CPA NB Publishes Study on the Province's Socio-Economic Condition

Examining a number of principle indicators aggregated in large part from Statistics Canada Census data, the Chartered Professional Accountants of New Brunswick finds that the province of New Brunswick either lags or compares unfavorably on most indicators relative to other provinces and to Canada’s national average.

The Rhythm of New Brunswick's Socio-Economic Condition

Examining a number of principle indicators aggregated in large part from Statistics Canada Census data, the Chartered Professional Accountants of New Brunswick finds that the province of New Brunswick either lags or compares unfavorably on most indicators relative to other provinces and to Canada’s national average.

New Brunswick’s share of Canada’s population continues to decrease, its population is both shrinking and aging, those living alone is on the rise, affordability of higher education is diminishing, unemployment is high, income disparity persists, and an estimated 30,000 children live in low-income households while the quality of its health care attracts a “C” grade based on recent Health Council findings.

As Rock Lefebvre, President & CEO of CPA New Brunswick contends, “the current economy is burdened with excess capacity and is highly concentrated in old resource-based industries. The necessary ingredients to replace these industries by new and rising industries are missing and there appears to be modest pathway for transitioning to the new digital economy.

There are also legitimate concerns regarding public finances of New Brunswick and the long-term sustainability of government supported social programs and services. The fiscal situation of New Brunswick can considerably worsen due to expected rises in interest rates, declining economy, and marginal room to raise taxes”.

GOING FORWARD

In the years to come, we can probably agree that New Brunswick needs a revitalized vision and sense of collective direction if it is to chart a road-map to prosperity – best achieved by being datadriven and evidence-based.

Innovative and bottom-up policy imperatives are required to gear the province back on a growth trajectory and reverse its demographic and economic declines.

Specifically, adds Lefebvre “the time is upon us to invest in education, training, and development with a view to improve business success and productivity, to empower the private sector, to render New Brunswick more competitive, to open the dialogue on responsible resource development, and to promote fiscal prudence”.

Combining a change in attitude around labour force deployment, business ethos, economic development, entrepreneurial spirit, and outward growth, New Brunswick can reverse the pendulum all the while marshaling its public resources and delivering value.

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About the Authors

Kamalesh Gosalia, Ph.D., CPA, CGA, CFA

Freelance researcher on accounting, finance, and economic issues
Kamalesh Gosalia has, since August 2016, transitioned to become a freelance researcher on accounting, finance, and economic issues. While he worked predominantly in academia and public practice early in his career while in India, he worked as a SOX auditor in the financial services industry upon his arrival to Canada. Having worked for a national legacy body, as Secretary to the Emerging Issues Committee of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board in seconded capacity, and ultimately with CPA Canada upon unification of the profession, Kamalesh has experience in accounting and assurance standards development, economic policy and investment analysis, and in a number of specialty areas including the use of KPIs in the Canadian mining sector, the functioning of Canadian capital markets, the changing role of CFOs, and the impact of technology on the accounting profession to name a few. Kamalesh holds a Ph.D. as well as CFA, CPA, and CGA designations, priding himself on being and designated professional analyst and accountant.

Rock Lefebvre, MBA, FCPA, FCGA

President & CEO
Rock Lefebvre is President and CEO of the Chartered Professional Accountants New Brunswick. Prior to taking on this role, he served as CRO with CPHR in BC and as CEO of the Community Futures Development Corporation in Ontario. Having previously served as Vice-President with a national legacy body specializing in research and standards, Rock has great appreciation for the CPA profession and its many important dimensions. Taken with earlier experiences as CEO of an integrated addiction and mental health service, and as Senior Restructuring Consultant with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care along with industry experience with companies which include Domtar and the Farm Boy Group of Companies, Rock understands well the importance of responsible business and of economic development. Rock currently serves on the Board, Executive Committee, and Advocacy Committee of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce and on the Board and Executive Committee of the CFDC. Rock earned a Master of Business Administration degree early in his career and has held CPA (Australia), CFE, FCCA (UK), FCIS, FCPA, and FCGA designations for numerous years.