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A new report from Statistics Canada reveals that almost 70,000 people left British Columbia last year, with more than half relocating to Alberta. The rising cost of living in B.C. is cited as a major factor behind this trend. B.C. resident Paula Spurr is among those who are choosing to move to Alberta due to financial constraints. She mentions housing insecurities and skyrocketing rent as key reasons for leaving Vancouver. B.C.’s neighbouring province launched the Alberta is Calling campaign in 2022 to attract more residents with promises of bigger paycheques and a lower cost of living.

For the first time in over a decade, more people moved out of B.C. to other provinces than moved into the province from elsewhere in Canada. This has raised concerns about the ability of British Columbia to offer its residents a quality of life that includes affordable housing and the opportunity to build their lives. B.C.’s population still grew in 2023 by more than 178,000 people, reaching a total of 5.6 million. Premier David Eby emphasizes the importance of ensuring that young people in B.C. see a future in the province where they can afford to raise a family and have access to essential services like affordable childcare and housing.

Paula Spurr and her partner, who both work, made the difficult decision to move to Alberta in search of a more affordable and sustainable lifestyle. While initially sad about leaving B.C., they are now looking forward to positive experiences in their new home. Spurr highlights the stark reality of their financial situation in Vancouver, where they struggled to afford basic necessities like meat due to high rental costs. They managed to find a better rental property in Alberta for the same price, offering a glimpse of hope for their future. However, the couple acknowledges the challenges that come with such a significant move.

The underlying issue of unaffordability in British Columbia is driving many residents to consider moving to other provinces in search of a better quality of life. The exodus of people from B.C. to Alberta reflects a broader trend of interprovincial migration that is raising concerns among policymakers and experts. Premier Eby stresses the need to support young people in B.C. so that they can envision a future in the province where they can thrive and build their lives. The increasing cost of living in Vancouver and other parts of B.C. is creating a barrier to economic stability and well-being for many residents, prompting them to seek opportunities elsewhere.

The Alberta is Calling campaign, aimed at attracting residents to Alberta with the promise of better financial prospects and a lower cost of living, has resonated with many British Columbians facing economic challenges. The initiative taps into the concerns of individuals like Paula Spurr who have experienced firsthand the difficulties of affording housing and basic necessities in B.C. The lure of better opportunities in Alberta, along with the allure of a more affordable lifestyle, has led to a significant number of people making the move across provincial borders. This shift in population dynamics underscores the urgent need for British Columbia to address the root causes of unaffordability and create a more sustainable environment for its residents.

In conclusion, the exodus of residents from British Columbia to other provinces like Alberta highlights the pressing issue of unaffordability in B.C. The high cost of living, particularly in cities like Vancouver, is forcing many individuals and families to reconsider their options and seek better opportunities elsewhere. The Alberta is Calling campaign and similar initiatives are attracting B.C. residents with promises of a more affordable lifestyle and better financial prospects. Premier Eby and other leaders emphasize the importance of supporting young people and families in B.C. to ensure that they can thrive and build their lives in the province. As policymakers grapple with the challenges of interprovincial migration and rising costs, there is a need for proactive measures to address the root causes of unaffordability and create a more sustainable future for all residents of British Columbia.

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