New Brunswick (French: Nouveau-Brunswick; pronounced: [nu.vo.bʁœn.swik], Quebec French pronunciation: [nu.vo.bʁɔn.zwɪk] is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the Canadian federation that is constitutionally bilingual (English–French). Fredericton is the capital and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton (Moncton Dieppe, Riverview) form the province's largest Census Metropolitan Area. In the 2011 nationwide census, Statistics Canada estimated the provincial population to have been 751,171. The majority of the population is English-speaking, but there is also a large Francophone minority (33%), chiefly of Acadian origin.
The province is named for the city of Brunswick (Braunschweig in German) located in modern day Lower Saxony in northern Germany (and also the former duchy of the same name). Brunswick is the ancestral home of the Hanoverian King George III of the United Kingdom.
New Brunswick is bounded on the north by Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula and by Chaleur Bay. The eastern boundary is formed by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Northumberland Strait. The southeast corner of the province is connected to the Nova Scotia peninsula by the narrow Isthmus of Chignecto. The south of the province is bounded by the Bay of Fundy coast, (which with a rise of 16 m (52 ft), has amongst the highest tides in the world). The US state of Maine forms the western boundary.
New Brunswick differs from the other Maritime provinces physiographically, climatologically, and ethnoculturally. Both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are either surrounded by, or are almost completely surrounded by water. Oceanic effects therefore tend to define their climate, economy, and culture. On the other hand, New Brunswick, although having a significant seacoast, is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean proper and has a large interior that is removed from oceanic influences. As a result, the climate tends to be more continental in character rather than maritime.
The major river systems of the province include the St. Croix River, Saint John River, Kennebecasis River, Petitcodiac River, Magaguadavic River, Miramichi River, Nepisiguit River, and the Restigouche River. Although smaller, the Bouctouche River, Richibucto River and Kouchibouguac River are also important. The settlement patterns and the economy of New Brunswick are based more on the province's river systems than its seacoasts.
Northern New Brunswick is dominated by the Appalachian Mountains within the Eastern Canadian forests ecoregion, with the northwestern part of the province consisting of the remote and rugged Miramichi Highlands as well as the Chaleur Uplands and the Notre Dame Mountains, with a maximum elevation at Mount Carleton of 817 m (2,680 ft). The New Brunswick Lowlands form the eastern and central portions of the province and are part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests ecoregion. Finally the Caledonia Highlands and St. Croix Highlands extend along the Bay of Fundy coast reaching elevations of more than 400 m (1,312 ft).
The total land and water area of the province is 72,908 km2 (28,150 sq mi), over 80 percent of which is forested. Agricultural lands are found mostly in the upper St John River valley, with lesser amounts of farmland in the southeast of the province, especially in the Kennebecasis and Petitcodiac river valleys. The three major urban centres are all in the southern third of the province.
The original First Nations inhabitants of New Brunswick were members of three distinct tribes. The largest tribe was the Mi'kmaq, and they occupied the eastern and coastal areas of the province. They were responsible for the Augustine Mound, a burial ground built about 800 B.C. near Metepnákiaq (Red Bank First Nation). The western portion of the province was the traditional home of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people. The smaller Passamaquoddy tribe occupied lands in the southwest of the province.
French colonial era
Although it is possible that Vikings may have reached as far south as New Brunswick, the first known European exploration of New Brunswick was that of French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534, who discovered and named the Bay of Chaleur. The next French contact was in 1604, when a party led by Pierre du Gua de Monts and Samuel de Champlain set up camp for the winter on St.Croix Island, between New Brunswick and Maine. The colony relocated the following year across the Bay of Fundy to Port Royal, Nova Scotia. Over the next 150 years, a number of other French settlements and seigneuries were founded in the area occupied by present-day New Brunswick, including along the St. John River, the upper Bay of Fundy region, in the Tantramar Marshes at Beaubassin, and finally at St. Pierre (site of present day Bathurst). The whole maritime region (as well as parts of Maine) was at that time claimed by France and was designated as the colony of Acadia.
