How do you diversify a city’s economy? As Calgary tries, it looks south for inspiration – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – November 16, 2020)

Samir Kayande made his living in Calgary for two decades, analyzing the financial nuts and bolts of the oil and gas industry. But now, he’s making a change.

The research company he worked for was bought out by a new owner earlier this year. Rather than stick it out or seek other work in the oil patch, Mr. Kayande wants a new career outside the industry. This is partly to avoid the risk of a future layoff in a business rife with them.

The 48-year-old professional would like to stay put in Calgary with his family, but he worries, not just about the availability of work, but the quality of what’s available as the local economy suffers through the chronic energy-sector downturn. A global shift in energy has only accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are lot of people who formerly were very happy working their 35-hour week and getting paid very well for it, and not having all of the existential dread that folks throughout the rest of the world have to deal with as far as job security goes,” Mr. Kayande says.

“But that’s going away. It’s not just for the people who are losing their jobs but the jobs that remain are going to be worse.”

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