Halifax vs Delusional Calgaria

Some people, especially young people from here who moved to Calgary, are upset with the website the NS government put up:

http://delusionalcalgaria.ca/

I love it. Most of the complaints though are around this idea that “everything is really expensive in Halifax” and “there are no jobs” and “the only reason the job stats are doing better now is because ‘everyone’ moved to Alberta”.

In central Halifax there is a lack of decent low wage jobs, mostly due to the student population sucking up all the good ones. There is also a lack of good urban artsy jobs in the core. People tend to grab on to good culture sector jobs with both hands and ride them to retirement. However, there are lots of jobs. Just they are all in Burnside. I am sick to death of people my age and younger complaining they “cannot get a good job” and “Halifax is so expensive” when what they mean is “I cannot get a high paying cool job in the heart of down town, and own a house on the peninsula I can afford.”

I have no interest in moving to Toronto so I can live up in Major MacKenzie and 16th street and commute an hour a day to an industrial park. If my option is live in Enfield or Timberlea and commute to Burnside i will take it in a heartbeat.

I posted these facts:

Employment rates Feb 2007 (statscan)
Halifax 4.3%
Toronto 6.4%
Vancouver 4.8%
Calgary 2.6%

Median Family income, 2006 (stats can)
Halifax $61,400
Toronto $60,100
Vancouver $56,200
Calgary $71,100

Incidents of Low Income In Private Households 2001 (stats can):
Halifax 15.5%
Toronto 16.7%
Vancouver 20.8%
Calgary 14.1%

NOVA SCOTIA HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2006 CENSUS OF CANADA

Results from the May 16, 2006 Census showed the population of Nova Scotia grew 0.6% since 2001 to 913,462, while Canada’s population of 31,612,897 represented growth of 5.4% over the same period.

Only Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan had population declines.

Fourteen of the province’s eighteen counties showed population declines.
Guysborough County had the largest decline at 7.8% while Halifax County exhibited the strongest growth at 3.8%. Counties with growth are all in the central region of Nova Scotia

Berwick was the fastest growing town in the province with an increase of 7.5% to 2,454 residents.

Of Canada’s 33 census metropolitan areas, Halifax Metro maintained its thirteenth position based on population size. In 2006 there were 372,679 people, 40.8% of the total population of the province, residing in Halifax Metro

And then today I found this:
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX Feb 2007 (1986 = 100)

Halifax 131.7
Toronto – 131.7
Vancouver 129.6
Calgary – 145.4

  • NS Lover

    I wouldn’t quote the Employment rates as a reason to live somewhere. They only count the people on EI. Still I won’t be leaving anytime soon.

  • NS Lover

    I wouldn’t quote the Employment rates as a reason to live somewhere. They only count the people on EI. Still I won’t be leaving anytime soon.

  • Kristen

    I was one of the people who was upset about the ad campaign and we had the mentioned discussion on Halifax locals. I just found your website by doing a search on google for a webpage that was mentioned on the news last night. Instead I found this.

    First off: I’m not at all qualified to work nor interested in working in the arts sector in Halifax. Despite posting on Halifaxlocals and CBlocals, I’m no longer a musician and I generally don’t read too many music/art based posts.

    I currently work for a midstream gas plant in Fox Creek, Alberta as a process operator. My school training is in process operations, computer electronics and I have an interprovincial certification (4th Class power engineering). Jacqueline, who posted in the thread in my defense, is in her final year in environmental engineering and has worked summer workterms in both Nova Scotia and Alberta. I doubt she’s interested in working in a super rad, cultural job downtown as well.

    Secondly: I’m not complaining that I could not get a high paying job and live on the peninsula. I am complaining that I could not get a job that would pay high enough for me to do things like eat, have a roof to live under and pay off my accumulated student loans. If I thought there was a chance I could do this, I would already be in back in Nova Scotia.

    In my job search efforts following school, I was able to find a job that paid less than $10/hour in Dartmouth working for a laundry mat, a job at NS Power (who routinely lays off their 4th class workers so they’re not permanent), and an offshore position that interviewed me and didn’t have a final descision when I left several months later. Jacqueline has told me she’s found a plethora of senior environmental engineering jobs but none that she would be able to successfully get.

    As what would be considered a “skilled labourer”, I take a lot of offense to the amount of crap I have to endure from the media in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia needs to work on reasons for people to return before they put up websites like this.

  • Kristen

    I was one of the people who was upset about the ad campaign and we had the mentioned discussion on Halifax locals. I just found your website by doing a search on google for a webpage that was mentioned on the news last night. Instead I found this.

    First off: I’m not at all qualified to work nor interested in working in the arts sector in Halifax. Despite posting on Halifaxlocals and CBlocals, I’m no longer a musician and I generally don’t read too many music/art based posts.

    I currently work for a midstream gas plant in Fox Creek, Alberta as a process operator. My school training is in process operations, computer electronics and I have an interprovincial certification (4th Class power engineering). Jacqueline, who posted in the thread in my defense, is in her final year in environmental engineering and has worked summer workterms in both Nova Scotia and Alberta. I doubt she’s interested in working in a super rad, cultural job downtown as well.

    Secondly: I’m not complaining that I could not get a high paying job and live on the peninsula. I am complaining that I could not get a job that would pay high enough for me to do things like eat, have a roof to live under and pay off my accumulated student loans. If I thought there was a chance I could do this, I would already be in back in Nova Scotia.

