Turns out, there’s more to Alberta’s economic story than pipelines – by Kevin Carmichael (Financial Post – April 11, 2019)


Canada can survive Donald Trump, and Alberta can escape its resource curse

A shoeshine in Calgary cost $10 when Tom O’Gorman, a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton Investments, arrived from Wall Street in 2010; New York prices!

Not anymore. You can get your Oxfords polished and buffed for a mere $5, a deflationary spiral triggered by the similarly large collapse in the price of oil since the autumn of 2014.

Calgary’s office towers are either 30, 40, or 50 per cent empty, depending on who you talk to. The exact vacancy rate — 25 per cent downtown in the fourth quarter, according to Avison Young Real Estate Alberta Inc. — doesn’t really matter.

he point is the same: Canada’s fourth largest city, which represents a fair chunk of the country’s third-biggest provincial economy, is struggling in a way that the 12 million people who have joined the Canadian population since the previous oil price shock in the early 1980s have never seen.

Way up north in Bonnyville, a town of about 6,000 that serves the oilpatch, there were 31 foreclosures in 2018 compared with four in 2015, according to Serina Parsons, executive director of the local chamber of commerce.

For the rest of this article: https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/turns-out-theres-more-to-albertas-economic-story-than-pipelines

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