Alberta calling you? Ontario residents are fleeing the province in record numbers

The astronomical cost of living in Ontario is pushing residents to flee in the tens of thousands. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows interprovincial migration soared in the second quarter of 2022. Ontario talent is fleeing to more affordable regions like Alberta and Nova Scotia. It’s so bad that a Big Six bank warned investors that immigration had a harder time filling the void. Ontario has never seen people leave on this scale, as the province fails to attract young adults.

Ontario residents leave by the tens of thousands

Ontario residents are suddenly in a rush to move. The province saw more than 49,000 people leave for another province in the second quarter of 2022. The outflow was 77.6% higher than the previous quarter and 45.9% higher than the same quarter last year. last. Ontario has never seen so many people rushing out the door in a single quarter.

The trend is reaching levels of urgency. Nearly 125,000 Ontario residents left in the second quarter of 2022, up 54.7% from the previous year. Strong and increasing outflows are indicative of a perceived lack of opportunity. Expensive housing in one of the lowest-paying tech hubs in North America seemed like such a good pitch.

Ontario residents flee to other provinces in record numbers

The annual sum of interprovincial migrants leaving Ontario.

Source: Statistics Canada; Live better.

Ontario has never seen people leave at this rate before

The increase in outflows is a warning, often dismissed as less important than net interprovincial flows. This is the balance of entries from other provinces, minus the exits. Positive numbers are good — they show that more people are coming to a province than people are leaving. People are not only drawn to the province, they are also held there.

Negative numbers are bad news, as it means there are more departures than arrivals in a province. It can be fixed with immigration for a temporary fix, but it’s a long term problem that’s brewing. Immigrants end up seeing the same lack of opportunity as locals and also move on.

Ontario’s net interprovincial flows have never been so deeply negative. In the second quarter of 2022, the net outflow was 21,000 people, a new record in the limbo of the early 1980s recession. The annual net flow for the quarter was an outflow of over 47,200 people. This means that 47,200 more people left for other provinces than those who arrived during the 12 month period. Ontario has never seen it so badly, and it is accelerating.

Ontario residents are leaving and Canadians are not interested in settling there

The net flow of interprovincial migration in Ontario. Net flows are entries minus exits, the negative meaning that there are more departures than arrivals.

Source: Statistics Canada; Live better.

Noble Ontario Immigration Struggling To Solve This

BMO Capital Markets has warned investors of the seriousness of seasonally adjusted annualized net migration. Senior Economist Robert Kavcic wrote, “Net migration out of Ontario jumped at a rate of nearly 75,000 a year in the second quarter, the largest outflow on record – perhaps the ads from the Alberta operate?

Even Canada’s strong immigration will not be able to keep up with the deteriorating situation in Ontario. Kavcic adds, “At this rate, these outflows represent about 0.5 percentage points of Ontario’s population growth, eroding some of the gains seen through international migration. Remote work options elsewhere, low housing affordability in Ontario and lower taxes elsewhere are commonly cited as reasons.

Alberta is calling and Ontario is listening

Where is everyone going in Ontario? Alberta’s campaign to attract Ontario residents comes at the right time. The province welcomed 12,700 people fleeing Ontario in the second quarter of 2022, up 121 per cent from last year. The year ending this quarter saw Alberta gain nearly 31,600 residents from Ontario. It’s a release that hasn’t been seen in almost two generations. The recession and inflation crisis of the early 80s is the only period to beat in the last quarter. However, it is currently accelerating and may soon overtake it.

Other provinces are also benefiting from a wealth of Ontario talent, but not to the same extent. British Columbia (9,700 people) was a distant second in Q2 2022, which is a huge number for a quarter. However, that was still only three-quarters the size of the influx from Alberta. Quebec (7,100) and Nova Scotia (6,790) took third and fourth place respectively.

Where do Ontario residents move?

Interprovincial migration flows out of Ontario by province of destination during the 12-month period ending in Q2 2022.

Source: Statistics Canada; Live better.

Interprovincial outflows do not mean that Ontario’s population is decreasing, as mentioned earlier. However, they are indicative of an erosion of the quality of life, and lead to inequalities. Immigration may solve the problem temporarily, but remember, they move here for opportunities. If locals move for more opportunities, recently arrived immigrants will follow.

If you traveled to the other side of the world and saw people fleeing, would you continue to fix the problems of one province while the people looked for opportunities elsewhere? Probably not.

Joan J. Holland