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Province of Alberta reaching out to the rest of Canada for skilled workers


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Alberta is calling again

A second Alberta is Calling campaign is launching to attract more skilled workers from across Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Alberta’s economy continues to grow and diversify, creating rewarding jobs across industries and the province, including in high-demand sectors like skilled trades, health care, food service and hospitality, accounting, engineering and technology. Alberta workers continue to have the highest earnings across all provinces. As more jobs are created, businesses need more skilled workers.

In summer 2022, Alberta’s government launched the Alberta is Calling campaign to help address labour shortages across industries throughout the province. The first campaign targeted Canadians living in Toronto and Vancouver, while this second campaign turns its attention to Canadians living in the Maritimes and parts of Ontario, including London, Hamilton, Windsor and Sudbury.

The campaign highlights Alberta’s economic advantages, including the booming technology and innovation sector as well as offering the highest weekly earnings and lowest taxes in Canada. In addition, the campaign again promotes lifestyle attractions including Calgary, North America’s most liveable city, and access to world-famous mountains and parks for year-round hiking, skiing, biking, and more than 300 days of sunshine per year.

“As Alberta continues to create jobs, attract investment and diversify its economy, we are once again putting out a call for skilled workers to join our great province and appreciate the quality of life that Alberta has to offer. It is the Renewed Alberta Advantage, and I encourage more people to experience it for themselves.”

Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development

“Since last summer, nearly 70,000 individuals have moved here, the largest inflow of people we have seen in two decades. Between opportunity and quality of life, Alberta has a fantastic value proposition and the Alberta is Calling campaign has helped to share this message. We look forward to welcoming even more Canadians to Alberta soon.”

Adam Legge, president, Business Council of Alberta

“Alberta’s vibrant and diverse restaurant sector is one of the province’s largest employers. However, coming out of the pandemic there are almost 18,000 vacancies in the restaurant sector for vital roles like managers, chefs and prep cooks. That is why Restaurants Canada is pleased to support the relaunched Alberta is Calling campaign.”

Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president, Western Canada, Restaurants Canada

“What a great time for people to pursue careers in the trades in Alberta. Women Building Futures supports women seeking new career opportunities to get quality pre-apprenticeship training for exciting careers in the inclusive workplaces WBF Employers of Choice create.”

Carol Moen, president and CEO, Women Building Futures Society

To learn more about the opportunities and advantages of living in Alberta, visit

Quick facts

  • The new phase of Alberta is Calling is launching in:
    • Atlantic Canada
      • St. John’s, N.L.; Charlottetown, P.E.I.; Moncton and Saint John, N.B.; and Halifax, N.S.
    • Ontario
      • Hamilton, London, Windsor, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Chatham, Timmins and Cornwall
  • In 2022, Alberta saw the highest employment growth in the country.
  • Alberta workers continue to have the highest weekly earnings of any provinces, at $1,268 (Statistics Canada, December 2022).
  • Alberta families earned a median after-tax income of $104,000 in 2020, which is more than $7,000 higher than Ontario.
  • Alberta families generally pay lower personal taxes (for 2022, considering annual family incomes of $75,000, $150,000 and $300,000).
  • Alberta saw the highest net interprovincial migration in Canada, at 19,285 people, in the third quarter of 2022.
  • According to Alberta’s Short-Term Employment Forecast, high and moderately high-demand occupations include:
    • restaurant and food service managers
    • software engineers and designers
    • web designers and developers
    • transport truck drivers
    • registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
    • accounting technicians and bookkeepers
    • shippers and receivers

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta’s province wide state of emergency ends as wildfire situation improves

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Saskatchewan landowners fight against illegal drainage washing out land, roads

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WAWOTA, Sask. — Lane Mountney spreads a map over his kitchen table at his farmhouse in southeast Saskatchewan, pointing to yellow and orange arrows slithering across the document. 

Many of the arrows represent existing channels and ditches, moving across fields and out of wetlands to drain water. The arrows eventually make their way to a creek, causing what he describes as a deluge of problems downstream. 

“All these years, guys have gotten away with draining water and the next guy figures he can get away withit,” Mountney said in an interview at his farm near Wawota, Sask., about 200 kilometres southeast of Regina. 

“If this keeps going like it has, I don’t know what Saskatchewan’s going to look like in 10 years.”

