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Planning for Atlantic Canada’s future needs to start today

A massive population shift is underway in the Atlantic region. As a business owner in Atlantic Canada, you will be affected by the changes that are coming in a number of ways.

Demographic changes already affecting you

Over the next few years, baby boomers will transition away from the workforce. Other population changes in the Atlantic region (e.g. low birth rates, high mortality rates, low immigration and high out-migration) are also making their presence felt on your business, your community and the economy.

These population changes are leading to a declining tax base, a slowing economy, and lower productivity levels. Simultaneously, demand for health care services are increasing and will continue to do so as intensive health care is required for the aging population towards end of life.

Pushing government to start acting now

In a new series of research reports on Atlantic Canada’s future, CFIB is leading the way in making sure governments in the Atlantic region understand the challenges that are coming. We are making recommendations that governments can take now to set your business and your community on a path toward a brighter future.

The first report, Winter is coming: Why Atlantic Canada’s aging population should scare governments (and the people who pay for them), shines a light on the realities of population change and the need for governments to take a new approach to how it manages the public purse. It provides fiscal and economic recommendations that will help the provincial governments to get prepared now for future challenges.

The second report, The Rising Tide, shows business owners’ strong support for cooperation between the provincial governments as a key opportunity to reduce costs and find efficiencies. The report presents a framework for cooperation that would see existing cooperation among the Atlantic provinces expanded and focused on delivering tangible, measurable results.

The third report in the series, More with Less: Economic Growth with an Aging Population, looks at how small businesses are coping with growing labour challenges and the types of investments they want to be able to make in their operations to make their businesses more productive in spite of those challenges. With economic growth in the region a critical priority, helping small businesses adapt to a reality where labour will be increasingly scarce needs to be top of mind for all governments. That means tackling high taxes and red tape so that businesses can reinvest time and money into their own operations. 

An aging population may be creating challenges but it doesn’t have to mean economic decline.  Small businesses are already doing their part to grow our economy and forward-thinking policies from government can help create an environment where Atlantic Canada’s businesses – including yours – can thrive.


“Regional cooperation and global cooperation benefit everybody. A rising tide lifts all boats."

Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

December 3, 2018

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Topics in this Article: Research Reports

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