FREDERICTON -- A new report says if Atlantic Canada wants to solve its economic and demographic problems, it must become more than a stopover for immigrants.

The report entitled "The People Imperative" will be released Wednesday at a one-day summit on immigration and revitalization, being held in Fredericton.

Nova Scotia has a five-year immigrant retention rate of 72 per cent, while Newfoundland and Labrador is at 56 per cent, New Brunswick is at 52 per cent, and P.E.I. is at just 18 per cent.

No province outside Atlantic Canada has a retention rate below 80 per cent for the 2011 to 2015 time period.

Frank McKenna, former premier and Canadian ambassador to the United States, says a time bomb is going off in that Atlantic Canada's population is not just declining, but it's aging as well.

He says more must be done to attract and retain immigrants, and that includes providing more services such as language training, and getting more employers involved.

The summit kicks off a three-year research project on Atlantic revitalization.