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  #1  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 8:04 PM
Taeolas Taeolas is online now
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New Brunswick What If?

No this isn't a collage of photos from around the province. It is a serious question however.

What if New Brunswick had 1 "mega" city and a number of large and small towns. Basically, what if NB had a Halifax-equivalent?

Currently, NB's "Big 3" combined have a population similar to Halifax's. So how might things be different if we had "Saint Moncdericton" instead of 3 different cities? Would we be better off overall, or is the slower growth from the split cities going to be a bigger advantage in the decades/centuries to come?
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  #2  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 8:45 PM
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What if NB had one large central airport rather than one medium and two small?

NB is the only province in Canada where the capital isn't at least the second most populated centre.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 11:47 PM
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It's a moot point really.

We have to deal with the realities of the situation. Three major cities and two ethnolinguistic groups have (and will have) created major strains on the fabric of our province.

Delivery of services in NB will always be more expensive than in NS. There will always be strong internecine rivalries between the cities. There will always be demands for absolute equality between the linguistic groups, even to the point of complete cultural and linguistic apartheid.

We just have to learn to make the best of the situation.

We have to find a way to bridge the cultural divide in this province. This will be difficult as I have the feeling the situation is worsening as the Acadians become stronger. The urge to compromise has disappeared. This needs to be addressed. A province as small as ours and as poor as ours cannot afford absolute duality.

The situation with the cities however is not as dire. The three cities all have distinct strengths that help to define each community. Each city should learn to play to their individual strengths while relinquishing some areas of specialization to another. In this way, all can prosper. Indeed, having more than one large city in the province could be a strength in the sense that this helps to address regional disparity. If properly managed, we could make this situation a virtue.
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Last edited by MonctonRad; May 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
We have to deal with the realities of the situation. Three major cities and two ethnolinguistic groups have (and will have) created major strains on the fabric of our province.
Only a New Brunswicker would call our cities "major."
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  #5  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Only a New Brunswicker would call our cities "major."
In the context of the political and economic reality of the province they are. It's all relative though. If your frame of reference includes Tokyo, no city in Canada would seem major!
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  #6  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 2:12 PM
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As the saying goes, Context is everything.

True it is a hard situation to imagine 1 city becoming the truly dominant city in this province now and how things would be different if that were the case; but I've always been a fan of "What If?'s".

This particular line of thought was kicked off because it often comes up about how NB's been 'hurt' through the years by having 3 'big' cities (for its overall size).

But the more I've thought about it, I agree with MonctonRad's last paragraph. Now that Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton have found their strengths and weaknesses, having all three of them is beginning (if not hasn't often been) helping us. It spreads the power around and helps cut down on disparity a bit. Granted we do have a North/South division now that needs to be worked on somehow; but imagine how much worst it could be if all the power was centered in Moncton or Saint John instead of spread out like it is.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 8:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Taeolas View Post
Would we be better off overall, or is the slower growth from the split cities going to be a bigger advantage in the decades/centuries to come?
The slower growth translates into a slower transition, if any, to change. Aside from lacking the economic will, the political will is split, as is the cultural.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 8:18 PM
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Just ask Newfoundland. Everything is centred in St. John's. To people on the east coast it's great because they're never more than 2 hours from a major centre with all the fixins'. To the far extremities of the island, the Burin peninsula, southwest coast, northern peninsula there's a preception that St. John's get 99% and the other 1% is divided between the 60% of the population that lives off the avalon. It's partially true, St. John's is the major centre, capital city, education centre, health centre, and transportation centre of the province. When you live 5, 8, 12 hours away by road you feel as though you get left out of the bigger picture and in many ways you are. Despite prosperity out there, many parts of the island are dying and nothing is being done to try and develop rural economies.

If things are divided among 3 like New Brunswick, there is definitely less disparity and less "us against them" attitude that exists in provinces with one power centre. Though it is appealing to think what a larger New Brunswick metro would look like, the province on the whole would probably suffer through consolidation of services and loss of employment in outlying areas. Rather than spread services around equally, they just get piled into one centre and the further away you are, the harder it is to survive. Though it would definitely be better for air travel, so long as you live near the major airport.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
We have to find a way to bridge the cultural divide in this province. This will be difficult as I have the feeling the situation is worsening as the Acadians become stronger. The urge to compromise has disappeared. This needs to be addressed. A province as small as ours and as poor as ours cannot afford absolute duality.
The Acadians are compromising more than the anglophones -- and I'm not French.

