New Brunswick government says aging strategy plans coming soon

Click to play video: 'NB reveals plan to combat aging population' NB reveals plan to combat aging population
WATCH: The aging population issue is as prevalent in N.B. as anywhere. Seniors now make up 20 per cent of the province’s population, a number that is growing while youth numbers dwindle. Jeremy Keefe has more on what the government says they’re doing to reverse the trend – May 3, 2017

The New Brunswick government says they are working on rolling out specific programs to address the aging population challenge that the province is facing.

Recent Census numbers indicate the aging population issue in New Brunswick isn’t going away as one in five residents are over the age of 65.

Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris said her government is committed to ensuring the issue is handled properly and that in depth review of the recently released Report on Aging remains underway.

READ MORE: Census 2016: New Brunswick 1st province since 2006 to see population decline

“We have their report, we’re getting ready to implement it,” Harris said. “From there we have a great framework that we’re going to be able to use to get us in the right direction.”

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The New Brunswick Senior Citizens Federation president Leonard LeBlanc indicated that they have been consulted by Harris and the provincial government over how best to tackle the problem of an aging population, a topic he said affects more than just seniors.

“Government has got no money to build nursing homes at every street corner. Forget about that. They cant afford it and nobody can afford it,” LeBlanc said. “Government provincially, MLAs on both sides of the house, municipalities, families, everybody is going to have to get involved to make sure the aging population is well looked after.”

Harris cites government recruitment of employers and support for local entrepreneurs as ways they’re working towards bringing younger people to the province to help offset aging numbers, a move that should also provide more investment dollars for senior care.

READ MORE: Provincial dementia strategy needed: N.B. Council on Aging

“We certainly do need to get more young people here in the province and that is definitely something that we’re working on,” Harris said.

Harris did not provide an exact timeline for programs to be rolled out but did advise she expects announcements to be made in the coming months.

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