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Old Posted Yesterday, 7:58 PM
patm patm is offline
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The Future of Canada and its regions....

So as most of you probably know, Calgary decided to vote no on the Olympic plebiscite last night. As a Calgarian, I was conflicted and decided not to vote and awaited the results like everyone else. When the No vote was announced I found myself relieved, but this morning I find myself depressed.

It's not that I'm depressed that we won't get a party in 8 years. I'm depressed because it feels like this represents a final shift in the spirits of the city. We have now relegated ourselves to penny pinching and planning for inevitable death of the cities economy. I'm not saying that hosting the Olympics would have changed that, but it would have given us a glimmer of hopeful optimism. It would have given us a month or so span where Calgary would've had a platform on the world stage and it would have made our city one of the top destinations in the world in the year 2026, what we could've done with that knowledge was up to us and now that is off the table. Now there is no grand plan and all that the city can do is keep sending out their economic development teams around the world desperately hoping that something changes (they have had no success in nearly four years now) and working desperately to retain what non-O&G industry we have here (how long does a company like Benevity really hang around?).

So that brings me to this post. How do you see your regions future shaping out in the next 10-20 years?

For me, I see Edmonton overtaking Calgary in population growth over the next 10 years as the Oil industry continues to consolidate and shrink and no industry appears to be on the horizon to fill the void. I see Alberta leveling out without any significant growth on the horizon. I see Canada growing in population with climate refugees starting to migrate north and settling in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver (unless relocation planning is effective) and this might bring reprieve to the service industry in the major hubs. I see the Canadian tech industry struggle to remain competitive in an increasingly monopolized business environment. I see resource extraction as Canada's future which will lead to turmoil in the political landscape as mining for precious metals, water and other resources becomes our only stable lifeline, one that we will have to defend from internal and external threats. Outside of that I see the rest of Canada revolving around working for one another, trades and small corporate jobs really leading the way. I see our GDP shrinking relative to the growth of the developing world.

Go ahead, tear me apart. I hope someone here can prove me wrong!
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  #2  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:06 PM
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^ I think you're being unduly morose... Alberta has experienced explosive growth for over 60 years. Even if it tails off a bit, it is still in very good shape. And all Calgary really lost is the opportunity to spend its money on a big, expensive 2 week event that would primarily benefit the IOC.
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  #3  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:09 PM
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Any reason you think Edmonton will fare better than Calgary? Seems to me that both are equally dependent on oil and the broader provincial economy.

For my own short-term predictions:
- BC will enter a new period of modest growth as prices start to lower and expats get to return because of it. Resource exploration in the north and associated industries will drive more settlement there.
- Alberta will recover. It won't hit the rush of a few years ago, but it'll become more steady, and I hope more stable.
- Saskatchewan will keep growing quickly
- Manitoba will stay more or less the same as a whole. Winnipeg will struggle as more indigenous people move there from remote communities, while making no progress on social development or welfare. Fast growing rural communities like Steinbach and Morden-Winkler will level out.
- Ontario and Quebec will chug along as always.
- Nova Scotia will see an increase in prosperity as Halifax continues to grow in stature, and as the province urbanizes
- New Brunswick and PEI will stay more or less the same
- Newfoundland will continue to struggle with its financial situation and demographics, but ever so slowly come to an improvement. We might see things get worse before they get better, but they will get better.
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  #4  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:10 PM
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The issue of the Olympics is not just an Alberta issue, the prohibitive costs and diminishing returns are a problem for the Olympics itself. Economic problems, even regional ones, are sometimes tied to a lack of stability, political or otherwise. When things change we can't adapt, unless we know where the change is leading. Unpredictable political regimes (i.e. Trump) just add to the confusion. Canada is not immune, but there are some encouraging signs that we are equipped to handle change better than most of the world.
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  #5  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
Any reason you think Edmonton will fare better than Calgary? Seems to me that both are equally dependent on oil and the broader provincial economy.
Edmonton is the jumping off point to more of the operational Oil Sands work. It also has a much larger public sector and research sector.

