British Columbia hopes influx of new residents will help tackle labor shortage

(Victoria Buzz)

More people are moving to British Columbia than ever before and the influx just broke a decades-old record, according to Statistics Canada.

New data released Wednesday shows the province’s net migration reached 100,797 people in 2021. It’s the highest annual total since 1961, according to the province.

Net migration includes the number of people who moved into the province from another province, territory or country, minus the number of people who left.

Year-end data for 2021 shows 33,656 people came from other provinces or territories – the highest number since 1994 and the highest in Canada, a news release said.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how many people moved to the Capital Region between 2014 and 2021

“We welcome these newcomers with open arms, and we are committed to providing the services and housing British Columbians need to support this record growth,” Premier John Horgan said.

B.C. officials echo Horgan, noting the record number of new residents is “an important first step” in expanding the province’s workforce and addressing labor shortages. work continues.

From Monday, BC Transit cuts services in the Greater Victoria area and blamed the cuts on the lack of drivers.

“Due to these ongoing labor challenges, this service change includes temporary service reductions on select transit routes in the region,” a statement read.

BC Ferries announced last month that crew shortages were also plaguing its organization, as it warned customers to prepare for delays and altered sailing times during the peak summer season.

And it’s a similar story for the restaurant industry in British Columbia.

“A lot of people have left the industry,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.

Tostenson’s comments came as a worker shortage last summer temporarily halted operations at a popular restaurant in Victoria.

Meanwhile, those working in BC’s healthcare sector, including veterinarians, are feeling the pressure, resulting in the number of subsidized seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine doubling.

The moving, announced Mondayaims to attract more students to receive the training needed to support farmers, ranchers and families across the province.

“Building a British Columbia that attracts record numbers of newcomers is an important part of our work to help address the labor shortage, as these new British Columbians will help us fill the jobs of tomorrow, to drive innovation and support our care economy,” added the Minister of Employment. Ravi Kahlon.