My name is Meaghan Beale and I’m the Economic Analyst for 3plus Corporation. I’m very excited to begin this blog, which will highlight key aspects of the Southeast region’s economy.
First, let me tell you a bit about myself and why I love this region so much. I was born and raised in Moncton’s west-end, where I attended Bessborough School and Bernice MacNaughton High School. As a teen, I was involved in many extra-curriculars, community events, volunteer programs, and fundraisers. Immersing myself in the Greater Moncton community gave me a sense of purpose and allowed me to grow.
Like many young people, I decided to leave the region after graduating high school. I moved to Ottawa to attend Carleton University. There were plenty of exciting opportunities in Ottawa. I volunteered for a major political party, and eventually worked as a junior analyst for Statistics Canada. After completing my undergraduate degree, I decided to complete a master’s degree in economics at the University of Ottawa.
As I got closer to completing my master’s degree, I began thinking long-term. My apartment in Ottawa was starting to feel very small. Moving into a house with my better half was not an option. Even with good jobs, purchasing or renting a house in Ottawa was far too expensive. Then there was my commute. One hour (at least) each way, standing on the crowded 97 Airport bus. I was also starting to miss the sense of community I felt while living in a smaller region like Greater Moncton. Growing up I truly felt like I could make an impact in my community. In Ottawa, I felt like a cog in a very large machine.
I moved back to the East Coast immediately after graduating. I have not regretted this decision once. Despite the adage “you need to leave the Maritimes to find a good job”, I have found a wealth of opportunities and joy here.
My housing situation improved almost immediately. My partner and I bought a 3-bedroom house that cost less than most 1-bedroom condos in Ottawa. My commute, which used to cost me two hours per day, now costs 20 minutes. I’ve regained over 11 hours of my life every week. That’s like an entire work week every month. 572 hours per year. I can spend this time contributing to my community, or simply enjoying the region’s parks and beaches.
I am very excited to be working as an Economic Analyst at 3+. This position allows me to learn about the place I call home and share this knowledge with others. For example, did you know Southeast New Brunswick has actually gained jobs since the start of COVID-19 (nearly 8,000 jobs to be precise)? That there are more houses being built here than ever before? That over half the region’s population speaks both English and French?
This is certainly an exciting time to be a Southeast New Brunswicker. I look forward to using this blog to share the region’s economic progress and challenges. I hope you will join me.