New Brunwickers finding ‘reason for hope’ in announcement of 500 new jobs

Click to play video: 'Premier Brian Gallant hints at job creation in Saint John'
Premier Brian Gallant hints at job creation in Saint John
WATCH ABOVE: Premier Brian Gallant was in Saint John Thursday, and as Andrew Cromwell reports, he hinted at hundreds of jobs earmarked for the port city in the coming months – Mar 24, 2016

A large, early morning crowd from the Saint John business community came out to the Saint John Chamber of Commerce Thursday to hear why the premier is optimistic about the future of New Brunswick’s economy.

“I believe whole heartedly in the collective ability of New Brunswickers to overcome our challenges and to seize the opportunities before us,” Premier Brian Gallant said.

Then, he announced 500 new jobs for Saint John in the coming weeks and months, most being in the IT sector.

READ MORE: IBM adding 100 full-time cyber security positions in Fredericton

He also spoke of challenges like the decision to hold off on converting the LNG plant to an export facility or the current status of the proposed Energy East Pipeline project.

“We have so much to offer here in Saint John and New Brunswick when it comes to the tech sector,” Gallant said. “We have a tech sector that’s thriving and I would argue that we’re world leaders.”

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Diversifying the economy has become a theme lately, although Gallant continues to stand by the Energy East Pipeline, calling it a provincial priority.

The Saint John business community also seems to be seeing the glass half full.

“Saint John and our region have a lot of assets,” said David Duplisea of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s a lot of projects in the works and there is optimism. There is reason for hope.”

READ MORE: NB hopeful that federal budget will spur economy, retain New Brunswickers

Steve Carson of Enterprise Saint John agrees.

“Some of our data is really showing some excellent growth in a number of sectors and in particular we’re really aligning our resources with those of Opportunities NB,” he said

With these new opportunities now available it gives the chance for some people to come home to the province.

Long time IBM employee Geoff Clark heads to Florenceville from IBM in Calgary for one of the new positions the company announced today.

“I would say for anybody that is looking for a job in IT, you’ve got the best of everything down here,” Clark said.

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“I think New Brunswick’s probably one of the best kept secrets in the country, maybe the continent really.”

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