To Nova Scotia, with Love…

Dear Nova Scotia,

I have been a fan of your province for some time. Both of my parents were raised in Nova Scotia and–as has become a trend lately–moved to Calgary following their graduation from one of your fine universities. I understand that you have become rather annoyed at this trend, so I thought I’d send you some encouragement.

Nova Scotia, you’re beautiful. You’ve got lobster-filled oceans and beaches, and all kinds of other wonderful natural phenomena that other provinces can only wish they had. The Bay of Fundy–home to the world’s biggest tides–is especially cool. In addition, you are home to four distinct seasons. That’s two more than Calgary gets.

Nova Scotia, you’ve also got history. You’ve been settled since the 1600s and you were one of the four original provinces. You were the country’s main agricultural provider for years and most early development in the East was fueled by your hard work.

Unfortunately, you’ve hit hard times. Your job market, while diverse, is more-or-less full. There are few jobs available and your universities keep churning out highly-skilled graduates destined to staff Nova Scotia’s many bars and pizzerias if they choose to stay. Given the lack of job prospects and the fact that Nova Scotia is home to the highest university tuition in Canada, you shouldn’t be surprised that people are leaving for Calgary’s hot job market.

Instead of lashing out at Calgary with websites like Delusional Calgaria, you should embrace your strengths. Inflation and unemployment in Nova Scotia are below the national average. While many people are leaving, the ones that have stayed are flocking to Halifax and Sydney, continuing the urbanization trend that hit the province 70 years after the rest of the country.

Don’t take the Exodus so personally, Nova Scotia. Calgary has grown by 13.4 per cent since 2001, more than double the national rate–but also boasts an inflation rate (6.1 per cent) three times the national average (2 per cent). Life in Calgary used to be no cup of tea either, so Canadians moved elsewhere. If life in Nova Scotia proves to be better than anywhere else, enjoy it. People will discover the joys of Nova Scotia and flock there. In the meantime, mellow out. Trying to cut Calgary down makes you look desperate and petty, Nova Scotia, and we both know you’re too classy to resort to that.

See you next summer!

Ryan Pike

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