Landing and Settling in New Brunswick

Last updated: 21 July 2023

CV Page New Brunswick

Welcome to picturesque New Brunswick, nestled on Canada's east coast with its stunning coastlines, vibrant cities, and quaint towns.

Rich in its English and French-heritage, this maritime province invites newcomers with a warm blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Read on to find out why New Brunswick might be the right next move for you.

Table of Contents


Welcome to New Brunswick, Canada's only officially bilingual province. As a newcomer, you will experience a vibrant economy with numerous employment opportunities, an affordable housing market, excellent healthcare and education systems, and a diverse range of leisure activities. This guide provides an overview of what to expect when moving to New Brunswick, from commuting options and weather patterns to taxation and essential services. With the blend of French and British heritage, along with the enticing blend of urban living and awe-inspiring natural landscapes, New Brunswick truly offers a unique living experience. Read on to learn more about healthcare, education, taxes, and more in New Brunswick

What are the benefits of living in New Brunswick?

New Brunswick, located in Canada, offers several advantages that enhance its appeal as a desirable place to live. One of the most significant among these perks is its affordability, particularly in terms of housing. Whether one opts for renting or buying a property, New Brunswick offers the most pocket-friendly housing options in the nation. This directly contributes to a lower cost of living in general as compared to other provinces.

The province, while home to less than 800,000 people, is renowned for the friendly and welcoming nature of its residents. This sense of camaraderie within local communities makes it easier for newcomers to integrate and feel at home.

The natural beauty of New Brunswick, with around 80% of its land carpeted with forests, cannot be overstated. From the mesmerising landscapes to the abundant wildlife and hiking trails, it is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Natural attractions like the Bay of Fundy and provincial gems like the Pogonia orchid add to its charm.

The province is also home to cities that offer a great quality of life without burning a hole in one's pocket. Cities like Saint John, Fredericton, Dieppe, and Moncton boast of affordable living along with other amenities like low crime rate and excellent public transport. Miramichi, another affordable city, takes pride in its unique culture and hosts various activities round the year.

New Brunswick's distinct feature is its bilingual community, being the only officially bilingual province in Canada. This gives a sense of unity and togetherness to its residents. The economy of the province is also expected to grow, with the government investing in attracting more employers, leading to diverse job opportunities.

The weather in New Brunswick is moderate with summers being warm and humid and winters cool but not as harsh as in other provinces. Safety is given top priority in New Brunswick, reflected in its ranking as one of the safest provinces of Canada. All in all, New Brunswick is a province that offers a balance of affordability, community, and opportunities.

Housing in New Brunswick

Due to New Brunswick’s low population, most people will choose to live in one of the province’s three bigger cities: Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton. All three of these cities benefit from the favorable rent and buying costs that make New Brunswick one of the most affordable real estate markets in all of Canada. In fact, all three cities are widely regarded as good housing markets to invest into due to their affordability, strengthening supply of homes, and social programs.

All three cities have roughly equivalent populations and see general parity in housing prices and the kinds of properties available for rent or purchase. These include fully and semi-detached homes, townhouses, apartment condominiums, and more.

Though prices of homes did see a sharp increase during the pandemic, the provincial government has taken steps to address this, particularly by increasing inventory of homes to rent or buy, and introducing affordable housing legislation. Despite these increases, both rental and home prices remain some of the lowest in all of Canada.

In a bid to make housing more accessible, the New Brunswick government has also instated several housing programs, including affordable housing and rental programs, second-stage housing for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, transition houses, and more. For a full breakdown of housing programs in New Brunswick, visit the official government website here.

Commuting in New Brunswick

Due to the diversity of its landscapes, New Brunswick features multiple modes of transit for its residents to avail—in addition, the relative concentration of New Brunswick’s small population in its three major cities, and the ability to commute from smaller neighbouring cities, makes it so that the province

Major travel routes in New Brunswick connect all of these cities and commuter towns to various Canadian and United States (U.S.) destinations. Highways Route 7 and Route 8 are important linkages as well, connecting the cities of Fredericton and Saint John. Many of these routes facilitate industries such as tourism and trade in this province. For more on driving in Canada, visit our dedicated webpage here.

While two private companies manage bus services, public transport within cities is also taken care of. Fredericton's bus transit service features 28 buses on 12 routes, running 6 days a week. Saint John's transit service includes 60 accessible buses, offering service from Monday to Saturday. On the other hand, Moncton's Codiac Transpo has 40 buses on various routes, with strategic service hours throughout the week.

Three well-maintained airports in Fredericton, Saint John, and Greater Moncton are fully facilitated to handle both domestic and international flights. Furthermore, charter and commercial air services cater to a variety of travel needs to destinations across Canada, and limited destinations in the U.S.