Calgary is the corporate center. One that is less and less necessary as investment slows and stops.

I don't see Oil demand falling to the point where current production is shut in but I seriously doubt that we see any new expansion outside of the integrated producers flexing some muscle. Therefore I think Edmonton will be more stable than Calgary.
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  #6  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:35 PM
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Calgary just isn't at the place it was in the 80s. I think that was a good example of hosting the olympics actually having some meaningful impacts. Calgary kind of came into its own in 88. While I think there is a certain degree of not wanting to spend any money, I'd like to think that there is a certain degree of recognition that another games would not have anywhere near the same impact as 88, and Calgary doesn't really need it.

I'm not quite as pessimistic about the future of Alberta (except for what might happen with Kenney). Although there has been a strong underpinning of the petro economy for Alberta as a whole, both Calgary and Edmonton are big enough to stimulate a reasonable local economy. It's not going to be early 2000s levels, but having lived through that I'm not sure if that is really all that desirable.

The most interesting question to me is what the impact of political and institutional changes might be. The US is currently in an institutional crisis and in one way or another its going to end with a certain degree of realignment. I think Canada is trekking towards a similar crisis and I'm not sure what things will look like coming out the other side. And of course, the results of the US crisis will inevitably have a dramatic impact on us.
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  #7  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patm View Post
Edmonton is the jumping off point to more of the operational Oil Sands work. It also has a much larger public sector and research sector.

Calgary is the corporate center. One that is less and less necessary as investment slows and stops.

I don't see Oil demand falling to the point where current production is shut in but I seriously doubt that we see any new expansion outside of the integrated producers flexing some muscle. Therefore I think Edmonton will be more stable than Calgary.
Yeah, Edmonton is definitely propped up by oil sands development, but in a way that is a bit less volatile than Calgary. Even in this last downturn, its felt like Calgary was hit quite a bit harder. Basically, Calgary's link relies a lot more on expansion and speculation in the oil sands, whereas Edmonton is more linked to keeping things running. As expansion slows/stops but existing operations continue to some extent, the impact between the cities can be quite different. In terms of Edmonton and Calgary however, I would also note that a UCP government and the anticipated policies will likely be quite a bit harder on Edmonton than Calgary.
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Old Posted Yesterday, 9:21 PM
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I can see Vancouver knocking on Alpha- city’s door in 20 years.
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  #9  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciudad_del_norte View Post
Yeah, Edmonton is definitely propped up by oil sands development, but in a way that is a bit less volatile than Calgary. Even in this last downturn, its felt like Calgary was hit quite a bit harder. Basically, Calgary's link relies a lot more on expansion and speculation in the oil sands, whereas Edmonton is more linked to keeping things running. As expansion slows/stops but existing operations continue to some extent, the impact between the cities can be quite different.
To that end though, I feel like Calgary is making a much more comprehensive and successful push towards diversification at this time than Edmonton is. However, I think Edmonton was slightly more economically diverse than Calgary to begin with, so maybe it's just like equal now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassCity View Post
For my own short-term predictions:
- BC will enter a new period of modest growth as prices start to lower and expats get to return because of it. Resource exploration in the north and associated industries will drive more settlement there.
- Alberta will recover. It won't hit the rush of a few years ago, but it'll become more steady, and I hope more stable.
- Saskatchewan will keep growing quickly
- Manitoba will stay more or less the same as a whole. Winnipeg will struggle as more indigenous people move there from remote communities, while making no progress on social development or welfare. Fast growing rural communities like Steinbach and Morden-Winkler will level out.
- Ontario and Quebec will chug along as always.
- Nova Scotia will see an increase in prosperity as Halifax continues to grow in stature, and as the province urbanizes
- New Brunswick and PEI will stay more or less the same
- Newfoundland will continue to struggle with its financial situation and demographics, but ever so slowly come to an improvement. We might see things get worse before they get better, but they will get better.
This seems fairly plausible. A couple edits I would make are...

