Ontarians are fleeing for Alberta, followed by residents in BC, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan
Ontarians are fleeing for Alberta, followed by residents in BC, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan

Ontario reported the largest share of residents ditching their home province for Alberta in 2022.

Of last year’s top 10 provincial migration patterns, Ontario found itself on the list six times — in each instance, as residents fled for another province. 

A net of 22,921 Ontarians moved to Alberta, marking the highest provincial migration shift among all provinces. Alberta was followed by Nova Scotia, with 10,464 Ontarians calling the province their new home. 

BC residents are also leaving for Alberta — 10,418 more than Albertans who moved to BC.

Alberta Jobs, Economy and Northern Development Minister Brian Jean said Alberta is calling and many are answering the call. 

“Our province continues to welcome people to experience the Renewed Alberta Advantage – being part of a highly skilled workforce with an affordable, exceptional lifestyle,” he told True North.

Earlier this month, the Alberta government announced it would launch a second iteration of its Alberta is Calling campaign to attract more skilled workers from Ontario and Atlantic Canada — even after Ontario Premier Doug Ford told Alberta Premier Danielle Smith he’s not a fan of the advertisements.

In a keynote speech to Alberta Enterprise Group members on March 2, Smith said Ford told her he didn’t like the Alberta is Calling campaign.

“I said ‘I betcha don’t, but we’re going to keep doing it because it’s working,’” she told the crowd.

The first iteration of the campaign, which ran in summer 2022, targeted skilled labour workers living in Toronto and Vancouver. The second campaign seeks to attract Canadians living in the Maritimes and parts of Ontario, including London, Hamilton, Windsor, and Sudbury.

Jean also said two-thirds of Alberta’s net interprovincial migration occurred after the launch of the Alberta is Calling campaign in August.

“More than 4.6 million people now call Alberta home,” he said. “Thanks to Alberta’s growing population, employers are making progress towards filling vacant full-time positions as workers migrate to Alberta to find good-paying jobs with higher wages than the rest of the country.”

Another net of 8,950 Ontarians moved to BC, while net 4,953 Manitobans and net 3,883 Saskatchewan residents left for Alberta, respectively.

Mike Moffat, a founding Director of PLACE Centre which creates policy solutions for more liveable communities, said the numbers should be a “wake up call” for progressives. 

“Families have decided they either can’t, or won’t, make a go of it in our largest cities,” he wrote on Twitter. “That they’ve voted with their feet to go elsewhere.”

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