A step forward in addressing this is to acknowledge that who we are is largely composed by our educations. This is not an overnight solution, but the most bold step forward would be to have equal language education in grade school: English and French until high school graduation. Outside of the school and work setting, we would simply let the cultures be. Anglophones do not need to use French anymore than francophones need to use English in their social gatherings.

The cost of this is marginal compared to the costs of our debts from many, many other areas.

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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
The situation with the cities however is not as dire. The three cities all have distinct strengths that help to define each community. Each city should learn to play to their individual strengths while relinquishing some areas of specialization to another. In this way, all can prosper.
And when are the municipalities going to agree to stop competing with each other? Does Toronto 'play nice' for the sake of its neighbours? Does any city?

No.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 11:02 PM
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Alberta and Saskatchewan are a bit like that, having two major cities where neither really dominates. There are perceived advantages to that. There is a lot of resentment from other parts of the province for example in both NS and NL towards the one dominant citiy which seems to suck the economic life out of everywhere else.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 1:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RyeJay View Post
A step forward in addressing this is to acknowledge that who we are is largely composed by our educations. This is not an overnight solution, but the most bold step forward would be to have equal language education in grade school: English and French until high school graduation. Outside of the school and work setting, we would simply let the cultures be. Anglophones do not need to use French anymore than francophones need to use English in their social gatherings.
You'll never get Anglophone Southwest & West New Brunswick to agree to this. Ever. There's a feeling down here that the Acadiens are the reason why New Brunswick has toiled for so long, so enforcing French on their children in school to that degree just isn't going to happen. Of course, Saint John is bitter at anyone or thing that isn't Saint John, so getting it to agree to any sort of equal representation throughout the province isn't going to sail.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 3:03 PM
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You'll never get Anglophone Southwest & West New Brunswick to agree to this. Ever. There's a feeling down here that the Acadiens are the reason why New Brunswick has toiled for so long, so enforcing French on their children in school to that degree just isn't going to happen. Of course, Saint John is bitter at anyone or thing that isn't Saint John, so getting it to agree to any sort of equal representation throughout the province isn't going to sail.
I know language is a passionate and inflammatory subject to access in NB more so than in Quebec, where in my opinion the vast majority of the youngest generation speak both languages to begin with.

However, forcing both languages to be learned throughout school would without a shadow of a doubt open doors for all those so-called tones of jobs that are aim to bilingual people only. In the real world though, I do not see this occurring any time soon and this is not something I would fight for.

If Saint Johners cannot see the plus value of having a flourishing french community that are equally paying taxes, then let's move all of these bilingual jobs to Quebec where the critical mass of french is located. I actually work for a company where 98% of the french customers are located in Quebec.

I am curious though, why do they think the french are the reason why NB is going nowhere economically speaking?
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  #13  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 3:21 PM
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I know language is a passionate and inflammatory subject to access in NB more so than in Quebec, where in my opinion the vast majority of the youngest generation speak both languages to begin with.
Do you really think this is true? Young people are more bilingual in Quebec - yes. But the "vast majority"? Hmmm.

And BTW I live in Gatineau, not Chicoutimi. Lots of people speak only French here. More than you might think.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 3:24 PM
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Originally Posted by GregHickman View Post
You'll never get Anglophone Southwest & West New Brunswick to agree to this. Ever. There's a feeling down here that the Acadiens are the reason why New Brunswick has toiled for so long, so enforcing French on their children in school to that degree just isn't going to happen. Of course, Saint John is bitter at anyone or thing that isn't Saint John, so getting it to agree to any sort of equal representation throughout the province isn't going to sail.
The Acadians may, as others have suggested, be more compromising and acoomodating in everyday life (and more bilingual for sure), but I am not sure that they would EVER go for a unified school system as has been suggested.

NB Acadians are very attached to their distinct francophone institutions, which they fought tooth and nail to obtain. I highly doubt they would be willing to give them up, whether they are subjected to "apartheid" insinuations or not...
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  #15  
Old Posted May 12, 2012, 6:04 PM
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NB Acadians are very attached to their distinct francophone institutions, which they fought tooth and nail to obtain. I highly doubt they would be willing to give them up, whether they are subjected to "apartheid" insinuations or not...
The same can be said for the anglophones in the province. They take pride in their institutions and their beliefs.

