The importance of being a ‘metro’

A few years back people started to refer to Greater Moncton as ‘metro’ Moncton. This got on a few people’s nerves for two reasons: 1) they had spent years cultivating the brand of Greater Mocnton and 2) there is a technical definition for a ‘metropolitan’ area in Canada and Moncton does not meet the requirements – at least not now.

In fact, as of the 2006 Census, Greater Moncton will officially become a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and officially be a ‘metro’ area in Canada. I won’t bore you with the technical elements of how a CMA gets defined except to say it has mostly to do with the density of population in the urban core and nothing to do with municipal boundaries.

Becoming a CMA has significant implications for Greater Moncton. First, Statistics Canada and other research organizations prepare a whole raft of statistics and reports on CMA areas and do not for CA (Census Agglomeration) areas such as Fredericton, Charlottetown, etc. This puts Moncton on the map – which is critically important as the community will start showing up in all kinds of reports with Toronto, Calgary, Halifax, etc.

Secondly, U.S. companies looking at establishing in Canada many times will restrict their community review to metropolitan areas – until 2006, that would automatically exclude Moncton.

Thirdly, after 2006, when people refer to ‘metro’ Moncton – they will technically be correct.