Bringing people back to the province and keeping them here was at the heart of Liberal Leader Andrew Furey's latest campaign stop in St. Anthony.
Furey, along with St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows candidate Krista Lynn Howell, unveiled a plan they’re calling Come Home Year 2022.
As the name suggests, the plan would promote tourism opportunities, while also hoping to bring ex-pats back to the province.
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The plan would be to do this by capitalizing on the potential of opportunities and the resources that are available in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We have a highly marketable product — fresh air, beautiful landscape, welcoming people and a wealth of opportunity here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Furey stated in a news release.
That would entail attempting to maximize assets like high-quality education, investment opportunities and its current tourism product.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it is possible to reliably work from home, and the province hopes to capitalize on that by encouraging people to return.
“I think any opportunity that advances accessibility in this region, anything that makes use closer to the rest of the world … anything that promotes our lifestyle and the way we do things here, is certainly beneficial,” said Howell. “All of these things combined and the platforms that have been released, they’re all relevant to the people on the Great Northern Peninsula and this is the way we have to move in the future.”
We have a highly marketable product in Newfoundland and Labrador - fresh air, beautiful landscape, welcoming people, and...Posted by Andrew Furey on Wednesday, January 27, 2021
To help with this, the government would create several one-stop online portals in various communities. They would include things like StudyNL, InvestNL, ImmigrateNL, ExploreNL, CreateNL and RetireNL.
There are also plans to expand on the province’s already robust tourism campaigns to target specific groups, while also completing a review of the local labour market and identifying any gaps found.
“I think by the summer of 2022, well, the whole year of 2022 … there are so many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians around the globe that are just anxious and ready to come home and I think we need to welcome them with open arms, and we’re going to promote that as such,” said Furey.
Nicholas Mercer is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering central Newfoundland for SaltWire Network.