Fredericton (August 26, 2020) – A Liberal government would prioritize the cybersecurity sector for economic growth to build on the momentum the province had gained in the field, prior to 2018.
“This is a huge opportunity for New Brunswick for new, sustainable economic growth,” Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers said. “However efforts to grow this industry have stalled under Blaine Higgs. We need to attract new companies and anchor companies to New Brunswick in cybersecurity and to do that we need to show a lot more hustle than we’ve seen under the Conservatives when it comes to growing the new economy and this sector in particular.”
Cybersecurity is a sector of increasing important worldwide as we become increasingly reliant on computer systems and networks that need to be properly protected and secured.
Vickers pointed out that New Brunswick has an advantage over other regions in this field, with a highly trained workforce, and the ecosystem in place for companies to set up shop, like the cyber centre in Fredericton’s Knowledge Park.
“We’ve built a well-deserved great reputation in the IT sector, starting with companies like Radian6 and Q1 labs. Specifically in the cybersecurity sector companies like Bulletproof have helped enhance that reputation. We have the trained labour here, we have the infrastructure in place like the centre for excellence. We have world-renowned experts at UNB. We have a leg up but we need to capitalize on this advantage or others will overtake us very quickly.”
Vickers said he will work together with industry leaders, community leaders and the academic community to attract companies to set up shop in New Brunswick.
Vickers referenced the efforts made under the McKenna government to grow the contact centre industry in New Brunswick.
“It was a new emerging industry back then, like cybersecurity today, and the New Brunwsick government aggressively pursued new business and worked hard to establish the province as a world leader in this industry. It worked and today that industry employs 19,000 New Brunwsickers and contributes $1,5 billion to our economy each year. If we show the same hustle today as we did back then I believe cybersecurity could have even a greater positive impact on the province’s economy.”
“It is estimated that worldwide, there will be 1.8 million new jobs in the cybersecurity sector by 2022. We want a piece of that pie. This is an industry where entry level jobs have starting salaries of $75,000 to $80,000. Imagine what a positive impact this could have on the province’s economy. We need to find new ways to grow the economy and this is the perfect opportunity for us I believe.
“This isn’t about getting the New Brunswick economy back to pre-pandemic levels. That economy was one of the weakest in Canada and I have much greater ambitions for New Brunswick than that. We need to roll up our sleeves and get to work, and I will make growing the cybersecurity sector a real priority for New Brunswick. The Higgs government has done nothing more than pay lip service to this industry and that’s not good enough if we are going to transform our province’s economy.”