Saturday, 11 January 2014

New Brunswick

New Brunswick, province in eastern Canada. It is the largest of Canada’s three Maritime provinces, the others being Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It is also one of the four Atlantic provinces, which include the Maritimes plus Newfoundland and Labrador. Fredericton is the provincial capital, and Saint John is the largest city.
With its many swift-flowing streams and rounded, forested hills, New Brunswick has the rough charm of the uplands of New England. Timber cut from dense forests is transported to mills that make pulp and paper, a leading manufacturing activity. Fishing and agriculture are also important, and the province’s rich mineral deposits support a vigorous mining industry. The ice-free port of Saint John, located at the mouth of the province’s largest river, is an important shipping and commercial center. New Brunswick’s rugged wilderness and coastal scenery draw many tourists, and the largely unoccupied northern interior is famous for its excellent hunting and fishing.
The original inhabitants of the area that is now New Brunswick were Algonquian-speaking peoples of the Northeast culture area (see Native Americans of North America). During and after the American Revolution (1775-1783) many United Empire Loyalists—American colonists who remained loyal to Britain during the war—fled to New Brunswick. They settled there in such great numbers that the province was nicknamed the Loyalist Province. The Loyalists lived among French farmers and fishers, who had settled in the Maritimes in the early 17th century and called the region Acadia.
New Brunswick became a part of the British province of Nova Scotia in 1763 at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. Many French Acadians expelled by the British during the war were allowed to return, and the French population and culture remained an important force in the region. In 1784 New Brunswick became a separate British province. Nearly a century later, in 1867, New Brunswick was one of the four original provinces—along with Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Québec—that joined to form the Dominion of Canada. Today, New Brunswick has the highest percentage of Francophones in Canada outside of Québec, and it is Canada’s only officially bilingual province.
New Brunswick is roughly the shape of a rectangle and has an area of 72,908 sq km (28,150 sq mi), including 1,458 sq km (563 sq mi) of inland waters. It ranks eighth in size among the Canadian provinces. From north to south New Brunswick measures a maximum of 391 km (243 mi) and from east to west a maximum of 408 km (254 mi). Campobello, Deer, and Grand Manan islands, which lie south of the mainland, are part of the province.
New Brunswick shares borders with the state of Maine in the west, the province of Québec in the north, and the province of Nova Scotia in the southeast. To the east are the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait, which separates New Brunswick from Prince Edward Island; connecting the two provinces is the 12.9-km (8.02-mi) Confederation Bridge. To the northeast lies Chaleur Bay (Baie des Chaleurs), and in the south is the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, but the two provinces are linked by the Isthmus of Chignecto, a low-lying area covered by marsh and swamp.
A Natural Regions
New Brunswick is a part of the Appalachian region, a geographic zone that runs almost the entire length of eastern North America. The highest lands in New Brunswick are located on a plateau that dominates the northwest of the province and provides headwaters for several river systems. At the center of this region is the highest peak of the province, Mount Carleton, which has an elevation of 820 m (2,690 ft). In central and eastern New Brunswick are gently rolling hills. A maritime plain slopes to the sea in the north and east. On the southern coast, a line of steep hills, called the Caledonia Highlands and Kent Hills, drop to tidal marshes and the sea. In the southwest a lowland plain extends inland from the coast.
Even in lowland areas the landscape of New Brunswick varies considerably. Numerous rivers and streams have cut deeply into the surface, creating rough terrain that is difficult to traverse. Everywhere the land shows the effects of ancient glaciers, which covered New Brunswick during the last ice age. A thick mantle of sandy materials deposited by glaciers covers most of the province. In the lowlands, glacial deposits have created a large number of lakes and swamps.
B Coastline
The coastline of New Brunswick is broken by many deep bays, inlets, and estuaries. All of New Brunswick is within 200 km (124 mi) of the ocean. As a result, marine-based activities remain prominent in the economic and social life of the province.
Chaleur Bay (Baie des Chaleurs) to the north is one of the major inlets on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In the south is the Bay of Fundy, which is noted for some of the world’s highest tides. Other large bays are Passamaquoddy, Miramichi, and Nepisiguit bays. Chignecto Bay and its arm, Cumberland Basin, is also a significant body of water.
The exceptionally high tides in the 150-km- (90-mi)-long Bay of Fundy produce a series of spectacular natural phenomena. The bay is narrow, especially in its headwaters area, where waters entering it from the North Atlantic Ocean are bottled up. As a result, the variation between high tides and low tides normally runs from 10 to 15 m (30 to 50 ft). However, spring tides, or unusually high tides, raise the water level by as much as 18 m (60 ft). The Saint John and Petitcodiac rivers are especially affected by the bay. On the Saint John River the result is the famous Reversing Falls, where the force of the incoming tide reverses a series of low waterfalls where the river meets the sea. The water then rushes uphill in a tidal wall against the normal flow of the falls, appearing to defy gravity. On the Petitcodiac River near the city of Moncton, high tides also produce a tidal bore (crested wave). There the waters of the incoming tide rush in with such speed and force that they enter the river as a solid wall as much as 2 m (6 ft) high. The vigorous tidal activity in the Bay of Fundy helps keep its ports, most notably Saint John, ice-free in winter.
C Rivers and Lakes
Because of its generally abundant precipitation, New Brunswick has an extensive network of rivers. The largest is the Saint John River, 673 km (418 mi) long, which originates in New Brunswick’s northwestern borderlands and flows south to the Bay of Fundy. The Saint Croix in the west and the Petitcodiac in the southeast also empty into the Bay of Fundy. Other major rivers include the Restigouche, the Nepisiguit, and the Miramichi, which originate in the northern plateau and flow north and east to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The rivers of New Brunswick are one of the province’s most important geographic features and have shaped much of its development. They provided the primary means of early transportation and opened access to the thickly forested interior lands. Once used extensively for log drives and steamboat routes, the rivers are increasingly important for fishing, boating, recreation, and hydroelectric development. All of the province’s major cities are located on rivers, as are most of the smaller settlements.