New Brunswick continues to have the services of railway giants Canadian National Railway and NB Southern Railway, ensuring that rail transport is highly operational in the region. Like all other provinces in Canada, New Brunswick is also part of the trans-Canada VIA Rail system, allowing for ease of travel by train to locations all across the country.

Due to the province’s maritime features, Ferry transport is also a popular and eco-friendly means of commuting in New Brunswisk; with the ‘Fundy Rose’ ferry sailing between Saint John, New Brunswick and Digby, Nova Scotia. There’s also the unique ‘Deer Island Point Park Ferry’ connecting mainland New Brunswick with Deer Island.

Lastly, cycling is another mode of transport, particularly popular in summer months—with residents and visitors alike enjoying biking trails across the province.

Employment in New Brunswick

New Brunswick features ample employment opportunities specifically in Electric Power Transmission, Gasoline and Petroleum Bulk Stations, and Commercial Banking, which remained the province’s three biggest industries by revenue generated, respectively. The province has an annual unemployment rate that varies between 6-9%, which is higher than the national unemployment rate.

Some of the province’s biggest employers include:

  • The Government of New Brunswick;
  • Horizion Health Networks;
  • Vitalité Health Network;
  • Walmart Inc.; and
  • Irving Oil Ltd.

Though New Brunswick does have other industries of note, including manufacturing and fisheries, much of the province’s employment prospects are concentrated within the industries and sectors that are already established. New Brunswick has a provincial minimum wage of $14.75 CAD an hour, putting it close if not on-par with other Canadian provinces.

To learn more about finding a job in Canada, visit our dedicated webpage here.

Healthcare in New Brunswick

New Brunswick features an evolving healthcare system, with two regional health authorities (Horizon and Vitalité), and more than 40 hospitals province wide. Like all other provinces in Canada, New Brunswick follows the Canada-wide Medicare program, which requires a Medicare Card to access health services. The provincial government has undertaken a multiple year reform of the healthcare system, which seeks to emphasise improving access and capacity of healthcare centres, timely and quality healthcare services, wellness and positive lifestyle, and healthy ageing and elderly care.

Healthcare in New Brunswick is available to Canadian citizens or those legally entitled to stay in Canada who have their principal residence in the province. This includes international students who meet the eligibility requirements. However, a "resident" does not include tourists, transients, or visitors. Furthermore, you are not eligible based solely on property ownership or paying property/income tax in New Brunswick.

Note that regular members of the Canadian Armed Forces, tourists, visitors, transients, students from other provinces, and inmates of federal penitentiaries are not eligible for healthcare coverage in New Brunswick. Although Canadian Armed Forces members aren't eligible themselves, their families do qualify for healthcare coverage in the province.

When applying for healthcare in New Brunswick, you will need to have certain documentation available. You must supply photocopies of documents that confirm your status in Canada, substantiate your identity, and verify your residency in New Brunswick. If you are not a Canadian, you will need to provide a copy of the last entry date stamp in your passport. Please note that one document from List 1 and List 2 of the accepted documents list, is required for each person listed on the application form, as well as one document from List 3 by the person who completes the form. It's important to keep in mind that you cannot use the same document to fulfil more than one requirement.

To learn more about healthcare in Canada, visit our dedicated webpage here

Education in New Brunswick?

K-12 Education

In New Brunswick, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development oversees a multi-faceted education system which is divided broadly into early childhood, primary, secondary and post-secondary education. There are seven school districts across the province, largely divided by whether they offer curriculums in English or French; in addition to public and private schools across these districts as well.

In terms of early years and K-12 education, New Brunswick provides English and French schooling from kindergarten through high school. Kindergarten is a full day program for children aged five by December 31 of that school year. All efforts are made to allow students to study in their first language.

During their K-12 journey, students undertake a curriculum emphasizing not only core competencies in literacy and numeracy, but also ethical considerations and global awareness. It's also noteworthy that the curriculum incorporates strategies to improve student mental health and well-being. The government has also published a search tool for school directories in the province, which can be found here.

Post-secondary education

Once students reach post-secondary age, there are several institutions available for higher education in New Brunswick. These include well-known universities such as the University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, and St. Thomas University, among others. In addition, The New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) provide comprehensive community college education with a variety of diploma and certificate programs. New Brunswick also offers a number of apprenticeship programs for those interested in skilled trades.

For more information on studying in Canada, visit our dedicated webpage, here.

Weather in New Brunswick

The weather in New Brunswick showcases a considerable range due to its continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. Like other places in Canada, the province experiences four distinct seasons, each with its own characteristic weather patterns and temperatures.

During the summer season, (June to August), temperatures can range from 20°C to 30°C. The weather tends to be warm and occasionally humid, especially in the inland areas. Autumn, from September to November, tends to be a transitional season where temperatures drop and foliage changes. The temperatures during this season gradually decline from summer highs to around 10°C in November. It's characterized by fall colours, particularly in the province's forests.

