Canada and Atlantic Provinces Unveil New Actions to Create Jobs, Build Skilled Workforce

News Release

Strong federal-provincial collaboration aligning programs and services to deliver results for Atlantic Canadians

February 20, 2018 – Moncton, New Brunswick – Government of Canada and Atlantic Provinces

The strong federal-provincial collaboration of the Atlantic Growth Strategy continues to help create stable, well-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians by providing businesses with the tools they need to increase exports to lucrative global markets, grow traditional industries vital to the region’s communities, as well as attract and retain skilled workers.

With these goals in mind, federal ministers, Atlantic premiers and Minister Casey met today in Moncton, New Brunswick, to review the Atlantic Growth Strategy’s progress and to unveil new action items that will help further strengthen Atlantic Canada’s economy. The Leadership Committee discussed and welcomed the positive announcement that Atlantic Canada’s Ocean Supercluster was one of five industry clusters in Canada chosen to receive funding under the Government of Canada’s $950 million superclusters initiative, demonstrating the collaborative work under the Atlantic Growth Strategy.

The Ocean Supercluster will tap the combined strengths of the industries operating in Canada’s oceans, including marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defence, shipbuilding, transportation and ocean technology. By harnessing emerging technologies, this supercluster will digitize and optimize marine operations, maximize sustainable approaches to resources, and increase safety for those operating in marine environments. It is projected that this supercluster will create more than 3,000 jobs and add more than $14 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years.

The ministers and premiers announced they will lead a trade mission to China in November 2018. This mission will advance international trade and investment opportunities in business and educational sectors. A key focus of the mission is to capitalize on China’s demand for goods and services, in particular, in the food and seafood and clean growth industries, by showcasing the high-quality products Atlantic Canada has to offer and exploring new opportunities to increase trade. As 2018 is the Canada-China Year of Tourism, ministers and premiers will also focus on deepening ties between the two countries to grow tourism to the region and recruit more Chinese students to choose Atlantic Canada for their studies.

The ministers and premiers also announced a program aimed at attracting international students and helping them transition to jobs and stay in Atlantic Canada. Currently offered in Nova Scotia, the Study and Stay Pilot Program will be expanded throughout the region and adapted to meet the specific needs of those provinces. Participants who successfully gain entry to the program will be provided with enhanced support throughout their studies to ensure they gain the education, tools, and community connections needed to launch a successful career and fulfilling life in the region.

Understanding the importance of immigration and the need to attract skilled talent to the region, the Leadership Committee discussed the progress on the Atlantic Immigration Pilot as well as highlighted the Government of Canada support for local economic needs by committing to increase Provincial Nominee Admissions in the next three years.

At their meeting, the ministers and premiers also spoke with Henry Demone, chair of the Atlantic Growth Advisory Group, who presented the Group’s findings from consultations with Indigenous, business, academic and community leaders from across the region. The consultations concluded in the fall of 2017. The ministers and premiers thanked Mr. Demone and the Advisory Group members for the time and expertise they have contributed to the pan-Atlantic consultation process and the development of considered advice. Their recommendations and the views of Atlantic Canadians will help inform the collaborative actions already being undertaken by the Leadership Committee. Others will be considered in the development of future actions under the Atlantic Growth Strategy.


The great strides taken through the Atlantic Growth Strategy continue to strengthen and diversify Atlantic Canada’s economy. By working with a common purpose, the federal government and Atlantic provincial governments are spurring innovation and clean growth in small- and medium-sized enterprises, driving them to expand, diversify and successfully compete in global markets. Through investments like the $950 million Innovation Supercluster ‎Initiative, the Government of Canada is creating new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations in the Atlantic. The Oceans Supercluster will help create more than 3,000 new middle-class jobs in Atlantic Canada and across Canada and add more than $14 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Atlantic Canada’s strength comes from working together to innovate and compete successfully in the global arena. The Atlantic Growth Strategy is a great example of how collaboration is helping create sustainable, long-term economic growth with more secure, well-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 

“The investments made through the Atlantic Growth Strategy will ensure the prosperous future of our region’s economy, which will in turn foster healthy and vibrant communities. We are pleased to see the progress we’ve made together so far and look forward to more success in the years to come.”