The Census results for language will not be released until October of this year, so that a comparison of mother tongue can be done between 2011 and 2006. The split in 2006 was 65 English and 33 French for the province. I'm assuming the split will be relatively similar, with the only changes being that of immigration into the province. One change that should be noted is that, as the North empties out, I feel as though the Acadien population is beginning to centralize much more in the Dieppe/Moncton area than ever before. This may give the idea of a strengthening language base without an actual increase in number of speakers.

In 2006, for Saint John's total population of 120,875, for example, the French population made up 5,510, or 4.6% of the metropolitan population. The percentage of 2011 French speakers in Saint John will be moderately higher, but still not high enough to warrant widespread French education, at least simply on a municipal level. You can look at this at the municipal or provincial level, but for people who talk about the French making sacrifices in this province, certainly you would understand the sacrifices the English in the heavily anglo-areas would have to make if French was forced on them more than it is currently.

The 2006 Fredericton numbers, for what they are worth, are 74,435 English and 5,890 French, meaning that:

Fredericton: English 87.50/6.92 French
Saint John: English 92.01/4.60 French

Another point to consider would be that minority languages that are not French make up 3.39% in Saint John and 5.58% in Fredericton.

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-re...1&S=0&O=A&D1=1
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Old Posted May 12, 2012, 6:31 PM
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I always thought a good solution would be the creation of a independent Acadian Province, and for the rest of the English Maritimes to become one province. I could see major benefits to both sides.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 12, 2012, 7:33 PM
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Trying to create a new francophone province would be a nightmare. There's no real contiguous region that's majoritarily French-speaking.

Language most spoken at home (2006) -- clockwise:

Edmundston (CA): 95.2% French
Campbellton (CA): 52.6% French, 43.1% English
Bathurst (CA): 62% French, 35.9% English
Miramichi (CA): 94.8% English, 3.5% French
Moncton (CMA): 69.2% English, 29% French
Saint John (CMA): 96.3% English, 1.7% French
Fredericton (CA): 92.9% English, 4% French

The North and East are "mostly" francophone, but Campbellton, Bathurst and Moncton are too bilingual to clearly assign them to one side or the other. Even if Campbellton, Bathurst and Dieppe (cut off from Moncton) went to 'Acadia', then Miramichi would become an anglophone enclave.

Not to mention that tiny 'Acadia' would probably be an economic disaster unless it joined Québec.

But at least then the cbc.ca-grade anglophones who like to blame duality for their miserable lives would finally be happy again. They would awake everyday to a province where oil spouts from the ground and where gold lies in every stream, just like it used to be before Louis Robichaud.
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Old Posted May 12, 2012, 7:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pierremoncton View Post
Trying to create a new francophone province would be a nightmare. There's no real contiguous region that's majoritarily French-speaking.

Language most spoken at home (2006) -- clockwise:

Edmundston (CA): 95.2% French
Campbellton (CA): 52.6% French, 43.1% English
Bathurst (CA): 62% French, 35.9% English
Miramichi (CA): 94.8% English, 3.5% French
Moncton (CMA): 69.2% English, 29% French
Saint John (CMA): 96.3% English, 1.7% French
Fredericton (CA): 92.9% English, 4% French

The North and East are "mostly" francophone, but Campbellton, Bathurst and Moncton are too bilingual to clearly assign them to one side or the other. Even if Campbellton, Bathurst and Dieppe (cut off from Moncton) went to 'Acadia', then Miramichi would become an anglophone enclave.

Not to mention that tiny 'Acadia' would probably be an economic disaster unless it joined Québec.

But at least then the cbc.ca-grade anglophones who like to blame duality for their miserable lives would finally be happy again. They would awake everyday to a province where oil spouts from the ground and where gold lies in every stream, just like it used to be before Louis Robichaud.
Mapping the province out would be the largest challenge, but it isn't impossible. Heres a map highlighting the francophone majority areas in dark blue, light blue areas with significant francophone populations:



As for the economic prospects, PEI would probably be a good example of how the economy may look, even though the population of the Acadian province would be somewhat higher.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 13, 2012, 1:09 AM
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As for the economic prospects, PEI would probably be a good example of how the economy may look, even though the population of the Acadian province would be somewhat higher.
But PEI would have WAY more tourism than that area of NB.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 13, 2012, 3:49 AM
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But PEI would have WAY more tourism than that area of NB.
I would actually disagree, think about it a unique cultural area with the warmest beaches north of the Carolinas.
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