02/10/2016 03:45 EST | Updated 02/10/2017 05:12 EST

Brian Gallant, Atlantic Premiers Tell Feds Status Quo Not An Option

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the status quo is not an option as Atlantic Canada faces potentially crippling economic challenges.

Still, he says a meeting today with his Atlantic counterparts and federal ministers -- all Liberals -- is cause for optimism.

The premiers are asking Ottawa for more investment to help create jobs and support aging populations.

brian gallant

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant answers a question at a meeting of the Atlantic premiers Wednesday in Fredericton. (Photo: James West/CP)

They're also hopeful that promised infrastructure funding in the next federal budget will kick-start new projects and attract younger workers.

Canada is aging as a whole but the Atlantic region is greying faster than the rest of the country.

Economists have warned of worsening consequences over the next decade if the region can't replenish labour forces through new investments and immigration.

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In Photos: Brian Gallant