'Hey Alberta, no!': Chatham-Kent goes on the defensive against campaign luring workers to the west
In response to Alberta ads encouraging Ontario residents to head west — the Municipality of Chatham-Kent has launched a counter campaign reminding local workers how good they have it in Southwestern Ontario.
“It's meant to be a fun thing to say, ‘no hang on! Chatham-Kent has everything and I believe more,” Mayor Darrin Canniff told CTV News Thursday.
The municipality has launched “Why CK” as a result of radio ads now being broadcast on local radio stations.
“I heard it, I'm thinking, ‘is this an advertisement for Ontario and Chatham Kent?’” Canniff said when he first found out about the ad campaign.
Earlier this month, Alberta rolled out phase two of their “Alberta is Calling” campaign in nine Ontario municipalities including Windsor and Chatham.
“They’ll see transit ads, billboards (and) they're going to hear radio ads,” Brian Jean, Alberta’s minister of jobs, economy and northern development, said at a news conference on March 13. “We targeted these (municipalities) because of the high unemployment, but also because of the type of skilled trades they have.”
Jean said at the time the government is spending $5 million on the campaign to lure workers from Ontario and the Maritimes to move to Alberta for a new career and a new life.
“We have nearly 100,000 rewarding jobs ready and available in a variety of high demand sectors, including skilled trades, health care, accounting, engineering, technology, but also in the service and tourism sector,” said Jean.
He said phase one of the campaign — in summer 2022 — lured nearly 33,000 people to move to Alberta.
“We have an excellent quality of life and an affordable lifestyle in every corner of this great and amazing province,” said Jean.
“We're looking (at the campaign) and saying, ‘hang on here. We have all those opportunities,’” said Canniff. “Every opportunity mentioned in there — we have those opportunities too.”
Canniff won’t say how much their commercial cost to produce or broadcast but did say it’s nowhere near the $5 million Alberta is spending across Canada.
Canniff noted the weather here is far better than the west, using Edmonton as an example.
”If you look at their average low for the year is -1C,” said Canniff. “So if you like cold temperatures, Alberta might be for you.”
While conceding Alberta does have the Rocky Mountains, Canniff noted no matter where you live in Chatham-Kent, you’re only 20 minutes from a beach.
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