Winter, occurring (roughly December to February), can be quite cold in New Brunswick. Temperatures often drop below freezing, averaging between -10°C and -15°C, but can sometimes go as low as -25°C. Snowfall is significant, particularly in the northern and central parts of the province, leading to excellent conditions for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Spring arrives around March and lasts until May. This season can start with the melting of winter's snow, leading to wetter conditions. Temperatures start to climb, averaging between 5°C and 10°C.

New Brunswick's geography greatly influences its climate. The province is partly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, which moderates the coastal temperature, though the interior can experience more severe temperature variations. The Bay of Fundy, known for the highest tidal range in the world, influences the region's climate too, resulting in cooler summers and milder winters compared to the rest of Canada.

It's also worth mentioning that New Brunswick's weather can vary depending on the region, with the north generally being colder than the south. Lastly, rain is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, but there's more snowfall in the winter, as expected. The province also sometimes experiences fog, especially along the coast.

To learn more about how to dress appropriately for Canada’s weather, visit our dedicated webpage here.

Emergency Services in New Brunswick

New Brunswick has multiple resources to deal with various kinds of emergencies, particularly those related to natural weather conditions, which can occur due to the province’s weather and costal location. Some important contacts include:

  • Emergency Assistance: 911;
  • The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organisation: 1-800-561-4034;
  • River Watch recorded message (delivers reports of flooding to the public): 1-888-561-4048;
  • Road Report : 1-800-561-4063;
  • Environmental emergencies: 1-800-565-1633;
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868;
  • Helpline for compulsive gamblers: 1-800-461-1234;
  • City of Moncton 24-hour dispatch (for non-emergencies): 506-853-3333;
  • City of Fredericton 24-hour dispatch (for non-emergencies): 506-460-2300; and
  • City of Saint John 24-hour dispatch (for non-emergencies): 506-648-3333.

Newcomer Services in New Brunswick

New Brunswick, as a province in the Canadian confederation, must invest in settlement services for newcomers that immigrate to the province.

These settlement services can include everything from language and job-specific language training to community events, childcare support, employment assistance, and more. These services are fulfilled by immigrant serving organisations that receive funding from the provincial/municipal government and/or Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The New Brunswick government has included a webpage that has compiled these immigrant serving organisations by the county in which they operate.

Note that depending on your specific legal status in Canada, and who is funding the settlement service, your eligibility may change. Generally, settlement services are available to permanent residents and some temporary residents, however it is always advised to confirm with your specific settlement organisation to see if you meet their eligibility criteria.

To learn more about settlement services available to newcomers in Canada, visit our dedicated webpage here.

Taxation in New Brunswick

New Brunswick features one of the most favourable income tax rates in all of Canada—which, in addition to wages that are largely on par with the rest of Canada, makes the province a favorable place to work. In New Brunswick (as in Canada as a whole) the tax rates vary by income, falling between 9.4% to 20.3%. When considering the combined federal and provincial tax rate, this rate is between 24.4% and 53.3%.

In addition to this, New Brunswick is one of the provinces in Canada to feature a Harmonised Sales tax (HST), meaning that both provincial and federal taxes on goods and services are applied at once. The HST in New Brunswick currently stands at 15%. Under the HST Act, certain goods and services are also applicable for tax rebates and credits.

For more information on filling your personal tax return in Canada, find our dedicated webpage here.

Things to Do in New Brunswick

Often noted for its natural and geographical features, as well as its rich Canadian history New Brunswick presents numerous enjoyable leisure activities.

Visitors can explore the Hopewell Rocks, which are distinctive geological structures shaped by the tides. The Bay of Fundy, renowned for having the highest tides in the world, offers exceptional experiences such as walking on the ocean floor at low tide and viewing rare marine life. Adventure seekers can enjoy activities like kayaking and rock climbing. The Fundy National Park provides an opportunity to connect with nature by observing diverse wildlife and exploring waterfalls and gorges.

If you're fascinated by marine life, the New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre at Shippagan is a must-visit with tons of fish and other marine species on display.

History buffs can visit the Kings Landing historical settlement for an immersive experience of 19th-century rural life in New Brunswick. Additionally, there is the Magnetic Hill, a natural wonder that gives the illusion of cars rolling uphill.

Additionally, one can visit the Grand Manan Island with its famous lighthouses, or head to the Acadian Peninsula for unique cultural experiences. Other activities include visiting the world's longest covered bridge in Hartland and enjoying local seafood delicacies at the Shediac Lobster Shop.

For those who love history and culture, visiting the quaint towns of St. Andrews By-The-Sea, known for its history and natural beauty, and exploring the vibrant multicultural hub of Moncton, will give you a glimpse into the rich cultural background of New Brunswick.

And finally, for those in search of relaxation and rejuvenation, visiting the warmest saltwater beaches north of Virginia at Parlee Beach Provincial Park, or the secluded tranquility of New River Beach, are popular tourist options.

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