The Nova Scotia government is banking on the quality of life in Nova Scotia to recruit Canadians to move to the province to work from home.
Together with Tourism Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Business Inc., the province’s economic development agency, it has launched a campaign targeting other Canadians to move to Nova Scotia. Tourism-style video ads showcase the province’s beaches and coastal beauty with the tagline, “If you can do your job from anywhere, do it from here.”
The campaign, which launched on Dec. 14, has been displayed in every other province and territory. The people behind it say it has been seen on 141 million computer screens so far, predominantly in Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City and Calgary.
The goal is to bring 15,000 people to Nova Scotia within one year.
Laurel Broten, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., says the province is taking advantage of the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, the understanding that you “don’t necessarily need to be sitting in an office to be productive,” and trying to attract skilled workers who couldn’t otherwise work from Nova Scotia.
She says population growth is a key component of economic growth and the province wants to expand its taxation base, have more people consuming goods, going to restaurants and buying houses.
“Bring your job and come here to Nova Scotia and do that job from here sitting on the edge of the ocean, if you want,” she said in an interview in her downtown Halifax office.
Broten, who moved to Nova Scotia herself in 2013, isn’t working from home because low COVID-19 numbers in the province mean many businesses and offices are open. There are currently only eight cases in the entire province.
The pandemic has also exposed problems with reliable internet connections in parts of rural Nova Scotia, which could be a problem for those trying to work from home. Broten said the province is working on developing infrastructure with a goal of 99 per cent coverage by 2022.
Others have raised concerns about what could happen if the plan does work; how an influx of people could affect things such as affordable housing and a shortage of doctors.