Saint John is…

Discussing the benefits of a diverse and inclusive population growth strategy

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In This Episode

Diversity in our communities continues to be a path to success whether it’s for economic, cultural or lifestyle purposes. Today, we’re excited to share a wonderful conversation we had with Jennifer Waldshutz and Lina Gharbiya who both work to bring and support Newcomers to the city of Saint John, NB. We even get a chance to view the Saint John is.. video completed in partnership with Hemmings House.

This conversation helps to highlight all the opportunities that exist in Saint John, NB for Newcomers, but also speaks to the bigger topic of what municipalities can do in order to encourage and support the growth and diversity of their population.




Episode Breakdown

First 10 Minutes
Dave and Greg introduce us to Jennifer and Lina who both work with the welcoming new comers to the Saint John region. 

10 Minutes – 20 Minutes
We talk about the “Saint John is” video that Hemmings House just completed and the goal of using that material for encouraging people to move to Saint John.

20 Minutes – 30 Minutes
The group talks about choosing Saint John as a location to live and the benefits of choosing where you live. The group talks about the nuances that happen when living in Saint John.  The group discusses the changes that have happened over the years and what support systems exist now for Newcomers.

30 Minutes – 40 Minutes
The group talks about how to get in touch and what they hope will happen moving forward with Saint John.

Jennifer Waldshutz

Jennifer Waldshutz

Population Growth Officer, City of Saint John

My employer is The City of Saint John. I have joined the Population Growth and Community Development Services Team. This position involves strategic recruitment travel across Canada and Internationally in collaboration with Saint John employers, Economic Development Greater Saint John (EDGSJ), Develop SJ, Discover Saint John, Settlement Services and other partners. Locally my focus is on community building ensuring everyone who lives in Saint John feels welcome and has a sense of belonging. Retention initiatives assisting in matching people with employment opportunities is an example of the support I provide in my role.

From May 2009 to May 2019, I was employed with the University of New Brunswick as an International Student Recruiter for UNB Fredericton & UNB Saint John. I assisted international students with learning about what Canadian University education has to offer, why The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is particularly special, assisted in navigating the UNB application process, consultated with students/families/guidance counsellors/agents/stakeholders, and facilitated pre-departure events in person or via Skype. During my employment at UNB I was responsible for the regions of Africa, India, the Middle East, Latin America, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and on occasion when required the United States of America.

I also enjoy event planning and am often interested in volunteering and assisting with projects and events especially involving Arts and Music.

About City of Saint John

Saint John, New Brunswick – Canada’s Original City – was incorporated 1785 and has grown into a historically-rich and culturally diverse city.

The city is home to an “uptown” core, where historic buildings dot the banks of the St. John River and the Saint John Harbour – the Bay of Fundy is our front door. A city of neighbourhoods, our citizens enjoy a unique quality of life with an abundance of housing options, a thriving arts and cultural community and easy access to a variety of exceptional recreational facilities and green spaces.

Saint John is centrally located on the southern New Brunswick Coast on the beautiful Bay of Fundy. Spanning 316.31 km2 (or 122.1 sq mi) Saint John is the largest city in New Brunswick with a population of approximately 67,000.

Lina Gharbiya

Lina Gharbiya

Anglophone Newcomer Settlement Advisor

Lina Gharbiya moved to Saint John from Halifax in 1994 to enroll for her studies at the University of New Brunswick. She has been involved with newcomers for the past twenty years, guiding them through and helping them settle in. Lina studied Data Analysis with a minor in Business at UNBSJ, and worked in taxes as a Quality Controller for over ten years. For the past fifteen years, Lina volunteered at various schools, community centres, and hospitals. She has four wonderful children, the older two are in UNBF and UNBSJ and the other two keep her busy all the time with their non-stop activities.

Lina believes that working at the Newcomers Centre is the perfect way to develop her passion for helping, guiding and supporting newcomers. She also believes the Centre’s workshops, sessions, and events to be the best platform for newcomers to make connections in the Greater Saint John area. 

About Saint John Newcomers Centre

A go-to place for all newcomers to Saint John. Helping you to settle down and integrate into the local community.