Cape Breton-Unama’ki Economic & Population Growth Strategy


The landscape of Cape Breton-Unama’ki is changing. Innovative new businesses are appearing across the island, the international student population is growing at unprecedented rates, and traditional industries such as seafood and tourism are providing renewed growth. There is a sense of optimism in the air.

With Cape Breton-Unama’ki now home to new people, new projects and new experiences, there is a need for more. Cape Breton-Unama’ki deserves better. Our population is declining, our tax rates are higher than other regions of the country, our young people are continuing to move to find employment and there are tremendous barriers for underrepresented groups that prevent them from achieving their goals.

To overcome these challenges, everyone must work together. The Cape Breton Partnership is leading the development of a new integrated Cape Breton – Unama’ki Economic and Population Growth Strategy to help our region work together to grow Cape Breton-Unama’ki. For the first time in Cape Breton’s history, all municipal units and First Nation communities are coming together to support regional economic development initiatives through the Regional Enterprise Network model.

It is time to grow this opportunity and chart a course for our Creative Island.


The strategy is being led by the Cape Breton Partnership and includes a public stakeholder engagement process that will inform the priorities and direction of what will become Cape Breton-Unama’ki’s new economic and population growth strategy.

This strategy will build upon the work that has been done across the island and the province over the past several years to help create a more robust and resilient economy in Cape Breton-Unama’ki based upon collaboration, economic diversification, inclusive innovation-driven entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and retention.

The new strategy will further coordinate stakeholders and partners and provide a structure for working together towards the common goal of a thriving and prosperous Cape Breton-Unama’ki.


We want to know what you think about:

  • Driving inclusive growth – urban, rural, Mi’kmaw and newcomers – that is distributed fairly across society, creating opportunities for all.
  • Cluster development while revitalizing foundation industries to grow critical mass, strengthen capacity and leverage our advantages in key sectors, while ensuring sustainability in the fishery, agriculture and forestry sectors.
  • Supporting entrepreneurship, high-growth start-ups, small businesses and social enterprises while nurturing the innovation ecosystem and taking advantage of technological change.
  • Addressing infrastructure gaps in areas such as transportation, cellular service and broadband.
  • Leveraging major capital projects to optimize Island-wide advantage.
  • Addressing labour shortages and skills gaps that are impacting economic growth. This includes upskilling underemployed and disadvantaged groups, talent attraction and helping mid-career and older workers whose jobs may be threatened; and
  • Reversing population decline. Although there is much happening on this front, there is more to be done.


Over the coming weeks, the outreach and engagement process will include the following:

These multiple engagement channels will ensure that the strategy reflects a wide range of experiences, perspectives and solutions from the Island.

Create your own user feedback survey