As I start my new role as the Economic Analyst at 3Plus, I would like to share a little about myself, and where I come from, in order for you to get to know me and not feel like I am a stranger when you are reading my reports or joining the webinars I will be giving as part of my work here.

As many of you might have guessed from my name, I am an immigrant. I had the chance to be invited by the Province of New Brunswick to apply to be a Permanent Resident of Canada with my family, thanks to one of the Provincial Nomination Streams. I come from Colombia, and as many other immigrants here, I wanted to give my children the opportunity to live in a country like Canada, where there are many more opportunities and a better quality of life.

Just to give you an idea about Bogota, the city where we used to live, it is home to almost 9 million people, the average commute time is around one hour, its air quality is very poor, and the weather is relatively mild with an average temperature of 19°C year around, given that it is high on the mountains. So, when we got the approval from IRCC, we didn’t waste any time packing and flying to our next big adventure. And let me tell you, it has been amazing, rewarding and fulfilling. We love the people, the short commute, the beautiful trails, the national parks that are less than an hour away, the local markets, and the peacefulness. Greater Moncton is the perfect place to raise a family.

But, maybe, something that would be a little more difficult to guess is that I am actually a biologist. When I was finishing high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in science, but I was not totally sure which one to choose, so I just went with biology because I love nature. I am always in awe when I think about this tiny little planet where we live, that by pure chance is at the right distance from the sun, has a tilted axis and a molten metallic core. Really random ingredients that give it the possibility of having an explosion of life, green and blue.

I worked as an ecological researcher for a couple of years, but I realized that I was more interested in understanding issues between human communities and their environment, than studying animals or trees, and that lead me into Economics. Although, I was not sure that I was going to like the Economic Sciences, because they were social sciences, and social sciences were mostly focused on qualitative research, right? Whereas my mind was totally quantitative… what is the hypothesis, what are the data, what is the model, and what statistical analysis I was going to use to test the hypothesis.

In the end, it turned out Economics was quantitative, and it even had new mathematical methods I could learn like econometrics! I was a happy camper.  I worked for a few years in environmental economics, and then I decided I wanted to understand how sustainable economic development happened… how could you increase the economic output as well as the wellbeing in a community in a sustainable way, improving the quality of life of everyone and at the same time promoting a good and healthy environment to live in. That is what I did for some years with regional governments and communities in the Amazon and that is what I want to help achieve here in my new community.

So, thank you 3Plus for giving me the opportunity of doing just that, and I hope you all will be joining me in this new journey, as sustainable economic development is something that we all make happen, together.


Maria Adelaida Fernandez. Ph.D.
Economic Analyst, 3Plus