New Brunswick, one of the four original provinces of Canada, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867. The Charlottetown Conference of 1864, which ultimately led to the confederation movement, originally had been intended to discuss only a Maritime Union, but concerns over the American Civil War as well as Fenian activity along the border led to an interest in expanding the scope of the proposed union. This interest in an expanded union arose from the Province of Canada (formerly Upper and Lower Canada, later Ontario and Quebec), and a request was made by the Canadian political leaders to the organizers of the Maritime conference to have the meeting agenda altered.
Although the Maritime leaders were swayed by the arguments of the Canadians, many ordinary residents of the Maritimes wanted no part of this larger confederation for fear that their interests and concerns would be ignored in a wider national union. Many politicians who supported confederation, such as Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley (New Brunswick's best-known Father of Confederation), found themselves without a seat after the next election; nevertheless, backers of the wider confederation eventually prevailed.
Following confederation, the fears of the anti-confederates were proven correct as new national policies and trade barriers were soon adopted by the central government, thus disrupting the historic trading relationship between the Maritime Provinces and New England. The situation in New Brunswick was exacerbated by both the Great Fire of 1877 in Saint John and the decline of the wooden shipbuilding industry; skilled workers were thus forced to move to other parts of Canada or to the United States to seek employment.
As the 20th century dawned, however, the province's economy again began to expand. Manufacturing gained strength with the construction of textile mills; and in the crucial forestry sector, the sawmills that had dotted inland sections of the province gave way to larger pulp and paper mills. The railway industry, meanwhile, provided for growth and prosperity in the Moncton region. Nevertheless, unemployment remained high throughout the province, and the Great Depression brought another setback. Two influential families, the Irvings and the McCains, emerged from the Depression to begin to modernise and vertically integrate the provincial economy—especially in the vital forestry, food processing, and energy sectors.
First Nations in New Brunswick include the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet (Wolastoqiyik). The first European settlers, the Acadians, are today descendants of survivors of the Great Expulsion (1755), which drove thousands of French residents into exile in North America, Britain, and France for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to King George III during the French and Indian War. Acadians who were deported to Louisiana are often referred to as Cajuns in English.
Much of the English Canadian population of New Brunswick is descended from Loyalists who fled the American Revolution. This is commemorated in the province's motto, Spem reduxit ("hope was restored"). There is also a significant population with Irish ancestry, especially in Saint John and the Miramichi Valley. People of Scottish descent are scattered throughout the province, with higher concentrations in the Miramichi and in Campbellton.
In the 2001 Canadian census, the most commonly reported ethnicities were 193,470 French (26.9%); 165,235 English (23.0%); 135,835 Irish (18.9%); 127,635 Scottish (17.7%); 27,490 German (3.8%); 26,220 Acadians (3.6%); 23,815 "North American Indian" (First Nations) (3.3%); 13,355 Dutch (Netherlands) (1.9%); and 7,620 Welsh (1.1%). It should be noted that 242,220 people (33.7%) identified themselves as simply "Canadian" or "Canadien," while 173,585 (24.1%) also selected another ethnicity—for a total of 415,810 (57.8%) calling themselves Canadian. (Each person could choose more than one ethnicity.)
The 2006 Canadian census showed a population of 729,997. Of the 708,145 singular responses to the census question concerning mother tongue, the most commonly reported languages were:
The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2001 census were the Roman Catholic Church, with 385,985 (54%); Baptists, with 80,490 (11%); the United Church of Canada, with 69,235 (10%); the Anglicans, with 58,215 (8%); the Pentecostals with 20,155 (3%).
New Brunswick's urban areas have modern, service-based economies dominated by the health care, educational, retail, finance, and insurance sectors. These sectors are reasonably equitably distributed in all three principal urban centres. In addition, heavy industry and port facilities are found in Saint John; Fredericton is dominated by government services, universities, and the military; and Moncton has developed as a commercial, retail, transportation, and distribution centre with important rail and air terminal facilities.