Grand Lake, the largest lake in New Brunswick, is in the lowlands, east of Fredericton. Most other lakes are located in the northern and southwestern parts of New Brunswick.
D Climate
New Brunswick has a continental climate that is moderated by maritime influences in the coastal areas. As a result, coastal regions are slightly warmer in the winter and slightly cooler in the summer than are interior regions. Annual temperature variations are large, with the January mean usually at least 25 to 28°C (45 to 50°F) below the July mean in all parts of New Brunswick. The greatest variations are found in the central highlands, where the elevation accentuates the spread between the high and low. Saint John, on the coast, has an average January temperature of -8°C (18°F) and a July average of 17°C (63°F). Inland, Fredericton has an average January temperature of -9°C (16°F) and a July average of 19°C (66°F).
The growing season, as measured by the number of frost-free days, is longer in coastal regions than in the interior. It measures approximately 150 days along the Bay of Fundy and 130 days along Northumberland Strait to less than 60 days in the north central interior.
Air masses moving west from the Atlantic Ocean bring enough water vapor to give all of the province ample precipitation. Northern New Brunswick, farthest from the Atlantic air-mass influence, receives about 1,000 mm (about 40 in) or less annually, much of it occurring in winter as snow. At Saint John in the south the total precipitation of 1,420 mm (56 in) is more or less evenly divided between the cool and warm seasons of the year.
E Soils
The soils in most of New Brunswick are known as podzols, which form in moist climates and are typically gray or grayish brown. These soils, characteristic of northern areas once covered by glaciers, tend to be sandy and acidic. Many kinds of trees thrive in these soils, but they must be heavily fertilized for most agricultural purposes. More fertile reddish soils are found in lowland regions, along river valleys, and in the diked lands on the Bay of Fundy.
F Plant Life
New Brunswick is Canada’s most heavily forested province, with woodlands covering 87 percent of the land area. Northern New Brunswick is the southern limit of Canada’s great coniferous evergreen forest, or taiga, in which spruce, fir, and tamarack (American larch) are the principal trees. Much of new Brunswick contains mixed forests, which contain a mix of deciduous and taiga forest. Immediately adjacent to Chaleur Bay and along the Restigouche River in the north is a section of mixed forest that contains maple and birch as well as pine and spruce.
The southern and eastern portions of the province are dominated by Acadian mixed forest, a diverse ecosystem in which red spruce is an important variety. The Acadian mixed forest includes 32 different tree species, such as sugar maple, birch, beech, red maple, ash, and elm mixed with white spruce, white pine, fir, and hemlock. This forest type is best developed in the Saint John River Valley. On the eastern coast the principal trees are black spruce, cedar, and tamarack. Few parts of the region are barren.
One distinctive feature of local plant life is the fiddlehead, a small edible fern that grows along rivers in springtime. Although not unique to New Brunswick, the fiddlehead is considered a provincial delicacy.
G Animal Life
New Brunswick’s thick forests and sparse settlement provide for an unusually rich animal population. Moose, black bear, and white-tailed deer abound. Smaller forest animals include beaver, marten, mink, fox, otter, rabbits, skunks, squirrels, and birds such as the evening grosbeak. The more open areas support many species of birds, including games birds such as partridge, pheasant, grouse, and woodcock. The Canada goose and black duck, among a dozen duck species, are also plentiful. Migrant waterfowl and shorebirds appear seasonally in large numbers along New Brunswick’s extensive coastline. They include species of sandpiper, plover, and gull.
Most of the streams draining into the sea are spawning grounds for the Atlantic salmon, an important sport fish. The Miramichi is regarded as one of the premier Atlantic salmon rivers in North America. Other fish include speckled trout, shad, pike, and bass. Oysters, lobsters, and crab are found in shallow coastal waters, as are many other species of fish and shellfish. Protected wildlife species of New Brunswick include the lynx, cougar (puma), peregrine falcon, and bald eagle.
H Environmental Issues
New Brunswick faces several significant environmental issues, including air pollution and water pollution. Coal- and oil-fired power plants and industries such as pulp and paper mills emit a variety of airborne contaminants, including sulfur dioxide—a chief component of acid rain. Scientists believe that the soil and bedrock in the southwest and northeast regions of New Brunswick are especially susceptible to the effects of acid rain. To limit harmful airborne emissions, the provincial department of the environment requires all power plants and other industries to install modern air pollution control equipment. Water pollution in the province is caused mainly by discharges from pulp and paper mills and by municipal sewage. Strict regulations enforced by the federal and provincial governments require municipalities and mills to treat contaminated water.
Conservation efforts in the province are centered on protecting the vast forests upon which so many people depend for a livelihood. For many decades, the forests were treated mainly as commodity, with an emphasis on maximizing harvests. Over the years a broader approach to forest conservation developed in which a variety of values, including recreation and wildlife preservation, were taken into account. Today, New Brunswick actively reforests cleared lands and is widely considered a leader in forest-management practices in Canada. However, conservationists remain concerned that industrial forestry has endangered the balance of the forest ecosystem.
New Brunswick closely regulates fishing and hunting in the province. The province has also developed polices for the protection of coastal wetlands, beaches, and dunes, and for the designation of protected wildlife species. In addition, all new economic development projects in the province are subject to environmental impact assessments.
The forests of New Brunswick have been the province’s most important natural resource for centuries and they remain at the center of the provincial economy. Other primary resource industries, especially farming and fishing, have also been significant. Much of the province’s resource output is exported, and the existence of ice-free ports on the Atlantic Ocean has long facilitated this export trade.
