Moving From Alberta to BC: A Checklist

When moving from Alberta to BC, having a checklist on-hand can go a long way in streamlining the process.

This is precisely why we here at Harbourview District are proud to have compiled a master checklist for both residents and investors who have chosen to make the move from Alberta here to beautiful British Columbia to ensure that their move is as smooth as can be.

This checklist acts as an accompaniment to our Ontario checklist, “Moving From Ontario to British Columbia: A Checklist”, and encompasses each crucial item you should cross off either ahead of moving or upon arrival to BC. Be sure to bookmark it for an easy all-in-one reference!

First, the Benefits of Moving From Alberta to BC

Why move from Alberta to British Columbia? For our investors and residents who have made the change, they list three main components: employment, education, and outdoor-fun potential.

Employment: for residents and investors who are of working age, the fact that British Columbia’s unemployment rate rests at 4.7%, which is lower than the country’s average of 6.9%, is encouraging for those who are looking for better or more diverse work opportunities. In addition, BC’s rich tech, film, and forestry industries provide ample work opportunities for every skill set. 

Education: for residents and investors who are seeking further education or are considering their children’s future education, BC (and Vancouver Island specifically!) has an array of fantastic education options. Province-wide, there is the University of British Columbia, which is ranked as the second-best university in Canada and one of the best worldwide; the British Columbia Institute of Technology, which has a specialty in polytechnic education; and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, which is located right here on Vancouver Island. For earlier education, BC, and, in fact, Nanaimo, where Harbourview District is based, has a multitude of both public and private child care, kindergarten, elementary, and high school options for families to choose from.

Outdoor Fun: One of BC’s perks is its myriad options for outdoor fun. With its tagline “super, natural BC”, British Columbia offers cycling, walking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and so much more due to its varied landscape. In Harbourview District specifically, its proximity to numerous parks, seawalls, cycling roads, hiking trails, and even its one-and-a-half hour drive to the lovely Mt. Washington Alpine Resort makes it the ideal place for those looking to make the most out of the outdoors. 

Now, Onto Your Moving-From-Alberta-to-BC Checklist: Get the Ball Rolling on Setting Up Your Home Security System and Home Insurance

Setting up a home security system and signing up for home insurance are non-negotiable when making a cross-country move.

Even in a safe neighborhood like Harbourview District, security and home insurance protects you and your home from any potential damages. For home security, two of BC’s most mainline choices are Telus SmartHome Security and Ecobee. Both offer over-the-phone and online registration with a multitude of available home security packages. 

For home insurance, however, it is recommended to comparison-shop to guarantee that you are finding the home insurance that works best for you and your unique needs. In Nanaimo alone, there are many home insurance offerings to choose from. 

Register with BC Hydro and Sort Your Cable, Internet, and Phone Plan

These checklist items should be grouped together as, ideally, you would want to ensure that all are crossed off your list ahead of your move. (After all, not having electricity immediately upon moving in would put a damper on your excitement!)

First, connect your new home to BC Hydro, the main energy services provider in British Columbia. Ahead of registering, know that you will need to input the following information to complete sign-up:

  • Your billing credentials
  • The address of your new home
  • Your full legal name

Please note that registration is entirely virtual. Visit their homepage today to kickstart your registration.

Now that you’ve ticked BC Hydro off your list, it’s time to move on to your cable, internet, and phone plan. You will find that there are two plan providers that the majority of British Columbians choose: Telus and Shaw. Both are excellent options and offer both online and phone booking with one of their many representatives.

(Tip: if you select Telus for your home security, it is recommended to ask them about including it in your cable, internet, and phone bundle in order to save money and keep your payments streamlined!)

Apply For Your ICBC Driver’s License and Sign Up For Auto Insurance

Please note that, upon moving from Alberta to BC, you will have a 90-day window to apply for your ICBC driver’s license.

To do so, you will be required to submit two of the following pieces of ID while filling out your registration forms:

  • Canadian passport
  • Birth certificate
  • BC Services Card
  • BC driver’s license or learner’s license

At the same time, you can sign up to get your vehicle ensured. Both your license application and auto insurance plan can be dealt with via ICBC, which has numerous offices around the province. For your Autoplan insurance, you will have 30 days to register. For this, you will be required to provide proof of a valid driver’s license. 

Last But Not Least, Ensure That You Register for MSP and BC Public Drug Insurance

As they say, “health is wealth!” As such, one of the first items on your to-do upon moving should be to register for MSP and BC Public Health Insurance.

MSP, short for the BC Medical Services Plan, is available for all residents of BC. To sign up:

  • Be sure to arrange coverage from your former medical plan during your transition period
  • Head to the BC government website to apply online 
  • For every family member included in your application who is a Canadian citizen, scan one of the following to act as identification and complete the registration process: a Canadian birth certificate, Canadian passport, or proof of Canadian 

Alongside MSP comes BC PharmaCare, the public BC health insurance.

BC PharmaCare covers common pharmacy services, medical supplies, and drugs. Any resident of BC is eligible for BC PharmaCare as long as they have pre-registered for MSP and formally accept that BC PharmaCare verifies your income with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

To apply, follow the steps outlined below when filling out your registration forms:

  • Submit the Personal Health Number of every family member who will be included in the BC PharmaCare Plan
  • Submit the Social Insurance Numbers of you and your spouse
  • Submit the income from the tax returns from the past two years for you and your spouse, including your net income and any income derived from a Registered Disability Savings Plan

And that’s it! The BC government makes registration a cinch to ensure that you and your loved one’s health is covered.

Which of These Checklist Items Have You Already Crossed Off Ahead of Your Move From Alberta to BC?

If you are moving to Harbourview District from elsewhere in Canada, feel free to reach out today for more helpful tips and advice. We hope you enjoy your stay!