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Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold discusses investment in talent attraction

Dawn Arnold, mayor of the City of Moncton, New Brunswick, discusses strategies in talent attraction, including investments in infrastructure, entertainment, and community building.

“We have a lot happening in our city right now,” Arnold said. “In fact, we are morphing. We are going from a large town to a real urban centre. As a result of that kind of movement, for sure there are challenges, but there are some really great opportunities.”

Arnold said the issue that keeps her awake at night is talent attraction. After all, the city has “so many jobs,” she explained, but also an imperative to fill them. So how does that happen? One of the things the city has focused on is strategic investment in Moncton’s downtown core.

Moncton, Arnold said, has “just sprawled out” in the recent past. It is a problem, she said, that is being faced in cities across New Brunswick. The new core focus, however, is key to what she describes as “a very, very exciting initiative” for the city.

“We have made a strategic investment in our downtown core of a new, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment centre (Avenir Centre opened in September 2018) … it is a centre for our community to come together, with a plaza beside it,” Arnold said. “It’s really important as a public gathering space for people to come together before a game, before a concert, and maybe even if they aren’t’ going in, they are going to be a part of the community.”

Arnold said Moncton is seeing “amazing momentum.” For example, city building permits valued $47 million in 2017 – typically, the value of development in the core is $8-$20 million. In addition, Arnold explained the greater Moncton region saw $344.7 million in building permits in 2017, which is an Atlantic Canada record and 11.7 percent higher than in Halifax.  MW

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