BC - A period of significant growth ahead with the exploitation of the northern hydrocarbon deposits, with growth in the Peace Region. I could also see Kitimat/Prince Rupert region seeing significant growth if an LNG terminal goes through. Lower Mainland growth dependent on whether or not the Cascadia megathrust happens, as predicted.

AB - Recovery continues into a period of steady growth in the long term. New oil sands investments will happen (as seen this past week), and with the construction of KXL and TransMountain expansion, the economy will stay dominated by hydrocarbon exploitation in the mid-long term.

SK - Recovery will continue into a period of steady and at times heavy growth. Saskatoon will overtake both Windsor and Victoria in population, and has the potential to be the next metro in the country to surpass 500,000.

MB - Will continue its low-steady growth routine, with continued urbanization of the province into the Winnipeg CMA. Winnipeg will be the next CMA to reach 1,000,000, and with that growth will come a lot of increasing social problems that need to finally be addressed, with both provincial and federal program assistance in conjunction with municipal efforts.

ON - Share of the national population will continue to decline, however it will remain by far the largest province indefinitely. Manufacturing will continue its steady decline especially after the American trade war, forcing a push for further diversification of the province's second tier manufacturing-oriented cities, or an all out depopulation of those regions (a la American rustbelt).

QC - Entering a period of relatively high growth which could last a good clip, regardless, long-term stabilization is likely after the decades of stagnation that have now ended. The separatist movement will continue to shrink and fail as Canada's national identity both at home and on the world stage continues to be better defined. Montreal may overtake Calgary as the secondary business hub of the nation again.

NB - Assuming the country comes to its senses and approves an eastbound pipeline, New Brunswick might see an economic resurgence through the construction of Irving hydrocarbon production/transhipment facilities. If not, the status quo (or worse) will likely be maintained.

PEI - Will continue its relatively steady growth with little to no hickups.

NS - Will continue the ongoing period of urbanization into the Halifax CMA, potentially with Halifax beating Saskatoon to 500,000. The end of the navy shipbuilding contract could cause some economic hardships in the mid-term.

NL - Rough seas ahead, but with stabilization likely in the mid-term. Urbanization will continue into the St. John's metropolitan area.
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Last edited by Chadillaccc; Yesterday at 10:03 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:43 PM
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I don't make it back to Calgary all that often anymore (last July was the most recent), but economy aside I feel like it's really grown into itself in the past 15 years or so. There just seems to be a lot more going on with a more coherent identity than in the early 2000s. It doesn't need an Olympics like it did in the 1980s, and I wouldn't worry too much about the future. Maybe it won't be a boom town to the same extent again but people aren't exactly fleeing either.
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  #11  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:46 PM
patm patm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadillaccc View Post
To that end though, I feel like Calgary is making a much more comprehensive and successful push towards diversification at this time than Edmonton is. However, I think Edmonton was slightly more economically diverse than Calgary to begin with, so maybe it's just like equal now.
The push is huge but the success isn't there. They attracted one (one!) company who bailed.

It's been 4 years.
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  #12  
Old Posted Today, 12:26 AM
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Interesting that the two who have done provincial prediction who both live in Western provinces have such a dim view of Ontario.

The don't mention that the low Canadian dollar always helps Ontario a lot in things such as manufacturing, mining and forestry. And Windsor is booming right now. There isn't any significant unemployment in any city in Ontario right now. Sure some manufacturing jobs have been lost but there have been gains in that sector. BUT, what about all of the high-paying new tech jobs that have been created? That is the future.

I live in Northern Ontario and our biggest enemy is usually the Ontario government when it comes to our economy. Provincial policies and laws are often made without consideration to our industries and differences and they often harm us. Hopefully mining will continue to boom because we would be in serious trouble without it.
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