© Star photo by Gary Kean
Advanced Education and Skills Minister Joan Shea, right, chats about the province's population growth strategy after a press conference in Corner Brook Thursday.
CORNER BROOK The provincial government announced a series of public community workshop consultations today to help develop a population growth strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador.
The sessions, announced at a press conference at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook Thursday morning, will be held in 11 communities. They will start in St. John’s on Oct. 4 and wrap up in Grand Falls-Windsor on Oct. 30.
Sessions scheduled for western Newfoundland include St. Anthony on Oct. 7, Corner Brook on Oct. 28 and Stephenville on Oct. 29.
They will focus on key issues summarized in a discussion paper on population growth in the province that government has also released.
The topics to be focused on include sustaining the well-being of communities; supporting women and parents in having and raising children through family-friendly policies; preparing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to meet a growing demand for skilled labour; retaining current residents; encouraging expatriates to return to the province; improving immigrant attraction and retention; and fostering international student and graduate retention.
“Through these community workshops, we welcome and encourage people to provide input on developing strategies that will shape the future of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Advanced Education and Skills Minister Joan Shea in a press release. “This is about fostering the long-term sustainability and vibrancy of our communities. At a time when we are experiencing unprecedented economic growth, with more people now employed in this province than ever before, there are demographic challenges that must be addressed in order to push our prosperity forward into the next decade.”
In addition to the 11 public consultations, the province has set up a website — www.nl.gov.ca/populationgrowth — where the discussion paper can be found and public feedback can be submitted. It has also set up a site on the blogging platform Tumblr with relevant links and resources, which can be accessed online at www.nlpopulationgrowth.tumblr.com .
People can also provide feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .