Affordable homes, resource economies drive the West as Canada’s growth engine
The most revealing figure to emerge from the 2011 census released Wednesday has to be this: 30.7.
According to census results, 30.7 represents the proportion of all Canadians now living west of Ontario. For the first time in the nation’s history, Western Canada has a greater population than all of Quebec, the Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador combined. The population shift came thanks to the West’s massive resource base and related employment opportunities, of course. Income and corporate tax rates, retirement options, even climate are other factors that favour the West.
But the future depends on new, well-paying jobs and affordable housing, one reason why British Columbia, while still growth-positive, lags behind two other western provinces.