Prior to the 20th century, the trade in timber dominated the economy. Manufacturing industries rapidly expanded during the early 20th century, and by the 1930s pulp and paper production had surpassed timber in economic importance. The growth of manufacturing, in turn, spurred the development of hydroelectricity to power mills and factories. The late 20th century witnessed further diversification of forest industries, the emergence of mining as a major economic activity, and the modernization of fishing and farming practices. Service industries, including tourism, also grew in importance, and by the late 20th century services provided the leading sources of income and employment in New Brunswick.
In 2001 the gross domestic product (GDP) of New Brunswick was 25 billion Canadian dollars (in 2006 the U.S. dollar was on average equivalent to 1.10 Canadian dollars). Of this, the service sector contributed nearly two-thirds of the GDP, and industry contributed slightly more than one-third. Forestry, fishing, and farming contributed just over 3 percent. New Brunswick’s labor force in 2002 included 393,600 people, and the province recorded an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent.
A Agriculture
Farming in New Brunswick is fragmented because areas of good soils are scarce and scattered. During the 20th century, the number of farms in the province declined more than tenfold as manufacturing developed and many rural people abandoned near-subsistence farming. In 2006 New Brunswick’s farms numbered just 2,800. Most farms are small, averaging 142 hectares (351 acres). About 395,200 hectares (about 976,600 acres) of land is in farms.
The upper Saint John Valley in the west, the only significant region of the province naturally suited to agriculture, is one of the more important farming regions of maritime Canada. The valley is a major potato-producing area, and Grand Falls is the principal center. Potatoes are the leading cash crop of New Brunswick, and there are some 400 potato farms in the province. Farther south along the valley, apples are a dominant crop.
A second important region of agricultural activity includes the valleys that run parallel to the southern shore of the province to the lands around Moncton. These lands are protected by dikes, originally built in the 17th and 18th centuries by French Acadian farmers, to safeguard fields from the Bay of Fundy’s dramatically shifting waters. This region represents the largest expanse of good agricultural land in the province, and it is a leading dairy area of the Maritimes. Field crops, mainly oats and hay cut from cultivated grasses, are grown to support the dairy herds. Some farming is also carried on in the eastern coastal region, but it is generally a part-time occupation for fishers.
Most of New Brunswick’s agricultural produce is consumed in the province, except potatoes and some fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, which are mainly shipped to other Canadian provinces and the United States.
B Forestry
Coastal waters teeming with fish first brought Europeans to the Maritimes, but it was the wealth of the forest that attracted permanent settlement to New Brunswick. The rise of the timber trade after 1783 led to the settlement of the upper Saint John Valley and to the opening of the eastern coastal areas around the mouths of rivers, where settlers found seemingly endless forests. During the late 1700s and early 1800s, the United Kingdom got much of its timber, especially white pine for ship masts, from eastern Canada. After 1809 Britain sought more general timber supplies. Great fleets of timber ships stopped to pick up cargo at Saint John. By 1870, when wood shipbuilding was in decline and New Brunswick faced rising competition from other timber exporters, the province’s forests had been heavily cut.
Despite the early exploitation of timber in the province, forest cover gradually returned to large tracts of cleared land. Today, 87 percent of New Brunswick is forested. Private ownership accounts for 30 percent of this timberland, while public land accounts for 50 percent. The remainder of the timberland is controlled by industrial freehold. The annual allowable cut is more than 11 million cubic meters (388 million cubic feet).
Eastern New Brunswick, which contains both coniferous and mixed forests, is an important base of the pulp and paper industry. Chatham and Newcastle are sawmill centers; pulp, plywood, and pressed wood are manufactured in the area. The central and northern parts of New Brunswick have a greater wealth of timber and a more developed lumber industry. Other centers are Bathurst for paper, Dalhousie for newsprint, Saint John for paper products, and Edmundston for pulp manufacturing. Spruce is the principal species cut for pulping.
C Fishing
Coastal communities in all parts of New Brunswick have depended on fishing for generations, and the industry continues to be a significant force in New Brunswick’s economy. The main fishing areas include the Bay of Fundy, Northumberland Strait, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Fishers are found in almost every inhabited harbor. The 2005 catch was valued at 205 million Canadian dollars.
The fishing industry of southern New Brunswick is based on the fisheries of the Bay of Fundy. The great tides of the bay bring in large amounts of plankton, on which many marine species feed. The main species caught in New Brunswick is lobster, which alone counts for one-half of the total value, followed by snow crab and herring. Other important marine species include scallops, shrimp, and clams. Blacks Harbour, with one of the world’s largest sardine canneries, is the leading center of the industry. Aquaculture (fish farming) was established on the province’s southern shores in 1979, and it now yields substantial harvests, mainly of Atlantic salmon. Other species raised include trout, mussels, and oysters.
The eastern coast fishers catch herring, among other species. Cod, a once-plentiful and economically important fish, has nearly disappeared because of overfishing. New Brunswick fishers also share some of the fine lobster grounds of Northumberland Strait.
D Mining
Mining became important to the economy of New Brunswick with the discovery of metal ores in the northern part of the province in the 1950s. Since that time, much exploration and development has occurred, and in 2004 the industry was valued at 760 million Canadian dollars. The output of zinc accounted for more than half the value of total mineral production. This was followed by silver, lead, and copper. The province also produces significant quantities of antimony and bismuth. The Brunswick Number 12 mine near Bathurst is one of the largest base-metal deposits in the world. In addition, a variety of nonmetallic minerals are mined in New Brunswick, including limestone and gypsum. Other important nonmetallic minerals include potash, salt, stone, sand and gravel, clay, and lime.
Coal production, a long-established industry in the Grand Lake area, remains steady, but its future is uncertain as the province pursues cleaner forms of energy. New Brunswick in 2002 produced 194,000 metric tons of coal. Most of the coal produced is used to fuel New Brunswick’s power-generating plants. Peat, a precursor to coal, is extracted from more than two dozen bogs in the province.
