New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the status quo is not an option as Atlantic Canada faces potentially crippling economic challenges.
Still, he says a meeting Wednesday with his Atlantic counterparts and federal ministers — all Liberals — is cause for optimism.
The premiers are asking Ottawa for more investment to help create jobs and support aging populations.
They’re also hopeful that promised infrastructure funding in the next federal budget will kick-start new projects and attract younger workers.
“We have a lot to offer when it comes to the tourism sector and we believe by working together…we can ensure that we are as aggressive as possible when it comes to ensuring that people come visit Atlantic Canada, they stay in Atlantic Canada and, more importantly, that they spend some money, which will help our economy,” Gallant said.
Canada is aging as a whole but the Atlantic region is greying faster than the rest of the country.
Economists have warned of worsening consequences over the next decade if the region can’t replenish labour forces through new investments and immigration.
With a file from Jeremy Keefe, Global News
© 2016 The Canadian Press