New Brunswick Tribune

On Ukraine’s ‘opportunities,’ New Brunswick treads carefully

New Brunswick treads carefully on 'opportunities' in Ukraine.

Key Takeaways:

  • As it tries to join the conversation about Ukraine, New Brunswick is walking a fine line.
  • The overwhelming global sentiment has been to assist Ukrainians who are suffering from Russia’s invasion and to lessen the war’s economic impact.

New Brunswick is treading a fine line as it tries to join the conversation about Ukraine.

Officials are discussing the possibility of expediting refugee immigration applications to the province. Politicians are emphasizing how Canadian oil as well as gas, which passes through Saint John, could help Europe reduce its reliance on Russia.

However, everyone is treading carefully so as not to appear overly opportunistic.

“I think you have to be very careful not to appear to be profiting from a bad situation like what’s going on in Ukraine,” said David Campbell, an economic development consultant.

“However, there will be victorious.”

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The overwhelming global sentiment has been to assist Ukrainians who are suffering due to the Russian invasion and reduce the war’s economic damage.

But there’s a further sentiment out there, tentatively, gingerly: the concept that certain jurisdictions might find an upside.

“There are opportunities because there are products, diversions, as well as new supply chains that require to be established,” said Tristan Evans of the International Trade Council in Washington, which includes Opportunities New Brunswick as a member.

Joel DeWolfe, the investment attraction manager for ONB, the provincial govt’s economic development agency, spoke at the council’s international panel discussion last week.

Many panelists were from neighboring countries like Moldova, Estonia, and Turkey. Two Ukrainian officials were also present.

Evans acknowledged that New Brunswick might have seemed like an “outlier” and “out of place” on a panel dominated by Ukraine’s Eastern European neighbors.

New Brunswick treads carefully on 'opportunities' in
New Brunswick treads carefully on ‘opportunities’ in Ukraine. Image from

However, he claimed that ONB, a council member, responded to a call for participants and also was chosen as “representative of a smaller organization representing a province that could be fundamentally impacted as a result of this war.”

Despite this, DeWolfe provided few details about what New Brunswick might offer.

DeWolfe stated New Brunswick was “looking at this from several angles” when questioned by the moderator for his thoughts “on how we can help right now.”

He mentioned that Canada was speeding up the emigration process for Ukrainians.

He also suggested that the Canadian government and banks follow the lead of COVID-19 in adopting policies that give companies affected by supply chain disruptions more “flexibility” in paying their bills.

An interview request was declined, but ONB said in an email that it welcomed “any chance to talk about our partnerships at any levels of govt and in private industry.”

Source: Global News

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