A new zero-sum game

I think this is going to turn into a major zero-sum game.

Saskatchewan is spending $6 million on a campaign to recruit in-migrants from Alberta and other parts of Canada. Alberta is spending a pile to attract workers from Atlantic Canada (you remember the MoveWest initiative). Nova Scotia has a in-migrant campaign. New Brunswick ostensibly has one.

Canada-wide if the economy needs – let’s use a nice round number – one million workers – just spending taxpayer dollars to move people around Canada is not the right way to go – particularly because it is now leading to shortages in the out-migrant locations and more money put into the pot to reverse the trend.

$6 million is a lot of money for an advertising campaign.

I think there needs to be a national discussion on this – maybe the Premier’s council should take it on.

Nationally, the focus should be on immigration and maybe a little more focus on bringing back Canadians living abroad. This is what Waterloo, Ontario is doing in California. I don’t know the total tally but there must be several million Canadians living abroad (remember Lebanon).

Now, this is naive comment on my part. The reality is that Canada’s provinces are likely to increase – not decrease – their inter-provincial people attraction activities. And, if so, New Brunswick has to stop diddling and get into the game. However, see about two dozen previous posts, these activities must be tied directly to real jobs and real careers. Just saying ‘come home’ means nothing.

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