The rural primary economy is best known for forestry, mining, mixed farming, and fishing.
Forestry is important in all areas of the province but especially in the heavily forested central regions. There are many sawmills in the smaller towns and large pulp and paper mills located in Saint John, Atholville, Miramichi, Nackawic, and Edmundston.
Heavy metals, including lead and zinc, are mined in the north around Bathurst. One of the world's largest potash deposits is located in Sussex; a second potash mine, costing over a billion dollars, is in development in the Sussex region. Oil and natural gas deposits are also being developed in the Sussex region.
Farming is concentrated in the upper Saint John River valley (in the northwest portion of the province), where the most valuable crop is potatoes. Mixed and dairy farms are found elsewhere, but especially in the southeast, concentrated in the Kennebecasis and Petitcodiac river valleys.
The most valuable fish catches are lobster, scallops and king crab. The farming of Atlantic salmon in the Passamaquoddy Bay region is an important local industry.
The largest employers in the province are the Irving group of companies, several large multinational forest companies, the government of New Brunswick, and the McCain group of companies.
Government of New Brunswick
New Brunswick has a unicameral legislature with 55 seats. Elections are held at least every five years, but may be called at any time by the Lieutenant Governor (the viceregal representative) on consultation with the Premier. The Premier is the leader of the party that holds the most seats in the legislature.
There are two dominant political parties in New Brunswick, the Liberal Party and the Progressive Conservative Party. While consistently polling approximately 10% of the electoral vote since the early 1980s, the New Democratic Party has elected few members to the Legislative Assembly. From time to time, other parties, such as the Confederation of Regions Party, have held seats in the legislature, but only on the strength of a strong protest vote.
On September 27, 2010, the Progressive Conservatives won a large majority with 42 out of 55 seats by taking 16 formerly Liberal seats, making David Alward the new Premier of New Brunswick.
Saint John is a historic city and popular port of call. The Loyalist City, as it is often referred to, is the largest in the province and the oldest in the country. The city is one of the busiest shipping ports in Canada in terms of gross tonnage. Saint John has become a major energy hub for the East Coast. It is the home of Canada's biggest oil refinery and an LNG terminal has also been constructed in the city. In addition, there are both large oil-fired and nuclear power plants located in or near the city. Due to recent prosperity, the retail, commercial, and residential sectors are currently experiencing a resurgence.
Moncton is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the province and is among the top ten fastest growing urban areas in Canada. Its economy is principally based on the transportation, distribution, information technology, commercial, and retail sectors. Moncton has a sizable Francophone Acadian minority population (35%) and became officially bilingual in 2002.
Fredericton, the capital of the province, is home to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the University of New Brunswick, and St. Thomas University. One of Canada's largest military bases, CFB Gagetown, is located near suburban Oromocto. The economy of Fredericton is tied to the governmental, military, and university sectors.
New Brunswick has a comprehensive parallel system of Anglophone and Francophone public schools providing education to both the primary and secondary levels. These schools are segregated by government decree. The English system developed out of a mixture of the British and American systems, reflecting the Loyalist background of so many early settlers. There are also secular and religious private schools in the province.
There are four publicly funded secular universities and four private degree-granting institutions with religious affiliation in the province. The two comprehensive provincial universities are the University of New Brunswick and the Université de Moncton. These institutions have extensive postgraduate programs and Schools of Law. Medical education programs have also been established at both the Université de Moncton and at UNBSJ in Saint John (although affiliated with Université de Sherbrooke and Dalhousie University respectively). Mount Allison University in Sackville is currently ranked as the best undergraduate liberal arts university in Canada and has produced 51 Rhodes Scholars, more than any other liberal arts university in the Commonwealth.
