Beginning at the north, the province's boundaries are the province of Quebec, the Restigouche River and the Chaleur Bay. Its eastern boundary is entirely water, made up of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait. On the south, the boundary is the Bay of Fundy and Chignecto Bay, with a 24-km (15 mile) land boundary at the southeast corner, where the province is joined to Nova Scotia by the Isthmus of Chignecto. New Brunswick's western boundary borders on the state of Maine and Quebec.
When Samuel de Champlain and other Europeans began to visit New Brunswick in the early 1600s they were met by Maliseets and Micmacs. The early French farmers settled at the head of the Bay of Fundy and up the St. John River Valley as far as present-day Fredericton and called the land Acadia.
Fall-out from English and French wars in Europe forced more than 5,000 Acadians into exile in 1755. Some of them escaped to what was then a remote and uninhabited coastline along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Baie des Chaleurs. Today we call it the Acadian Peninsula. Others returned to France or fled to the United States, many settling in Louisiana.
In 1783 it was the English who were refugees. During the American Revolution some citizens from the eastern seaboard wanted to remain loyal to the English crown and fled to Canada. So many landed in Saint John that by 1785 they were able to incorporate Canada’s first city.
Scots and Irish, pushed out of their homes by political pressures and potato famines, arrived in the early 1800s, and in the 1870s a few hundred Danes settled in Victoria County where their distinctive community survives to this day. But by the late 19th century major immigration floods were replaced by a trickle of settlers from all over the world. Today, although Native, French, English, Scottish and Irish roots run deep, New Brunswick enjoys vivid, multi-cultural and spiritual heritage.
The area of New Brunswick, largest of the three Maritime provinces, is 73,437 sq. km (28,354 sq. mi.) of which 72,092 sq. km (27,835 sq. mi) are land area and 1,344 sq. km (519 sq. mi.) are water area.
Mountainous terrain is predominant in the north of the province; the highest point is 820 metres (2,690 feet) at Mount Carleton. The interior of the province is mostly rolling plateau; the east fairly flat; the south is rugged. The principal rivers of the province are: Miramichi, Nepisiguit, Restigouche, Salmon, St. Croix, Saint John and Tobique. The main lakes are Grand, Chiputneticook, Magaguadavic and Oromocto.
About 724,000 souls are proud to call New Brunswick home, and most of them live along the coasts and in the river valleys. Nearly 34 per cent of them are French-speaking, and New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province. Saint John is the province’s oldest and largest city with a population of 75,000. Moncton is home to 57,000;Fredericton, the capital, has a population of about 46,500. Bathurst’s population is about 14,500; Edmundston’s is almost 11,000 and Campbellton’s is nearly 9,000. Miramichi, established on January 1, 1995, incorporates the towns of Chatham and Newcastle and several other communities and boasts a population of about 21,500.
The province is responsible for the administration of social services such as education, health, welfare and justice in order to provide uniform standards throughout the province. Local governments are responsible for services to property such as lights, sewers and recreation. Municipal structures include seven cities, 27 towns, and 79 villages. Areas of sparse population are formed into 295 local service districts.
The seat of the province's government is in Fredericton. The government of the province is vested in a lieutenant-governor and a legislative assembly of 58 members elected for five years on a single member basis. Any Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older is entitled to vote after six months' residence. The leader of the largest group elected forms the government and becomes premier. The province has 10 seats in the Canadian Senate and 10 members in the House of Commons of Canada.
Tourism is a major industry in New Brunswick. In 1994, 1.27 million non-resident visitors spent at least one night in the province. Total tourist revenue was at least $676 million. This investment has contributed to the creation of 21,600 person years of employment. Tourist facilities include two national parks, several parks and rest areas operated and maintained within the provincial park system, and over 24,000 accommodation units in hotels, motels, country inns, campgrounds, farm vacation homes, bed and breakfasts, as well as fishing and hunting outfitter establishments. The province of New Brunswick maintains Tourist Information Centres at major entry points. It encourages and promotes the province's many all-season special events and sponsors a large number of informative and promotional activities.
Eighty-five per cent of New Brunswick's land base is productive forest land, a higher percentage than any other Canadian province. In fact, New Brunswick has 2.5 per cent of Canada's total productive forest land, but supplies 4.9 percent of the total harvest. Pulp and paper mills, lumber mills, furniture factories and other forest sector productions are mainstays of the province's industry. New Brunswick stretches over 7.11 million hectares (these figures exclude an additional .19 million hectares of submerged land) and 6.02 million hectares are owned by the Crown. The most plentiful trees are spruce and fir, species whose wood is favoured for the production of pulp and paper.
In 1994 New Brunswick had approximately 1,600 manufacturing firms employing about 51,000 people. The food and beverage group remains the leader among manufacturing industries in terms of number of establishments and of employees. This is followed by the wood group, paper and allied industries, metal fabricating, transportation equipment, non-metallic mineral products and primary metal groups. The total value of manufacturing shipments in 1993 was $6.6 billion. New capital investment reached $2.3 billion with a total of $187.8 million invested in manufacturing.
New Brunswick's mines yield a variety of minerals and the industry ranks high in economic importance. Today the local value of minerals produced exceeds $781 million annually(1993). More than 4,000 people are directly employed by this industry. Minerals and commodities produced include antimony, bismuth, cadmium, copper, gold, lead, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, peat moss, salt, silica, sulphur, coal, natural gas, petroleum, clay products, cement, lime, sand and gravel, and stone. Large reserves of lead, zinc and copper are found in northeastern New Brunswick. Potash and salt deposits were discovered in the early '70s and two mines are now in production.
New Brunswick is divided into 18 school districts. The public school system is provincially funded. Public school education is offered in both official languages. The province's continuing education program sponsors the Community College system which offers specialized training in a wide variety of subjects including many in support of the province's thriving information and communications industries. Numerous adult education courses are offered on a full-time and part-time basis.
The University of New Brunswick is the province's largest and oldest degree-conferring institution with the main campus in Fredericton and another campus in Saint John. St. Thomas University is also located on U.N.B.'s Fredericton campus. Other universities include Mount Allison at Sackville and l'Université de Moncton and Atlantic Baptist College in Moncton.
Fisheries and Aquaculture
Commercial fishing is a major New Brunswick industry. Over 50 species of fish and shellfish are harvested each year. In 1993 preliminary landing value was $103.2 million. The market value of all fish, shellfish and other products is estimated at $500 million. There were 8,380 fishermen in the province and approximately 13,000 plant workers in fish processing during peak periods of production. The export value of fish products to other countries as given by Statistics Canada totalled $337.5 million in 1990, an increase of 4 per cent over the previous year.
The aquaculture sector is rapidly growing with estimated value of production in 1993 of $92.2 million. This sector is very promising in view of the decreasing raw material resource in the traditional fishery.
Agriculture is significant to the province's economy. The total area under field crops is approximately 130,526 hectares (322,526 acres). The surface area of potatoes averages 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) and the income from sales accounts for approximately 25 per cent of total farm income. Seed potatoes produced in New Brunswick are recognized in over 26 countries. Apples, strawberries, blueberries and vegetables are grown both for commercial processing and for the fresh market.
Livestock production is spread around the province. New Brunswick is self-sufficient in the production of forages, milk and chicken with 50 per cent of livestock feed grain locally grown. Potatoes, dairy products and cattle account for nearly 60 per cent of farm income of an average $270 million annually.
Two almost uniquely New Brunswick vegetable products are dulse, a dried sea weed, (mainly from Grand Manan Island) and fiddleheads.
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