BC’s Job Minister ‘not surprised’ by Alberta’s campaign to recruit skilled workers | Radio NL

With phase two of a campaign enticing workers in BC and Ontario to move Alberta in full swing, British Columbia’s Jobs Minister says he isn’t surprised by the efforts of Alberta’s Premier.

Ravi Kahlon says he believes Premier Jason Kenney kicked off the “Alberta is Calling” Campaign, which highlights the “affordable lifestyle in Alberta,” partly due to the 14,0000 Albertans who moved to BC last year.

“We saw a significant number of people from Ontario and other provinces, but the province that we saw the largest net migration from was Alberta.”

“Last year, we had 100 thousand net people come to British Columbia, that is a record, we started collecting this data around 1962, and that is the highest number since 1962,” he explained.

“I think Premier Kenney has been seeing people leave, and he is doing what most premiers should do when they start seeing large numbers of people leaving. He is trying to find ways to entice them back. ”

Phase two of the Alberta is Calling campaign includes advertisements and billboards which are geared at recruiting people to the province. However, Kahlon suggests its a strategy that will not work.

“If you were selling a chocolate bar, ads would work, but you are talking about a major shift in people’s lives.”

While Kahlon acknowledges home prices are a challenge in “parts of British Columbia,” he suggests they have not been seeing people leave the province because of it.

“We have seen a lot of people shift from Metro-Vancouver to one of the suburb communities or to smaller communities throughout British Columbia,” he said.

Kahlon attributes the protections for workers, and the strong economy in BC has helped to attract and retain skilled employees.

“One of the most important things I think, is we (BC) put in strong protections for workers, we brought in 5 paid sick days and no other province has got that,” he said.

“All these things are helping attract people, and quite frankly we need to continue to attract more people because we already have more jobs than people and we know that is going to be a challenge for the years ahead.”

As for whether or not BC would consider launching a campaign similar to “Alberta is Calling,” Kahlon says “BC has been calling for the last few years.”

“And people have been picking up and answering, so our hope is that we continue to do that work. We are not going to rely on advertisement campaigns, but we are relying on word getting out through the good work that has been happening here in British Columbia. ”

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