E Manufacturing
Most manufacturing in New Brunswick is based on the processing of local primary resources. The principal manufactured products include pulp and paper products, food products (especially processed fish and seafood), and beverages. Other important manufactured goods include fabricated metals, nonmetallic mineral products, printing and publishing, and chemicals and plastics.
Manufacturing is concentrated in the Saint John and Moncton areas. Saint John, including Lancaster and East Saint John, is the largest industrial center in the province. Its industries include wood pulp and paper manufacturing; food processing; brewing; oil refining; and the manufacture of clothing, household goods, and ships for the Canadian navy. Moncton’s industries manufacture meat products, fabricated metals, machinery, and fertilizer. Fredericton, an administrative and educational center, has mostly light industries, printing, and high-technology firms. Bathurst, Edmundston, and Dalhousie have major pulp and paper mills.
F Electric Power
Electric power, the primary source of energy in New Brunswick, is generated from a variety of sources. A nuclear power plant that opened in 1982 at Point Lepreau, near Saint John, accounts for about one-third of New Brunswick’s electricity production. Half of the electricity generated at Point Lepreau—the only nuclear power station in the Atlantic provinces—is exported to the United States. Other important sources of electricity include coal- and petroleum-fired plants and hydroelectric facilities. Major hydroelectric sites are on the Saint John River at Grand Falls, Beechwood, and Mactaquac. Another hydroelectric installation is near the point where the Tobique River enters the Saint John River.
Natural gas is a small but potentially important source of energy for the province. In 1999 construction began on a system to transport offshore natural gas from Nova Scotia’s Sable Island to the Maritime provinces and the northeastern United States. Most of the gas is currently shipped by pipeline across New Brunswick to markets in New England, but gas shipments to New Brunswick were expected to increase with the development of a natural gas distribution infrastructure.
G Transportation
Rivers, lakes, and coastal waters were New Brunswick’s early highways. The need to build bridges over numerous streams and unstable soils in many areas delayed road and railway construction. Railroads eventually surpassed waterways in moving freight, and by the late 19th century a substantial road network had evolved.
Today, New Brunswick has about 1,000 km (about 620 mi) of mainline railroad track, operated by the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National railway systems. Moncton, the headquarters of the Atlantic region of the Canadian National Railways, and Saint John are important rail transportation centers. Lines connect New Brunswick with the provinces of Nova Scotia and Québec and with the United States.
New Brunswick has an extensive road system that includes 7,700 km (4,780 mi) of highways, roads, and streets, almost all of which are paved and well maintained. Most roads, including the Trans-Canada Highway, tend to follow the Saint John River Valley, although good roads link all the major urban areas. The 1997 opening of the Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island was an important development. The impressive 12.9-km (8.02-mi) structure replaced regular ferry service at the same site.
Major airports with regular service are located at Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. Regional airports include those at St. Léonard, Bathurst, Charlo, and Miramichi. There are five seaports in New Brunswick, of which Saint John is the largest. The other ports are Dalhousie, Belledune, Bayside, and Miramichi.
H Services
Service industries comprise the largest sector of New Brunswick’s economy. They encompass a vast array of activities including business and personal services; wholesale and retail trade; the operation of hotels, restaurants, and recreational facilities; banking, insurance, and real estate; government and public utilities; education and health care; data processing; and automotive repair.
New Brunswick’s trade centers on the export of raw materials and manufactured goods to foreign countries and to other provinces and the import of manufactured goods and crude oil. The province’s leading exports are paper and wood pulp, electricity, processed food, and metals. More than 80 percent of New Brunswick’s exports go to the United States. The value of the province’s yearly imports greatly exceeds the value of its yearly exports.
Tourism is increasingly important to New Brunswick’s economy. By 1999 the number of visitors to the province exceeded 1.5 million annually. Most visitors are from Québec, the other Maritime provinces, and Maine. New Brunswick has also succeeded in attracting substantial numbers of visitors from France, Ontario, and major cities of the United States. Two major national parks, 22 provincial parks, and numerous historical settlements and museums are among the most popular summer attractions. Supplementing the summer tourism season are various tours and festivals in the fall and outdoor recreational activities such as skiing and snowmobiling in winter.
A Population Patterns
According to the 2001 national census, New Brunswick had a population of 729,498, an increase of less than one percent over the 1991 figure of 723,900. The population density is 11 persons per sq km (27 per sq mi). In 2001 the population of New Brunswick was 50 percent urban, mostly concentrated in small cities, towns, and villages. About one-third were in cities with populations that exceeded 25,000.
Prior to European settlement, New Brunswick was inhabited by three Algonquian tribes of the Abenaki confederation, the Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, and Passamaquoddy. French settlers arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries and founded villages along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the lower Saint John Valley. During the American Revolution (1775-1783), people from New England who supported the British settled in the Saint John Valley and other areas. The 19th century brought many British and Irish immigrants. A small but significant number of Europeans immigrated to New Brunswick in the decades after World War II (1939-1945).
Today, the great majority of residents of New Brunswick were born in the province. According to the 2001 census the largest single group of people identify themselves as Canadian. Other major groups include people claiming French, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, in that order. In addition, significant numbers of people identified their ethnic origins as German, Acadian, aboriginal, and Dutch.
There are two official languages in New Brunswick: English and French. English only is spoken by 69 percent of New Brunswick’s inhabitants, while 29 percent of the people speak only French, and 34 percent are bilingual. Among the regions of Canada, New Brunswick is second only to Québec in its percentage of bilingual speakers.
