Low wages, high cost of living main reasons Islanders live elsewhere: Your comments

Low wages, high cost of living main reasons Islanders live elsewhere: Your comments

The P.E.I. government recently launched a social media campaign asking people to post reasons to move back to P.E.I.

CBC P.E.I. spoke with two young adults who voiced concerns about the campaign, saying the province should address the issues that are driving people away.

Another person who spoke to CBC said she plans to stay on the Island and the campaign is a move in the right direction.

The story generated lots of comments on the CBC Prince Edward Island Facebook page.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style.)

Many of the commenters said the problem comes down to two things: low wages and a lack of affordable housing.

Heather Scott said her son, a red seal carpenter, and his partner, a nurse, moved home to P.E.I. but only lasted three years before they had to move back to Ontario.

She said his partner tried to find part-time work as a nurse while she looked after their three children, but was unsuccessful.

"They went into debt trying to live here," Scott said. "So last September they moved back to Ontario. When everything here costs as much as it does in the rest of Canada, but wages are halved, it makes little sense to live here."

Edmonton 'more affordable'

Sean Driscoll said he's better off living in Edmonton.

"It's more affordable for me to buy a $400,000 home here than it is to buy a $200,000 home on the Island when you take into account the wages and cost of living."

Samantha Yeo said many young adults are forced to live at home because they can't afford housing.

"And I know for myself it took six years after graduating to find a career and I have a degree and a diploma. It's ridiculous."

'A waste of money'

Some commenters said the government is wasting time and money with the campaign.

"I am really curious how many people will move back home because of these ads," said Lindsay Elizabeth. "If even one does I will be shocked. Just a waste of money."

The fact the campaign is needed at all speaks for itself, said Gagandeep Singh Sehgal.

"If P.E.I. was that good of a place for jobs/earnings, you wouldn't need such campaigns in the first place. Clearly shows how cut off the government is from reality."

Province says it's addressing concerns

The province said the campaign is meant to encourage Islanders to stay on P.E.I., or move back to the Island.

Brad Colwill, deputy minister of workforce and advanced learning, said the province is working to address concerns about jobs and affordable housing.

Sasha Andric said the campaign is receiving more negative response than it deserves.

"This campaign is not targeted at people who earn minimum wage and are competing for a low rent unit. This is meant for people that will pay premium rent to live at waterfront and bring with them skills and knowledge we cannot produce here."

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