"What did the Albertan say to the Torontonian? You're hired." That's one of the ads of Alberta's new "Alberta Is Calling" campaign, which was announced this week.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the campaign at a press conference on Monday, calling it an effort "to tell the rest of Canada about why Alberta is calling." Despite his statement, this new advertising campaign is launching only in Toronto and Vancouver, and seeks to attract talent from those markets to Alberta.
Other posters with witty statements were visible behind Kenney as he announced the campaign. "Bigger paycheques. Smaller rent cheques", read one. "A shorter commute to a bigger house", read another.
Each of the slogans pokes a little fun at the well-publicized housing and affordability problems in Toronto and Vancouver, while contrasting those problems with the benefits of Alberta.
The campaign's new, smooth, website continues that, and includes many factoids about Alberta and more witty comments. "Find things you'd never expect. Like a centrally located house you can afford", reads the Affordability section of the site. The section goes on to highlight the province's 0% sales tax, 0¢/L fuel tax, and average rent price of $1,266. "In Edmonton, you can own four homes for the same price as one in Vancouver", the site also points out.
"It's mountain time somewhere", kicks off the Lifestyle section, which highlights Calgary's high ranking when it comes to the world's most livable cities, as well as the province's abundance of sun and mountains.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Careers section, which perhaps has the wittiest slogan: "A software developer, nurse and plumber walk into a province. They all get jobs." Alberta has a high demand for jobs in tech, healthcare, and skilled trades, and offers the "highest median after-tax income in Canada", according to the site, at $72,500. Ontario is listed next at $66,600, followed by British Columbia, at $65,700.
"Over the past three years, Alberta has seen growth in sectors including film and television, technology, agriculture, renewable energy, aviation and logistics. This diversification means that job seekers have more opportunity to expand their skillsets and succeed in their chosen field", a Province of Alberta news release said.
Whether it's affordability, lifestyle, or jobs, various studies and reports exist that back up the province's claims.
A March 2022 report by the Frontier Centre For Public Policy and the Urban Reform Institute on international housing affordability named Edmonton as one of the most affordable cities in the world. It also named Vancouver as one of the least.
A 2016 Census report found that while workers in Toronto and Vancouver spent an average of 34.0 and 29.7 minutes commuting to work, workers in Edmonton and Calgary spent an average of just 25.9 and 26.5 minutes. Adding the commute home, and considering the number of days each year people have to work, the saved time can add up to a more relaxed lifestyle.
On the issue of employment, a Business Council of Alberta analysis from July found that 78% of businesses in Alberta identified themselves in June 2022 as having a labour shortage. That number was at just 52% in July 2021.
While announcing the campaign this week, Kenney hinted at each of these three things, as well as the mission that's driving the campaign.
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan has been so effective in growing the economy that we are now facing a shortage of skilled workers across several sectors. Fortunately, Alberta has among the best opportunities and the highest quality of life in Canada, so we’re excited to make our case to Canadians, and let the facts speak for themselves. This campaign will show Canadians in major cities the amazing life that awaits them in Alberta", Kenney added.