B Principal Cities
New Brunswick does not have a single dominant urban center but features instead three major cities, each with its own distinct history and character. Saint John, with a 2006 population of 68,043 and a metropolitan-area population of 125,900 (2006 estimate), is the largest city in the province, as well as its chief commercial and manufacturing center and port. Moncton, the second largest city, dominates the southeast of the province, with 64,128 people in 2006. A major railway center, Moncton developed as a key distribution point for the Maritimes; in recent years it has succeeded in attracting high-technology and service industries. Fredericton, with 50,535 inhabitants, is the provincial capital and third largest city. Since the end of World War II, Fredericton has benefited from the expansion of government services and higher education, which are important sources of local employment.
Other large cities are Bathurst, a seaport and industrial center, with 12,714 inhabitants; Edmundston, on the Saint John River, with 16,643 inhabitants; and Campbellton, on the Restigouche River, with 7,384 inhabitants. Both Edmundston and Campbellton are pulp-milling and lumbering centers.
C Religion
Slightly more than half the people of New Brunswick are Roman Catholic. Protestant denominations, including the United Church of Canada and the Baptist and Anglican churches, also have significant memberships in the province.
D Social Issues
New Brunswick is among Canada’s least prosperous provinces, with family incomes remaining consistently below the national average. Only Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia record lower family incomes. Economic hardship is related to the seasonal nature of employment in a resource-dependent economy and the prominence of part-time employment in many sectors, such as tourism. This contributes to New Brunswick’s relatively high unemployment rate.
During the late 20th century, the province’s economic disparities were addressed through economic development programs, most of which had limited success, and by the provision of expanded social services to vulnerable populations. Social justice groups in the province have directed particular attention to the incidence of poverty among children and the elderly, and to the high rates of unemployment and underemployment among young people, women, and aboriginal peoples.
The provincial department of education administers elementary and secondary education. The cost of public education is one of the largest single items in the provincial budget, accounting for about 20 percent of total expenditures. School attendance is compulsory from the age of 5 until the age of 18 or the completion of high school. The school system is organized into 12 Anglophone (English-speaking) and 6 Francophone (French-speaking) districts. An elected council composed of parents or their representatives advises each district.
New Brunswick has four universities, all of which are financially supported by the province and administered, along with the universities of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, by a regional commission of the Maritime provinces. The University of New Brunswick at Fredericton and Saint John is the oldest and largest in the province. Founded in 1785, the university has well-established programs in forestry, engineering, the sciences, education, and other fields. The French-language University of Moncton has campuses at Moncton, Edmundston, and Shippagan. It has played a major role in improving educational opportunities for the Francophone population and promoting the visibility of Acadian culture. There are also two smaller universities: Saint Thomas University, in Fredericton, which is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church but is associated with the University of New Brunswick; and Mount Allison University, in Sackville, which is affiliated with the United Church of Canada.
A community college system, sponsored by the province’s continuing education program, offers specialized training in a wide variety of subjects, including many in support of the province’s information and communications industries.
A Libraries
Major research libraries are located at the universities in Fredericton, Moncton, and Sackville. The Irving Library of the University of New Brunswick has among its collection many rare volumes and valuable manuscripts. The province’s legislative library is located at Fredericton. There are five regional public library systems in the province. The New Brunswick library service at Fredericton coordinates and supplements the regional libraries.
B Museums
The New Brunswick Museum at Saint John includes collections dedicated to heritage, history, fine arts, humanities, and natural science. Founded in 1842 as a private museum, it is the oldest continuing museum in Canada. It became the provincial museum in 1930. The Miramichi Natural History Museum in Chatham is devoted to wildlife and local history. At the Village Historique Acadien, in Caraquet, visitors can view the culture and life of early Acadian settlers. Fredericton is home to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, which was donated by Lord William Beaverbrook, a noted British statesman and newspaper publisher. One of Canada’s major galleries, the museum includes many important works by British and Canadian painters.
C Arts
New Brunswick’s distinctive culture has often revealed a tension between outside influences and local sources. In colonial times, cultural activity was usually judged against forms of expression popular in Europe, and New Brunswick’s artists and intellectuals struggled for recognition. In the late 19th century, following confederation, New Brunswick contributed a small school of nationalist poets dedicated to the promotion of a Canadian identity rooted in a romantic appreciation of nature. Sometimes known as the Fredericton poets, they included Bliss Carmen, Charles G. D. Roberts, and Joseph Sherman. In his lifetime, Carmen was widely considered Canada’s greatest poet.
During the 20th century the poetic tradition continued under intellectuals such as Alfred G. Bailey, who in 1945 founded the literary magazine The Fiddlehead. The magazine continues to publish works by poets from all over the English-speaking world. New Brunswick’s literary tradition has also been enriched by writers such as Elizabeth Brewster and Alden Nowlan, who wrote poetry and fiction exploring the difficulties of life in the province. Other notable contemporary English-language writers in this vein include Herb Curtis and David Adams Richards.
The evolution of French-language literature has involved a similar movement towards greater independence from outside influences. In 1847 the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published a poem, Evangeline, which in its French translation captured the imagination of Acadian society. With its portrayal of a woman separated from her true love, the poem provided a rallying point for the dispersed Acadian community, and it was widely credited for sparking a renaissance of Acadian culture. In the 20th century Acadian culture was maintained by enthusiastic collectors of folklore and by historians such as Anselme Chiasson. More recently, the voice of Acadian New Brunswick has been heard in the novels and short stories of Antonine Maillet. Other notable contemporary Francophone writers include Jacques Savoie, France Daigle, and Herménégilde Chiasson, the last of whom is also an artist, playwright, and filmmaker.
In the visual arts, Saint John emerged as a center of painting in the 1930s and 1940s, featuring such internationally regarded artists as Miller Brittain, Jack Humphrey, and Fred Ross. New Brunswick’s contemporary art scene includes the painters Mary Pratt and Molly Bobak, and the sculptor and muralist Claude Roussel.
