Until this year, Graeme Berwick’s biggest online shopping was a few pairs of jeans and some household appliances.
Then the Toronto man bought a house 1,200 kilometers away.
“We didn’t even see it, except in a few videos,” he said in an interview with Zoom in the new home he shared with his partner near the Tuskett community in southwestern Nova Scotia. “This is a great improvement for us.”
Berwick and his partner were two of the tens of thousands who crossed the Nova Scotia border to work, play or move to the province in early 2021, some of which were encouraged by provincial officials and $1 million in “work” at the time. . The advertising campaign from Nova Scotia is aimed at attracting people to the province.
According to figures provided by the province to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation under the Information Acquisition Act, the number of applicants for entry increased sharply in late March and April.
But after a few months of trying to attract interprovincial immigrants, Nova Scotia suddenly found itself trying to stop them, at least temporarily. New data shows that the outbreak occurred just before the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic hit Nova Scotia, which brought new provincial border restrictions and other public health measures.
A big change in life
If it were not for the pandemic, Berwick would never consider moving to Nova Scotia. He used to live near Toronto Pearson Airport, so he can often fly to Europe, the Middle East and Africa to help him open new hotels.
Berwick, 55, hopes to retire at 60. Most of his work was exhausted during the pandemic, and the rest can be done remotely. Berwick and his partner decided to sell their house in Toronto and move to an area with lower housing prices.
After doing some online research, they looked east towards New Brunswick and then Nova Scotia. A cousin in the United Kingdom noticed the province’s “Work from Nova Scotia” campaign, which used the trend of working from home to encourage people to move to the province and told Berwick about it.
“He said,’You know, they have this immigration program and they can work there.’ I said,’This is great. At the time I didn’t even think it was aimed at Torontons like me,” Berwick Say.
Berwick completed his relocation in May and now lives and works by a lake near Tusket.
“I live in a house the size of a house, if it’s not bigger than our house in Toronto, we now have enough money in the bank — I’m 55 years old — we now have enough money in the bank to see me 70 How old is it,” he said.
More than 46,000 applications
According to the Information Access Act, CBC requires the province to announce how many people have used the “security registration” website to apply for entry into the province from the beginning of 2021 to the day when the new border restrictions are announced on April 20.
Only a small percentage of people do not need to use online forms to apply for entry, including truck drivers, people with compassionate exemptions, people who live on one side of the border and work on the other, and basic health care workers.
In addition to the peak of tourism in the week immediately after the Christmas and New Year holidays, this trend also shows a steady increase in the number of arrivals from February to mid-April. Most people answered that they were due to work, personal reasons, returning home or moving. Entry.
A total of 46,607 entry applications were recorded in the province.
The increase in public health was most pronounced at the end of March and early April. At the COVID-19 briefing on April 20, Dr. Robert Strong, Chief Medical Officer of Health, mentioned a “significant” increase, saying that border officials told him that the land border crossing with New Brunswick had increased by 400 %.
Work from NS events
In early May, as the number of COVID-19 cases surged, the province introduced new regulations that effectively prevented people from another province from moving to Nova Scotia, although within a few days of severe criticism, these regulations have Loosed.
This is a far cry from the province’s active attempt to bring people to live and work in Nova Scotia a few weeks ago.
In December, the province launched the “Work from Nova Scotia” campaign that lasted until the end of March. At a cost of $1.1 million, the Nova Scotia Tourism Board and other royal companies launched a campaign that included travel-style videos, social media, advertisements and related websites moving to Nova Scotia.
Last week, Statistics Canada released new data showing that between January and April, inter-provincial immigration increased by 1,870 people, of which 4,700 moved to the province and 2,830 moved out. It pushed the population of Nova Scotia to the highest level ever.
Rabbi Kusulis, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth of Nova Scotia, welcomed the new figures and said last Thursday that the event was “very smooth.”
“This is our most since the early 1980s, so this is a very positive movement,” he said of inter-provincial immigration.
“When the third wave came, we did suspend it, we will discuss and review the data we have to run it again, because Nova Scotia is an attractive place for people to live and work.”
The number of digital advertising views of the campaign was 371 million, the number of video advertising views was 38.9 million, and the number of visits to the relocation guide website was 1.3 million.
In contrast, in the year before the pandemic, the Nova Scotia Tourism Bureau used tourism “influencers” to showcase its marketing activities to approximately 765 million people.
In February, One of the royal companies behind the “Work from Nova Scotia” event told CBC The goal is to bring 15,000 people to Nova Scotia within a year.
Kuzulis said that the province is studying issues such as housing and the availability of doctors, and that more people moving to Nova Scotia may put additional pressure on these issues. He also pointed out that as the population has increased, the unemployment rate has fallen.
It is difficult to determine how many of those who entered Nova Scotia this year were directly affected by the campaign. Laurel Broten, head of the Crown Corporation Nova Scotia Commercial Company, said in February The campaign is trying to measure how many people are attracted to the province by advertising.
According to Statistics Canada, since the beginning of 2016, more people have moved in the province every year From other provinces to Nova Scotia than to leave.
In the first three months of 2020, the agency estimates that the total number of inter-provincial immigrants in the province will increase by 573, and the total number will increase by 540 in the first three months of 2019.