Age-friendly communities

After chairing the Premier's Panel on Seniors and releasing the Living Healthy, Aging Well report, John turned to age-friendly communities as a critical focus toward a thriving New Brunswick.

While the prospect of a population increasingly dominated by older adults is often feared, John feels that change should be a watershed moment for the province's priority setting.

Realistically, New Brunswick and its Maritime neighbours need to undergo major change in order to maintain their celebrated quality of life. Despite that being no secret, the conversation often misses how joyful necessary change can be. Any traveller can regale friends with stories of the fantastic cities they’ve seen - places where people of all ages sit in plazas under umbrellas and amble through lively streets. Why should Maritimers have to go on vacation or move to a retirement community to experience fantastic city life?

Enlisting urbanist Gracen Johnson as a research and communication partner, John explored how demographic change could be the catalyst for a revisioning of the places we live.

The ongoing results of this effort are catalogued here.


Launched in 2011, The Andrews Initiative was conceived as an intellectual journey for mature learners (and anyone else) interested in exploring substantive subjects of current importance. In addition to its connection to lifelong learning, the Andrews Initiative supported several of the university's strategic goals. The Andrews Initiative was made possible through the bequest of J. William Andrews.

By featuring prominent subject experts drawn from international, national and local communities, the Andrews Initiative explored national and local communities and topics of relevance in the 21st century. Through a variety of formats, lectures, seminars, discussion groups and online, the Andrews Initiative stretched the mind and tested the intellect.

In 2003 John McLaughlin, President of the University of New Brunswick, launched Next NB/Avenir NB, an ambitious initiative to encourage New Brunswickers to talk to each other about the future of their province.

Between February 2004 and May 2005, Next NB/Avenir NB reached New Brunswickers, both near and far, through its public forums and its website. Journalist Lisa Hrabluk travelled around New Brunswick, talking and listening to its citizens. Next NB culminated in SeaChange/Métamorphose, a conference that brought together more than 200 of the province's most thoughtful and talented leaders from all walks of life.

Out of the initial two-year program many initiatives were born. The New Brunswick Business Council, a body of New Brunswick's leading CEOs who are committed to leading efforts to make a difference, is a legacy of Next NB/Avenir NB.