For both language groups, music has been an important part of local culture. Performers from New Brunswick who have achieved wide recognition include fiddler Don Messer; country singer-songwriter Tom Connors; country-folk musician Roch Voisine; and Acadian folksinger Edith Butler. The Miramichi Folk Song Festival helps keep traditional music alive in the province. Events such as the International Festival of Baroque Music held at Lamèque every July and the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival held in Fredericton every September have contributed to the diversity of musical culture.
Several theatrical productions are staged annually at the Playhouse in Fredericton, the headquarters of Theatre New Brunswick. This company is the oldest professional touring theater in Canada and performs throughout the province. There are also theater groups in Saint John and Moncton.
D Communications
The province has 5 daily newspapers, including the daily French-language paper L’Acadie Nouvelle, published at Caraquet and Moncton, and the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, published in Saint John. New Brunswick has 11 AM and 20 FM radio stations and 3 television broadcasters. Most broadcast in English, but several stations offer French-language programs.
New Brunswick offers numerous recreational opportunities related to its natural environment and cultural traditions. Many visitors are attracted to the province’s forests, rivers, beaches, and many parks. All seasons have something to offer vacationers. The fishing season opens in spring, and the province’s salmon streams—especially the Miramichi—are particularly well known. In summer, resorts flourish along the beaches of the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while hikers and campers explore the northern woods. Autumn brings hunters to the province’s acres of game country, where deer is the principal quarry. In winter ski enthusiasts flock to northern resorts such as Sugarloaf, located in Campbellton.
New Brunswick has two national parks. Fundy National Park, opened in 1948, is located between Saint John and Moncton on the Bay of Fundy. It offers camping facilities and cottages for visitors who come to enjoy its forests, lakes, streams, and ocean beaches. Kouchibouguac National Park on Northumberland Strait, established in 1969, offers campsites, trails, windswept dunes and beaches, and waters rich with fish.
New Brunswick is home to many historic sites and museums. Fort Beauséjour, near Sackville, includes the site of a fort built by the French in the 18th century and later used by the Acadians when they were under British attack. The Village Historique Acadien (Acadian Historic Village), at Caraquet, re-creates the Acadian way of life in northeast New Brunswick. Kings Landing Historical Settlement, near Fredericton, focuses on pioneer life in the Saint John River Valley. Also in the valley, at Hartland, is the world’s longest covered bridge, which was built in 1901 and spans 391 m (1,282 ft) over the Saint John River. Popular museums include the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John; the forestry and woods museums at Kedgwick in the north and at Boiestown in central New Brunswick; and marine museums at Saint Andrews in the south and Shippagan in the northeast. There are also many local museums throughout the province.
On Campobello Island, in the Bay of Fundy, is the summer home of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945). It is maintained as Roosevelt Campobello International Park by the Canadian and U.S. governments and includes facilities for small conferences. Other popular attractions include the Trappist monastery at Rogersville; Magnetic Hill near Moncton, where vehicles appear to roll uphill because of an optical illusion; and the rocks at Hopewell Cape, fantastic shapes of sandstone carved by the tides of the Bay of Fundy.
A Introduction
As in the other Canadian provinces, New Brunswick follows a system of government based on the British parliamentary tradition, as it has evolved within the larger Canadian federal union. New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province, and under the Official Languages Act (passed in 1969 and amended in 2002), English and French have equal status in all forums of provincial government. All citizens who have reached the age of 18, and who have been resident in New Brunswick for at least six months, may vote in provincial elections.
B National Representation
New Brunswick is represented in the Canadian Parliament by ten popularly elected members of the House of Commons. New Brunswick is also represented by nine senators, appointed by the federal government, in the Senate.
C Executive
The nominal head of government in New Brunswick is the lieutenant governor, who represents the monarchy and is appointed by the federal government. The lieutenant governor is responsible for convening and dissolving the legislature and giving royal assent to legislation. Real political power in the province rests with the premier, the leader of the majority party or coalition in the legislature, and a cabinet chosen by the premier. Each member of the cabinet heads a provincial department, apart from the cabinet member who heads the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission, a crown corporation.
D Legislature
The New Brunswick legislative assembly is composed of 55 members, each popularly elected to represent a single constituency or district. A general election must be held every five years. The election may be called earlier by the lieutenant governor, on the advice of the premier, or in the event that the government loses a vote of confidence in the legislative assembly.
E Judiciary
New Brunswick has two higher courts, appointed by the federal government. The highest court is the Court of Appeal. The court consists of a chief justice and five other justices and hears appeals from lower courts. The Court of Queen’s Bench has two divisions. The Trial Division is responsible for trying major civil and criminal cases. The Family Division is responsible for child protection and for spousal and parental rights and obligations.
In addition to the higher courts, the provincial courts, appointed by the provincial government, hear minor cases; more serious cases must be heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench. Small claims courts hear cases that concern disputes over small sums of money.
F Political Parties
The Conservative Party and the Liberal Party have dominated the politics of New Brunswick since the late 19th century. This two-party system has proven fairly balanced, and each party has won a more or less equal number of elections. The Conservative Party is now known at the provincial level as the Progressive Conservative Party (at the federal level it is called the Conservative Party). Third parties, such as the New Democratic Party, have rarely been successful in the province.
G Services
Health and medical services are provided free of charge to residents, and the elderly are eligible for financial assistance to cover the cost of prescription drugs. Health services are provided by seven regional districts, which include major urban hospitals as well as smaller clinics.
A Indigenous Peoples
The original inhabitants of New Brunswick were Algonquian-speaking aboriginal peoples—the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy. The Mi’kmaq lived in northeastern New Brunswick, the Maliseet in the Saint John River Valley, and the Passamaquoddy in the southwestern coastal area. These aboriginal groups had distinct customs but shared much in common. They were primarily hunters and fishers who depended for their food on the wildlife of the forests and the fish and shellfish of the rivers and coastal areas. They made their tools from stone and bone, their clothing from animal skins and fur, and their wigwams using birch poles and bark. They also built light and maneuverable birchbark canoes for travel by water and wooden toboggans for travel in winter over snow.
