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B.C. a top pick for Canadians looking to relocate: poll

Houses are seen in a neighbourhood on the side of a mountain, in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Thursday, August 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Houses are seen in a neighbourhood on the side of a mountain, in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Thursday, August 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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For Canadians thinking about leaving their province, B.C. appears to be a top destination, according to a recent poll.

Results of a Research Co. survey were released Wednesday, revealing the western province is a "top-of-mind destination" for residents of four other provinces.

"British Columbia is in first place as a possible relocation destination in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario," Research Co. president Mario Canseco said in a statement. "Quebecers prefer Ontario and British Columbians put Alberta on top."

The strong preference for B.C. comes even as a third of its residents are seriously considering leaving the province in search of more affordable housing, according to an Angus Reid Institute poll released earlier this month.

That survey found that half of 18- to 34-year-olds and more than two-in-five 35- to 54-year-olds say they are seriously thinking of leaving the province because of the cost of housing. 

Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria, and Kelowna all rank among the 12 most expensive cities to rent in Canada, while purchase prices follow a similar trend, according to the Angus Reid Institute.

For British Columbians, Alberta was the highest picked alternative, according to Research Co.'s survey. Twenty-four per cent of respondents chose the neighbouring province, with 19 per cent picking Ontario. Nearly a third of B.C. respondents said they weren't sure, however.

Results are based on online surveys conducted from March 29 to March 31, 2024, among 800 adults in British Columbia and 600 adults in each of the other participating provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region for each province. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and plus or minus four percentage points for the remaining provinces, 19 times out of 20.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Kraig Krause

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