CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - With immigration driving population growth in P.E.I., the province’s first arrival of 2018 seems rather fitting.
Kaixin Wang was born at 6:41 a.m. Jan. 1 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.
The healthy baby girl, weighing in at five pounds and 14 ounces, is the first child of proud parents Shenyan Jiang and Tengfei Wang, both 29, of Stratford.
The pair of Chinese immigrants is eager to raise a family – Wang wants two more children – on Prince Edward Island.
Immigration has been key to helping the Island population top 152,000 in 2017 with the government setting a goal of reaching 160,000 by 2022.
Jiang, of course, is simply thrilled to welcome her first child into the world. Having the distinction of giving birth to Prince Edward Island’s first baby of 2018 is a lovely bonus.
“It’s really special for me,’’ she says.
Her husband Wang calls the birth of his daughter coming on New Year’s Day “very exciting.’’
Jiang’s mother travelled from Beijing two weeks ago to be on hand for the birth of her first grandchild.
The due date was Jan. 16, so the wait was shorter than anticipated.
“She is really happy,”Jiang says, interpreting for her mother, who does not speak English.
Both Jiang and her husband work at Maid Marians restaurant in Charlottetown, but Jiang plans to take one-year maternity leave.
The decision to raise a family in P.E.I., notes Jiang, is simple enough.
“I like it here – quiet,’’ she says.
Prince County’s first baby of 2018 is Roman Murray Alan Smallman.
Roman was born at Prince County Hospital on New Year’s Day at 4:37 p.m.