The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health 

“We are proud to continue the collaborative work of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. By harnessing our collective skills and combining our resources to focus on international markets such as China, we will help our economy grow and innovate, creating more and better jobs in Atlantic Canada.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“The Atlantic Growth Strategy is an unprecedented approach to enabling our region’s economy to reach new heights. By working with universities and colleges throughout Atlantic Canada to attract and retain students, and expanding the global reach of our products and services through various initiatives, we help local businesses thrive, leading to better, higher paying jobs for the middle class.”

The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board 

“China is Canada’s second largest trading partner and its vast market offers significant opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes. The China trade mission will showcase the high-quality products hard-working Atlantic Canadians have to offer and help to position the region as a great place to invest and do business.”

- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade


“Our plan for investing in Atlantic Canada’s economy is already allowing us to empower local industries to develop new skills and innovate to compete in a global market. The Atlantic Growth Strategy remains an unparalleled initiative which will bring great results for the region.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence 

“Over the past year, the Government of Canada and the Atlantic provinces have made great strides in implementing the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, an innovative partnership aimed at attracting and retaining skilled immigrants and recent Atlantic international graduates to meet the unique workforce needs of the Atlantic region. The Pilot, one of five key action areas of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, was designed to complement existing programming in bringing permanent residents to the region, support the labour force and drive economic growth.”

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 

“We were pleased to host these important meetings in our beautiful province. Our discussions centred on job creation and economic growth in Atlantic Canada.”

The Honourable Brian Gallant, Premier of New Brunswick 

“Initiatives through the Atlantic Growth Strategy will continue to build a stronger economy in Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region. We are pleased to see the commitment of our federal colleagues in supporting Atlantic Canada’s work across many sectors.”

The Honourable Karen Casey, Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia and Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia 

“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is focused on achieving economic growth and diversification, and our partnerships through the Atlantic Growth Strategy and the superclusters initiative play a key role in achieving our goals. Working together, our governments are providing responsive supports and new opportunities for businesses, which in turn will lead to greater prosperity for residents across Atlantic Canada.”

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador 

Prince Edward Island's economy is strong and Islanders are benefiting from new jobs, a growing population and investments in our communities. Working with our Atlantic and Federal partners we will continue to advance the priorities of Islanders and support our thriving business community.

The Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island 

Quick Facts

  • The Atlantic Growth Strategy is a set of pan-Atlantic, federal-provincial initiatives which are paving the way for a stronger economy in Atlantic Canada through a collaborative and consolidated approach based on results.

  • The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, federal Minister of Health, and the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, federal Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence are new members of the Atlantic Growth Strategy Leadership Committee.

  • Since its launch in July 2016, Atlantic Growth Strategy partners have announced investments to drive sustainable growth in five key areas: Skilled Workforce and Immigration; Innovation; Climate Change and Clean Growth; Trade, Investment, and Tourism; and Infrastructure. 

  • Thanks to initiatives launched to date, a strong foundation has been laid for established industries like agriculture, agri-food, fisheries, including aquaculture and tourism, and emerging industries like clean technology, to innovate and successfully compete in global markets. At the same time, the Strategy is helping small- and medium-sized businesses capitalize on new technologies, attract skilled workers, scale up operations and pursue new export opportunities. 

  • China is Atlantic Canada’s largest trading partner in Asia. In 2016, exports to China from Atlantic Canada were valued at over $1.1 billion, a nearly 14% increase from 2015.

  • In 2016, Canada welcomed 610,000 Chinese tourists, up 23.6 per cent from 2015, who spent an estimated $1.5 billion. Between 1990 and 2016, the number of Chinese tourists to Canada grew by an average of 13 percent per year. 

Related Products

Associated Links


Karl W. Sasseville
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and
Economic Development


Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Thierry Bélair
Office of the Minister
Health Canada

David Jackson
Office of the Premier of Nova Scotia
Alex Wellstead

Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan

Mary Moszynski
Office of the Premier of Prince Edward Island

Guy Gallant
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Julie Robichaud
Office of the Premier of New Brunswick

Laura Gareau
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc

Jean-Luc Ferland
Office of the Honourable Scott Brison

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