Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why Calgary is not attractive to migrants anymore

According to CBC News, the flow of people from other provinces to Alberta has slowed down considerably. In-fact, a lot of folks have moved back to their respective provinces. In addition to that, numerous families are transplanting themselves in less expensive places like Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

One of the major reasons for this slowdown is the insanely expensive real estate in Calgary (and Alberta as a whole). Here are some of the comments that people have left on a website relating to Alberta's soon to be bust;

"This Province has seen an amazing boom over the years,
but unless you are getting an amazing amount of money,
it is to the point where it's not affordable to live here anymore.
Not everybody is making it rich from the oil industry.
A lot of people are struggling just to make ends meet"

There is no doubt that the cost of living in Calgary has risen quite a bit, for some folks, disproportionately to their income. The city has done it's part to raise municipal taxes to suck out the last hard-earned dollar from the labourer.

Some people have also complained that us westerners - that is, the folks from the Canadian West - have not been very welcoming and friendly, even though we tout our western hospitality. There is a lot of truth to that as well.

A comment from another reader points to the regional animosity between central and western Canadians;

"Alberta has developed a strong hatred to people who
come from other provinces. I think that they prefer
minorities from third world countries that they can
pay only minimum wages and give all the really menial
jobs to. Canadian from other provinces know how much
their labour is worth. Third world labourers don't.
Do I think they are predjudiced? Yes.
Are Alberta companies really cheap? Absolutely!"

Well I'm not sure if hatred is the right word here, but there sure is a lot of resentment from the past when central Canada had all the goodies and provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan were dirt poor and had slogans like, "The West wants in.."

Since Canada does not have the problem of illegal immigration like the United States, Canadian companies look to these so-called "Third World" countries to provide them with workers in the form of immigrants and refugees. Alberta companies are cheap no doubt, but so are Canadians, who are too selfish to have kids and establish families, and Alberta is the largest offender in this regard, (but that's another topic for a future blog post).

I hope that Calgary does not lose it's status as a city where anything is possible and where folks come to realize their big dreams. And in order for that distinction to be maintained, the large, and ever-increasing divide between the rich and poor will have to be narrowed so all of us, in this Heart of the New West, can live a fulfilling life.

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