Alberta comes calling again

Wide open spaces. Majestic mountains. Cheap housing. Alberta is marketing itself as the new land of opportunity to East Coasters.

Driving the news: After luring thousands of Canadians from Ontario and BC last summer with a smashingly successful “Alberta is Calling” campaign, the province is now rolling out radio ads and billboards in Atlantic Canada to attract new workers from out east.

  • In the third quarter of 2022, almost 20,000 more Canadians moved to Alberta than left it—the highest net interprovincial gain in the country.

  • Alberta’s Jobs, Economy and Northern Development Minister, Brian Jean, says there are currently over 100,000 job vacancies in the province.

Why it matters: For Ontarians, Alberta was an easy pitch: housing is more affordable, the overall cost of living is lower, and there’s high demand for workers. But while 130,000 people have left Ontario in the last year, the second-most popular destination was Atlantic Canada.

  • The average house price in Edmonton last year was about $390,000, compared with around $252,000 and $381,000 in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, respectively.

  • Wages in Alberta also tend to be higher than they are out east, but real estate markets in Atlantic provinces have proven to be slightly more resilient

The Alberta government may be trying to outcompete the East Coast with its economic pitch, but analysts still think Atlantic Canada will see net gains in terms of migration flows both this year and next. In the competition for labour, the East Coast won’t go down without a fight.