The arrival of the French in the early 16th century was greeted by the Mi’kmaq as an opportunity to trade for European goods, such as iron tools, woolen clothing, and copper kettles, that supplemented their way of life without transforming it. Until the early 18th century, the aboriginal population continued to dominate the area, and European trade and settlement depended on collaboration with native peoples. However, aboriginal society was undermined by increased dependence on European goods and exposure to unfamiliar diseases. This led to a catastrophic decline in the native population and, with increasing European settlement in the 18th century, the loss of control over their territory.
B Exploration and Early Settlement
It is likely that explorers John Cabot in 1497 and Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 sailed along New Brunswick’s coast. In 1534 French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed into Chaleur Bay. Seventy years later, Pierre du Gua, sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain explored and named the Saint John River before sailing to Dochet Island (now Saint Croix Island, Maine), at the mouth of the Saint Croix River, where they spent the winter of 1604 and 1605. This is generally regarded as the beginning of European settlement in New Brunswick. The following spring the expedition was relocated to Port Royal, which is now Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia.
Over the next century a distinctive new society emerged in the maritime region known as Acadia to the French, an area that included the present-day provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The Acadians, as they became known, were people of French ancestry who developed a successful mixed economy based on farming, fishing, and trade. They enjoyed rapid population growth and good relations with aboriginal peoples. However, imperialist rivalries between France and Britain, complicated by the expansionist ambitions of New Englanders, caused repeated conflicts over control of Acadia after 1680.
Control over the Bay of Fundy alternated between France and Britain as several European treaties negated British military victories over French-held territories in North America. Most of Nova Scotia fell permanently to the British in 1710, and its status was confirmed by the Peace of Utrecht three years later. Possession of New Brunswick, however, was not decided. In the meantime, disputes over the loyalty of Acadian settlers to the British crown were resolved by the acceptance of an oath that promised Acadian neutrality in military conflicts.
In 1750, in an effort to strengthen its control of the Canadian mainland, France built two forts on the Isthmus of Chignecto: Beauséjour, near Aulac, and Gaspereau, near Port Elgin. As the French-British imperial rivalry again heated up, British authorities in Nova Scotia demanded new loyalty oaths from the Acadians. At that time the Acadians numbered more than 15,000 people in the region, and they were viewed as a potential source of assistance to French territorial ambitions. In 1755, when the Acadian residents refused to swear new oaths of loyalty, Nova Scotia governor Charles Lawrence ordered the removal of the entire Acadian population from the colony and the confiscation of their lands and property. In the same year British forces captured the two French forts, thus ensuring British control of New Brunswick. The deportation of thousands of Acadians to British ports along the Atlantic seaboard from New England to Georgia was a major military exercise and has remained one of the most controversial episodes in the history of the region.
C British Colony
Under the terms of the Royal Proclamation in 1763, issued by Britain after France’s defeat in the French and Indian War, New Brunswick was to be administered from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beginning in 1764 British authorities permitted exiled Acadians to return. Over the next half-century many Acadians reestablished themselves in the region, although most moved to rural areas on New Brunswick’s frontiers because their former lands had largely been resettled. At the same time, a new wave of immigration from New England served to strengthen the English-speaking presence in New Brunswick, including the arrival of about 1,000 people who established Maugerville as their chief settlement. Even before the war ended, three enterprising New Englanders, James Simonds, William Hazen, and James White, founded a trading post at the mouth of the Saint John River in anticipation of increased population and trade. By 1775 an influx of settlers from Yorkshire, England, had brought the population to about 4,500. The settlers lived by farming, trading furs, fishing, and lumbering.
D American Revolution
Contrary to the expectations of the British and American governments, most New Brunswickers remained neutral during the American Revolution. The fighting in the colony was sporadic. Although a small number supported a Maine force in gaining control of the Bay of Fundy, British sea power had again captured control of the bay by 1776. In November of the same year a transplanted American settler, Jonathan Eddy, led an unsuccessful assault against Fort Cumberland (formerly Fort Beauséjour).
Although events in New Brunswick did not determine the outcome of the war, the American Revolution had a profound effect on the colony. Even as the war raged, Britain recognized New Brunswick as an important source of lumber for its navy, and Saint John became a shipbuilding center. The Treaty of Paris, which ended the revolution in 1783, established the Saint Croix River as a common border with the district of Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. However, the most important effect of the revolution on New Brunswick was the tremendous migration of United Empire Loyalists to the Saint John Valley. Within a year after the war more than 14,000 Loyalists, deprived of their American property, sought refuge. Largely through Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander in New York, thousands were directed to Britain’s nearby colony on the Bay of Fundy, where they established towns as far north as Woodstock. Another group settled on the site of Saint Andrews.
E Separation
The Loyalists, many of whom had been leaders in the American colonies, quickly developed a distrust of Halifax, the remote seat of the British colony of Nova Scotia. They successfully agitated for a separate government. In 1784 the area west and north of the Nova Scotian peninsula was named New Brunswick. Thomas Carleton, brother of Sir Guy, became the first governor. By 1785, Carleton, over the objections of the Saint John merchants and traders, succeeded in locating the capital at Fredericton. He also established the Provincial Academy of Arts and Sciences (now the University of New Brunswick).
The Loyalists, meanwhile, had been given land by the British government, and the future appeared promising. Britain’s involvement in the French Revolutionary Wars in the 1790s, however, ended economic aid to the colony and disrupted its West Indian trade.
As a result, Saint John, which had been incorporated as the first Canadian city in 1785, declined as an important port and the infant interior towns failed to expand. By 1800 the population of New Brunswick had reached only about 20,000.