Publicly funded provincial comprehensive universities
-University of New Brunswick (Fredericton and Saint John), Anglophone
-Université de Moncton (Moncton, Shippagan, and Edmundston), Francophone
Publicly funded undergraduate liberal arts universities
-St. Thomas University (Fredericton), Anglophone
-Mount Allison University (Sackville), Anglophone
Private Christian undergraduate liberal arts university
-Crandall University (Moncton), Anglophone
Private degree-granting religious training institutions
-St. Stephen's University (St. Stephen), Anglophone
-Kingswood University (Sussex), Anglophone
-New Brunswick Bible Institute (Hartland), Anglophone
Early New Brunswick culture was aboriginal in flavour, influenced by the native populations who made their home along the coast and riverbanks until the arrival of French-speaking in the early 17th century and English-speaking settlers beginning in the mid 18th century. Aboriginal culture in turn quickly came under European influence through trade and religion. Even writing was affected; see for example, Mi'kmaq hieroglyphic writing. Aboriginal societies were gradually marginalized under the reserve system, and it was not until the late nineteenth century, through the work of Silas Rand, that the tales of Glooscap began to emerge.
As described by the political historian Arthur Doyle, an invisible line separated the two founding European cultures, beginning on the eastern outskirts of Moncton and running diagonally across the province northwest towards Grand Falls. Franco-New Brunswick (Acadie) lay to the northeast of this divide, and Anglo-New Brunswick lay to the southwest. Doyle's characterization was made not long after government reforms by former premier Louis J. Robichaud had significantly improved the status of French-speaking Acadians within the province and initiated their journey towards cultural recognition and equality with their English-speaking counterparts.
Early New Brunswick was influenced by its colonial ties to France, England, Scotland, and Ireland as well as by its geographical proximity to New England and the arrival of about 40,000 Loyalists in 1783.
As local society was founded in forestry and seaborne endeavours, a tradition of lumber camp songs and sea shanties prevailed. Acadian cloggers and Irish and Scots step dancers competed at festivals to expressive fiddle and accordion music. The art of storytelling, well-known to the native populations, passed on to the early settlers, and poetry—whether put to music or not—was a common form of commemorating shared events, as the voice of a masterful poet or soulful musician easily conquered the province's language barriers.
In modern literature, writers Alfred Bailey and Alden Nowlan dominated the New Brunswick literary scene in the last third of the 20th century and world-renowned literary critic Northrop Frye was influenced by his upbringing in Moncton. The annual Frye Festival in that city celebrates his legacy. The expatriate British poet John Thompson, who settled outside Sackville, proved influential in his short-lived career. Douglas Lochhead and K. V. Johansen are other prominent writers living in the town of Sackville. David Adams Richards, born in the Miramichi, has become a well-respected Governor-General's Award-winning author. Canadian novelist, story-writer, biographer and poet, Raymond Fraser, grew up in Chatham and lives now in Fredericton.
The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, based in Moncton and featuring Russian and European trained dancers, has recently flourished and has started touring both nationally and internationally. Symphony New Brunswick, based in Saint John, also tours extensively in the province.
New Brunswick is divided into five scenic drives: Fundy Coastal Drive, Acadian Coastal Drive, River Valley Scenic Drive, Miramichi River Route and Appalachian Range Route. Provincial and Municipal Visitor Information Centres are located throughout each drive.
Aside from Saint John's large tourism industry from cruise ships, some of the province's tourist attractions include the New Brunswick Museum, Minister's Island, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Grand Manan Island, Kings Landing Historical Settlement, Village Historique Acadien, Les Jardins de la République, Hopewell Rocks, La Dune de Bouctouche, Saint John Reversing Falls, Magnetic Hill and the Magnetic Hill Zoo, Crystal Palace, Magic Mountain Water Park, Casino New Brunswick, Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Preserve, Sackville Waterfowl Park, and the 41 km (25 mi) Fundy Hiking Trail.
Provincial Parks: de la République, Herring Cove, Mactaquac, Mount Carleton, Murray Beach, New River Beach, Parlee Beach, Sugarloaf, The Anchorage
National Parks: Fundy National Park, Kouchibouguac National Park
International Parks: Roosevelt Campobello International Park