What you need to know before moving to New Brunswick

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: January 16, 2024

New Brunswick is one of Canada’s three maritime provinces, and the only officially bilingual province in the country (recognising both English and French). Located on the Canada’s east coast, the province is often noted for its natural beauty, and rich culture.

Like many other provinces in Canada, New Brunswick experiences four seasons throughout the year—however summers tend to be cooler and winters less harsh due the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Most people immigrating or visiting New Brunswick will travel to one of the province’s three biggest cities: Saint John (the largest city), Fredericton (the province’s capital), and Moncton.

Read on for essential information you need to know before moving to New Brunswick.

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Housing

Owing to the low population of New Brunswick, most inhabitants opt to reside in the three larger cities of the province. These cities are renowned for their cost-effective rent and purchase prices, establishing New Brunswick as one of the most budget-friendly real estate markets across Canada.

Each city holds a similar population and shows equivalent levels in housing prices and the available property types for rental or buying, which range from fully and semi-detached homes to townhouses, apartment condos, and more.

To combat problems with supply of housing that has been seen throughout Canada, the New Brunswick provincial government has introduced a new housing strategy, including measures like rent banks, direct financial assistance to tenants and more. For more information visit the provincial government website here.

Click on our webpages for more information on buying or renting a home in Canada.

Commuting

New Brunswick offers various transportation options due to the varied landscapes within the province (especially between its three major cities).

Urban public transport in the province organised, by two private companies (Codiac Transpo and Maritime Bus) who oversee bus services. The bus transit service in Fredericton comprises 28 buses across 12 routes, operating six days a week. Saint John's transit service has 60 accessible buses, providing services from Monday to Saturday. Moncton's Codiac Transpo uses 40 buses across different routes, scheduled throughout the week. While these routes are plentiful, it can sometimes be difficult to catch a bus at the arranged time, making driving a more popular alternative for those who can manage.

Fredericton, Saint John, and Greater Moncton also have fully equipped airports that can handle both local and international flights, serviced by charter and commercial airlines flying across Canada, and to limited U.S. destinations.

For more information on public transport and driving in Canada visit our linked pages.

Employment

There are many employment opportunities in New Brunswick, particularly in the Electric Power Transmission, Gasoline and Petroleum, and Commercial Banking sectors—the top three industries by revenue in the province. However, New Brunswick's annual unemployment rate oscillates between 6-9%, which is above the country's average.

The Government of New Brunswick, Horizon Health Networks, Vitalité Health Network, Walmart Inc., and Irving Oil Ltd. are among the province's biggest employers.

While the province's employment landscape includes notable sectors such as manufacturing and fisheries, jobs are largely concentrated in established industries. New Brunswick's minimum wage is $14.75 CAD per hour. Strong increases in population are expected to yield favourable economic results for the province in both 2023 and 2024.

For more information on job hunting in Canada, please visit our dedicated webpage here.

Education

In New Brunswick, the responsibility lies with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to manage the education system, which is spread out over seven school districts. These districts primarily differentiate based on whether they provide English or French curriculum. Both public and private schools exist within these districts.

The full-day kindergarten program is for children who turn five by December 31 of the corresponding school year. During their K-12 education, students follow a well-rounded curriculum that highlights literacy, numeracy, ethical practices, and international consciousness. The curriculum also includes schemes to enhance students' mental health and wellness. A search tool for school directories throughout the province is also available which can be accessed here.

There are several higher education institutions accessible in New Brunswick once students finish their K-12 education. Well-known universities such as the University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, and St. Thomas University are among these. Two community colleges, the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), also offer several diploma and certificate programs. Apprenticeship programs for individuals interested in skilled professions are also available in New Brunswick.

Note for international students that any educational institution you attend must be a Designated Learning Institution—the only schools in Canada that are permitted to accept international students.

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

Taxation

New Brunswick is recognised for some of Canada's most attractive income tax rates in Canada. Tax rates, like in the rest of the country, are income-dependent and range from 9.4% to 20.3%. The amalgamated provincial and federal tax rate lies between 24.4% and 53.3%.

Furthermore, New Brunswick, like some other Canadian provinces, operates under a Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) system. This means both provincial and federal taxes on goods and services are levied simultaneously. The existing HST rate in New Brunswick is 15%. According to the HST Act, tax rebates and credits apply to specific goods and services.

For further guidance on submitting your personal tax return in Canada, please visit our dedicated webpage here.

Newcomer Services

Like all other provinces and territories in Canada, New Brunswick provides settlement services for newcomers who immigrate there.

These services are funded at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. Your eligibility for these services depends on both your legal status in Canada, and who is funding the services you are trying to avail. While most settlement services are restricted to permanent residents and some temporary residents, it is advisable to contact your settlement organisation of choice to confirm eligibility.

For more information on settlement service providers in New Brunswick you can visit the provincial government’s dedicated webpage here.

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

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