F Expansion
In 1805, at the Battle of Trafalgar, the British navy secured control of the seas and transatlantic trade resumed. As the war raged in Europe, great demands were made on New Brunswick for ships, lumber, and fishing and agricultural products. The colony was well suited for its new role. It had many navigable rivers, great pine and spruce forests, and thousands of citizens who willingly moved into all aspects of the profitable lumber industry. A stimulant of only slightly less importance was the U.S. Embargo Act of 1807, which prevented U.S. ships from sailing into foreign ports. Accordingly, Saint Andrews and Saint John became free ports from which a lucrative foreign trade was conducted.
The demands of the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States further stimulated the colony’s economy. Trade with New England expanded, and immigration, particularly from the British Isles, became notable. The colony played a minor role in the war. A Fredericton regiment saw action on the Niagara frontier, and the Maine coast as far south as the Penobscot River was temporarily annexed. By 1825 the population was approximately 75,000. Most New Brunswickers were engaged in the lumber industry, while others farmed the more fertile lands. Fishing, by comparison, was neglected.
G Aroostook War
The New Brunswick-Maine border north of the Saint Croix River was left unresolved by the Treaty of Paris. After Maine gained statehood in 1820, Maine citizens found that the Aroostook Valley was claimed by New Brunswick. In 1838 Maine and New Brunswick assembled their militias in preparation for war. Peaceful negotiations, however, settled the dispute and the so-called war remained bloodless. In 1842 the Webster-Ashburton Treaty set the present border. The Aroostook Valley was given to the United States, and navigational rights on the Saint John River were granted to both New Brunswick and Maine.
H Reform
For 50 years New Brunswick was governed by a democratically elected assembly and an appointed executive not responsible to it. As in other British colonies, there was much friction. In the 1830s the timber merchants gained a majority in the assembly and succeeded in establishing complete control of the millions of acres of public lands. Responsible government, a government that was elected by the people and was responsible to the people, was instituted in 1848 by Sir Edmund Head, the lieutenant governor. In the same year, Britain adopted a free-trade policy, giving New Brunswick almost total economic independence but depriving it of important British markets. To the amazement of the merchants, free trade, after a poor start, brought a higher level of prosperity than the colony had known before. Shipbuilders won world fame in 1852 when the Marco Polo, built in Saint John, made its record voyage from England to Australia. The 1854 Reciprocity Treaty with the United States, in which both countries agreed to reduce the duties, or charges, on traded goods, and the American Civil War (1861-1865) further increased the volume of foreign trade and the pace of economic development.
I Confederation
By the 1860s, New Brunswick’s future appeared bleak. The United States was seeking to end the 1854 treaty, and iron was gradually replacing wood in ships. Railway construction had already connected Saint John and Shediac, but plans for an intercolonial railroad had reached an impasse. There was widespread unrest as the Fenians, a revolutionary group fighting for Ireland’s independence from Britain, gathered support in the United States. The supporters were anti-English and tried to affect Britain by invading Canada in 1866. The attempt, however, was unsuccessful.
Samuel Leonard Tilley, the premier of the New Brunswick colony, had committed New Brunswick to a union of the British North American colonies at the 1864 Charlottetown and Québec conferences, but the plan was rejected locally. Although there was still strong opposition, British and Canadian pressures, including the promise of railway construction, proved to be decisive. On July 1, 1867, New Brunswick joined the union, which was called Confederation, becoming one of the four original provinces of the Dominion of Canada along with Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Québec.
J After Confederation
Railway ties with Québec and Halifax were completed in 1876, and Saint John was linked with Montréal and Boston, Massachusetts, in 1890. Railroads led to the rapid development of Moncton, but they generally failed to stimulate further growth. The small secondary industries could not compete with the more efficient manufacturing establishments elsewhere in Canada. As a result, most of them disappeared. Trade revived temporarily during World War I (1914-1918) in spite of wartime hazards, but the province was not able to duplicate its former success.
K Economy and Society
Along with the rest of Canada, New Brunswick was hurt by the global economic depression of the 1930s. Still the province worked to diversify its economy by starting textile mills and pulp and paper industries. The province, however, could not compete with the industrial advances in the rest of Canada. It did not benefit from the prosperity in other Canadian provinces because these provinces did not share their tax revenues with other provinces. By the 1950s New Brunswick had a lower standard of living than the national average and higher rates of infant mortality and illiteracy.
During the 1960s Liberal Party leader Louis J. Robichaud—the province’s first elected Acadian premier—began efforts to reduce the large disparities in access to services and quality of life between New Brunswick’s rural and urban populations. The provincial government assumed responsibility for programs that had previously been administered by the municipal governments, including education, medicine, and social services. The provincial government was then able to directly distribute services and financial assistance throughout the province.
Under Robichaud New Brunswick also attempted to further industrialize its economy. Industries such as mining, forestry, and fishing were expanded or modernized. In 1971 a cargo terminal was opened in Saint John that encouraged a major expansion of the province’s transport business. In 1982 a nuclear power plant was opened at Point Lepreau, which today generates a significant portion of New Brunswick’s electricity production.
L Recent Events
From 1970 to 1987 Richard Bennett Hatfield of the Progressive Conservative Party was premier, and he continued many of Robichaud’s programs. In 1987 the Liberals again gained control of the government, winning all the seats in the provincial legislature. The Liberals retained a majority in the 1991 and 1995 elections and worked to create jobs, bring new businesses to New Brunswick, and strengthen the economy. Although they were successful in reducing the provincial deficit, the Liberals failed to decrease New Brunswick’s consistently high unemployment rate. In 1999 the Liberals suffered a surprise defeat by the Progressive Conservative Party, which focused on cutting government spending, reducing taxes, eliminating highway tolls, and creating hundreds of new health-care jobs. The Progressive Conservatives narrowly maintained power in the 2003 provincial elections, although the party lost 19 seats.

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