater than ourselves and that we do not master. In fact, it is abandoning everything.

It is therefore more important than ever to take control not only as a city but also as a region. A strong, united region working towards an optimistic and inclusive vision. And we must translate this will into real and strategic action. We have that obligation.

We owe it to those who have preceded us and especially to those who follow us and who want to "Succeed here".

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Des Fêtes dans la reconnaissance!

  • Written by Cyrille Simard
  • Published on 22 December 2016

Au nom de mes collègues du conseil municipal et de l'ensemble des employés municipaux, je vous souhaite de très Joyeuses Fêtes et une Nouvelle Année remplie de solidarité et de petits et grands bonheurs! Soyons reconnaissants pour la chance que nous avons de vivre dans cette ville que nous aimons! Que l'année 2017 soit Forte de Nature pour nous tous et toutes!

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(506) 737-6820
7, Canada Road
Edmundston, N.-B. E3V 1T7