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Ontario municipality combats Alberta’s campaign to lure workers West in ‘friendly response’

April 5, 2023
The Canadian Press

A screenshot from the website set up in 2022 by the Alberta government to tout the benefits of moving to the province.
By Pam Wright, The Chatham Voice

Before you go west young man (or woman), take a minute and have a deeper look at Chatham-Kent, Ontario.

That’s the “friendly response” of a marketing campaign developed by Chatham-Kent to counter Alberta’s current Canada-wide recruiting blitz to draw residents to relocate there.

The province is currently running ads on various social media channels and radio promoting what Alberta has to offer — including its hot job market.

In rebuttal, Chatham-Kent Economic Development is set to run radio ads in Calgary for two weeks, showcasing the reasons why Ontario — specifically Chatham-Kent — is a great place to live, work and play.


Stuart McFadden, director of economic development, said Chatham-Kent is on the grow and the municipality has plans to ramp up its own recruitment efforts.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in interest from people looking to move to Chatham-Kent from the rest of Ontario, from across Canada and globally,” McFadden said. “Our community offers a unique blend of rural and urban living, access to world-class amenities, logistics and is extremely welcoming to businesses of all sizes.”

Chatham-Kent Mayor concurs, noting Chatham-Kent is “the fastest growing community in Canada” and the needle has finally moved with population growth reversing a long trend of dropping population numbers that included an exodus of young people to the West.

Canniff said that when local officials heard the Alberta ads, we knew we had to issue a response to letting Albertans know Chatham-Kent is a great place to call home.

“We have a thriving local economy, very affordable housing and a strong sense of community,” Canniff said. “We encourage all Ontarians to explore their options before making a move. If you’re going to move somewhere, it makes sense to put Chatham-Kent at the top of your list.”

Sandi Weir and John Chase are two of the people who have heard Chatham-Kent’s call. They recently relocated to Merlin from Scarborough and say they are “loving everything about” moving here.

“This is so much better than the big city,” Weir told The Voice. She said the couple took possession of their home on February 15 and are getting ready to tend their new garden.

“We don’t even know what we have in there yet,” Weir said. “But we’re looking forward to it.”

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