News at the University of New Brunswick

Frank McKenna gives 1 million to help grow the Miramichi Economy

Author: Communications

Posted on May 28, 2011

Category: myUNB

Frank McKennaMiramichi entrepreneurs are being given the opportunity to grow their businesses, thanks to a significant gift made by Frank McKenna today.

Mr. McKenna, Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group and former premier of New Brunswick, announced a funding contribution of $1 Million for the Miramichi region in a speech to the Miramichi Chamber of Commerce and the Wallace McCain Institute for Business Leadership at the University of New Brunswick today.  The gift is being made to fund the growth of technology companies in the region. 

“I owe the Miramichi enormously,” said Mr. McKenna.  “The Miramichi was extremely supportive of me and my family, both personally and politically.  I have been deeply saddened in recent years by the economic blows the region has experienced from the closure of much of its resource sector.”

Mr. McKenna says he’s thought long and hard about what I could do that would bring the most benefit to the region and concluded that helping to create a new economic base in the Miramichi, based on knowledge and technology, would truly be a ‘gift that keeps on giving’. 

“I am hoping that this gift will be a force multiplier - firstly, through the creation of a fund that has the potential to be self-perpetuating as successful companies return equity to the fund; and secondly, by showing faith in the region and its entrepreneurs and, hopefully, attracting co-investors to help stimulate additional economic growth,” said Mr. McKenna.  “In short, this gift is an expression of gratitude to the Miramichi and a demonstration of confidence in its ability to diversify its economy.”

The goal is to financially assist, each year, two to five Miramichi companies with an exportable technology product or service and a sustainable business plan. The participants will also gain knowledge and experience through the Wallace McCain Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leaders Program (ELP). 

Eddy Campbell, UNB president, says our greatest resource in New Brunswick is our people, and investments in our people are what will help make us a smarter province.

“This investment being made by Frank McKenna will help create more jobs, grow more businesses and contribute to helping the overall economy in the Miramichi area,” said Dr. Campbell.  “These are the type of investments that need to be made to create a smarter province.” 

Applications for funding will be accepted by Enterprise Miramichi this summer and the first round of funding will be invested in companies near the end of this year.

For more information contact:

Nancy Mathis, Wallace McCain Institute for Business Leadership, at, or (506) 721-3820.