    In my job search efforts following school, I was able to find a job that paid less than $10/hour in Dartmouth working for a laundry mat, a job at NS Power (who routinely lays off their 4th class workers so they’re not permanent), and an offshore position that interviewed me and didn’t have a final descision when I left several months later. Jacqueline has told me she’s found a plethora of senior environmental engineering jobs but none that she would be able to successfully get.

    As what would be considered a “skilled labourer”, I take a lot of offense to the amount of crap I have to endure from the media in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia needs to work on reasons for people to return before they put up websites like this.

  • I recognize that unemployment stats are misleading because they are not based on people who could work, but that is why the other statistics are there, they are based on the whole population, and they are also very telling.

    Hey, this place is far from perfect. And yeah, if you want to excel in your field sometimes the best thing to do is move. I cannot argue that. This city is a great medium size Canadian city, but its not New York City, its small, and specialized workers and some types of skilled trades are just going to be SOL here. And until the last 4-5 years there was not enough labour market pressure to see wages and benefits increase. Now, ironically enough, due in large part to Alberta, there is a lot of pressure, and wages and benefits are increasing…

    I think Halifax is a great place to live. I think there are problems that a better labour law and smarter investment in education and business development on the part of the Province would address. I think the place is a lot better than it was for jobs 5 or 10 years ago, and I think many young people are steeped in the Maritime culture of complaining, and we need to break out of that type of thinking and start talking about what we can do, not what we can’t.

  • I recognize that unemployment stats are misleading because they are not based on people who could work, but that is why the other statistics are there, they are based on the whole population, and they are also very telling.

    Hey, this place is far from perfect. And yeah, if you want to excel in your field sometimes the best thing to do is move. I cannot argue that. This city is a great medium size Canadian city, but its not New York City, its small, and specialized workers and some types of skilled trades are just going to be SOL here. And until the last 4-5 years there was not enough labour market pressure to see wages and benefits increase. Now, ironically enough, due in large part to Alberta, there is a lot of pressure, and wages and benefits are increasing…

    I think Halifax is a great place to live. I think there are problems that a better labour law and smarter investment in education and business development on the part of the Province would address. I think the place is a lot better than it was for jobs 5 or 10 years ago, and I think many young people are steeped in the Maritime culture of complaining, and we need to break out of that type of thinking and start talking about what we can do, not what we can’t.

  • Come on Waye, you’re being a little reductive with the “cool jobs” thing. Halifax cranks out an awful lot of people who are qualified in fashionably artsy professions. We are an artsy professions training hub, and the same is true for IT. We are way better prepared to create professionals in certain fields than we are to employ them. Nova Scotia doesn’t NEED that many programmers or copy writers or freelance designers. It makes a lot of sense for people to get educated here and move away to where their talents are more needed.

    I don’t think it’s just being a crybaby if you move away because you can’t get work in your chosen field.

  • Come on Waye, you’re being a little reductive with the “cool jobs” thing. Halifax cranks out an awful lot of people who are qualified in fashionably artsy professions. We are an artsy professions training hub, and the same is true for IT. We are way better prepared to create professionals in certain fields than we are to employ them. Nova Scotia doesn’t NEED that many programmers or copy writers or freelance designers. It makes a lot of sense for people to get educated here and move away to where their talents are more needed.

    I don’t think it’s just being a crybaby if you move away because you can’t get work in your chosen field.

  • I agree with your points as far as they go. However, the model of the “college town that educates and then people leave” is pretty well established, isn’t it? I mean we obviously are never going to have enough work for ALL the nurses, ALL the architects, ALL the BFAs that are graduating every year, we are a regional and national centre for education, our jobs is to create a surplus of people with this training.

    With that said, no Halifax has a long way to go, no doubt. If I was king lord high president of the land I would increase culture and education funding, and explore targeted tax relief and investment to stimulate white collar IT and research type jobs. Also, on another note, the lack of a national ship building policy is CRIMINAL. To paraphrase Doctor Hamm, if the Federal government treated the auto sector like the ship building sector, Ontario would leave Canada. On another note, we are one of if not the biggest gypsum exporter in the world, but the drywall is made elsewhere. How did we let that happen.

    These and other things can and should be addressed. And yet, its hardly all doom and gloom, is it?

  • I agree with your points as far as they go. However, the model of the “college town that educates and then people leave” is pretty well established, isn’t it? I mean we obviously are never going to have enough work for ALL the nurses, ALL the architects, ALL the BFAs that are graduating every year, we are a regional and national centre for education, our jobs is to create a surplus of people with this training.

    With that said, no Halifax has a long way to go, no doubt. If I was king lord high president of the land I would increase culture and education funding, and explore targeted tax relief and investment to stimulate white collar IT and research type jobs. Also, on another note, the lack of a national ship building policy is CRIMINAL. To paraphrase Doctor Hamm, if the Federal government treated the auto sector like the ship building sector, Ontario would leave Canada. On another note, we are one of if not the biggest gypsum exporter in the world, but the drywall is made elsewhere. How did we let that happen.

    These and other things can and should be addressed. And yet, its hardly all doom and gloom, is it?

  • Fair enough. I just don’t like the ad’s attempt to shame people by claiming there are just all kinds of IT jobs in Nova Scotia going fallow and what would their poor sainted mother think. I’m not saying this is as good as Nova Scotia can expect to ever get.

    Go on, run for something! I’ll vote for you!

  • Fair enough. I just don’t like the ad’s attempt to shame people by claiming there are just all kinds of IT jobs in Nova Scotia going fallow and what would their poor sainted mother think. I’m not saying this is as good as Nova Scotia can expect to ever get.

    Go on, run for something! I’ll vote for you!

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