Mountney’s map depicts what’s called the Wawken Drainage Project, a plan developed by the local watershed group that has since been taken over by the Water Security Agency, which is responsible for overseeing drainage in Saskatchewan. 

The project is nearly 14 square kilometres and contains 880 wetlands of various sizes representing a total of 2.4 square kilometres of water. 

A project document indicates that 88 per cent of these wetlands have been drained, partially drained or farmed. About 12 per cent remain intact.

Most of this water is supposed to flow into a creek that runs through a parcel of Mountney’s land. 

The plan developers believe the creek can handle the flows, but Mountney is not convinced. 

Last year, he and his wife, Sandra Mountney, dealt with flooding ontheir horses’ pasture. They decided not to use their well water at the time because it was yellow. 

“They were very excited to tell us that nobody inside the project area is going to lose acres, but they haven’t even looked at who’s going to lose acres miles down the line.” Sandra Mountney said. 

Brent Fry, who farms grain and livestock, said it’s common for his land to flood for three days when people upstream get 50 millimetres of rain. 

He said it has caused roads and access points to erode.

“There are about four farms out there and all they’re doing is draining whether they’ve got permission or not,” Fry said. “I don’t even know what to do because the government’s not doing anything — they’re siding with the big guys.”

Farmers have drained water in Saskatchewan for generations and many have done so illegally by digging ditches without permits.  

Most producers drain because it allows them to grow more crops, helping them pay for land that has become increasingly expensive. However, it has caused yearly flooding for people downstream. Roads also wash out and habitat gets lost.

At the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities convention in February, reeves passed a resolution asking the Water Security Agency to require those who are illegally draining to remediate their unapproved works. 

Saskatchewan legislation requires upstream landowners to receive permission from those downstream when they want to drain, but many say that’s not happening. 

Sandra Mountney said the Water Security Agency hasn’t been taking concerns seriously.

“It’s hard to know who’s really protecting our waterways,” she said.

The Wawken project began about three years ago but hasn’t been completed. It’s among many drainage projects underway.

Daniel Phalen, a watershed planner, worked on the project as technician before he left for another job. 

He said landowners had been draining water with no permits before the plan. His job was to determine how many wetlands were drained and what works had already been done. 

Phalen said the plan was to put in structures that would slow down the drainage to reduce problems downstream. 

It’s unclear what work had been done on the Wawken project to mitigate flows since Phalen left. The Water Security Agency did not respond to a request for comment.

Phalen said projects can get held up if affected landowners don’t come to an agreement. Expropriation is allowed but it’s rare, he said.  

Another nearby drainage plan, known as the Martin project, has stalled because of landowner concerns.

Researchers have estimated Saskatchewan has lost half of its total wetlands over time for crop production. 

Phalen, who also worked on the Martin plan, said it was concerning to see the number of wetlands sucked out. 

“The Water Security Agency doesn’t have the manpower to do much about it,” Phalen said. “There’s such low enforcement already that if they had any policies in place, people would just drain anyways. It’s kind of a scary problem to be in.”

Sandra Mountney said she’s worried about losing wetlands because they help recharge groundwater supplies and filter contaminants — particularly important when it’s dry. 

The Water Security Agency has released a drainage management framework that aims to prevent flooding and ensure Saskatchewan retains a “sufficient” number of wetlands. 

Leah Clark, the Interim Executive Director of Agriculture Water Management, told attendees at a Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association meeting earlier this year that 43 per cent of wetlands are retained within approved projects. She added the province has “thriving” wildlife populations.

However, she said under the policy, landowners would be able to select which wetlands to retain.

“It will achieve a working landscape for landowners to continue to use their land for farming and ranching. This approach will allow for new development while retaining current drainage,” she said. 

Phalen said Saskatchewan could look to Manitoba for solutions to retain wetlands. 

Manitoba has historically drained most of its wetlands in the agricultural regions, he said, but the province has since developed a policy where landowners are paid for retaining them. 

“You know, $100 an acre is not a ton of money, but it’s another incentive to help producers,” he said. “It’s such a complex problem where you got this huge financial incentive to drain.”

Lane Mountney said regulations just need to be enforced. 

“It’s almost too late,” he said. “They should have been out there checking stuff before we got this point.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2023.

Jeremy Simes, The Canadian Press

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