Canada's Great East-West Migration

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The Huffington Post Canada | By Daniel Tencer<button style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 9px; margin: 0px; -webkit-appearance: none; cursor: pointer; border: 0px; position: absolute; padding: 0px; color: white; -webkit-box-shadow: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.498039) 0px 1px 0px inset; box-shadow: none; transition: background-color 300ms ease-out; -webkit-transition: background-color 300ms ease-out; text-indent: -9999px; left: 6px; bottom: 6px; display: inline !important; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">Email</button>


Posted: <time datetime="2014-10-15T12:12:24-04:00" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">10/15/2014 12:12 pm EDT </time>Updated: <time datetime="2014-10-15T12:59:01-04:00" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">10/15/2014 12:59 pm EDT</time>



The oilsands boom is reshaping Canada in many ways, and nowhere is this more obvious than where people are moving.

We've known for a long time that Canadians are flocking to Alberta for jobs, but a new chart from BMO shows just extreme the trend has become.

Atlantic Canada’s population is shrinking, while Alberta’s population growth is basically doubling the national average, BMO economist Benjamin Reitzes wrote in a client note Wednesday.

Reitzes found the trend is especially strong among working-age people (15 to 64), with Atlantic Canada losing more than one per cent of that group over the past year.

(Story continues below)


Those numbers put some context to all the news recently about that growing chasm in Canada’s economy: Alberta versus everyone else.

Take, for instance, Bloomberg’s projection that Alberta will overtake Quebec as the second-largest economy in Canada in some three years, despite having about half the population of Quebec.

Or the news that, in Canada’s moribund job market over the past year, Edmonton alone accounted for 40 per cent of job growth. Or this projection from BMO that Alberta could soon be building more new homes than all of Canada east of Ontario combined.

No wonder the country is headed to Alberta. We’ll get the old “last one out of the Maritimes turn out the lights” joke out of the way, and move right on to mentioning that this piling-into-Alberta trend may not last if oil prices keep sliding.

The International Energy Agency noted this week that about a quarter of new Canadian oil projects would be vulnerable if oil prices continued to decline.

And CIBC’s Benjamin Reitzes noted last week that investment in the oilsands — which have some of the highest production costs of any oil fields in the world — could drop off fast if oil prices fall below $80 U.S. Brent crude was trading at around $85 on Wednesday, down from around $115 earlier this year.

So if this bear market in oil prices continues, Alberta’s oil boom could come to a whimpering end. But for now, it’s far too early to call an end to the oil-driven economic miracle out west.



Provincial Population Growth Rates 2013



1 of 57

Estimated population growth rates across the country, according to figures from Statistics Canada.





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On regardant ce graphique, on voit que même l'Ontario n'est pas capable de suivre la cadence de l'Alberta par personne. L'Alberta est en boom depuis 1995 lorsqu'on regarde les chiffres.



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In a similar fashion, yet different, the impact of oil on a "local" economy is real, when you see that Houston issued more single homes permit than the whole of california last year, sure economy isn' the only factor in this example, but it shows the extand of oil impact on booming economy

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I will use the English language to make a comment regarding Alberta's GDP because I just love Flo's sharp comment above! OK there is no denying that Alberta is growing much faster than the national average by most accounts eg. population, GDP and GDP per capita. Yet, even leaving aside considerations related to Alberta's economy dependence on oil (and notably fears related to the current price trend), it is important to understand and appreciate the meaning of "Gross Domestic Product": The "D" in Domestic refers to economic activities taking place within the provincial border, irrespective of the nationality of the owners/actors; in the past, "GNP", for Gross National Product", was more commonly used, but it must have been increasingly difficult to assign a nationality, and in any event the Domestic (as different from National), came to be regarded as more relevant. For Alberta, this is not inoccuous, as so many oil firms operating within its territory are foreign-owned or controlled, and many workers are not provincial full-time residents. But what is probably even important is the meaning of "Product". In national accounts, it can be defined as C+I+G+X-M (consumption +investment+government+exports-imports): let us focus on the "I" component (investment): I do not have numbers readily available as I am writing this, but it is well known that in Alberta the share of investment in relation to total GDP is well above the national average; this is usually regarded very positively, as it is closely related to future productivity gains (output per worker); yet by implication, the share of GDP not originating from investment is lower (than that of another economy of comparable size but with less investment). Another way of looking at the phenomenon is to compare GDP (in aggregate or on a per capita basis) with Personnal Income (same: aggregate or per capita), or still another way: examine the share of Personnal Consumption within total GDP. Contrast the cases of China and the USA! And in Canada, let this help you understand the "mystery" or "paradox" wheby the province of Newfoundland-and-Labrador now has an above average GDP per capita, along with still a below average Personnal Income per capita. So in summary what's my message here? -- That the GDP cannot tell the whole story...:rolleyes:

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I'm no expert but my subjective take is they're apples and oranges. I mean if we compare export-oriented economic hotspots like Munich, Dubai & Shanghai. The first one turns out to be a knowledge and skill-based wealth creation model. Dubai's sovereign wealth revenue streams - progressively diversified in tourism, finance, etc. - all stem from a monoproduct. China's diverse revenue streams rely upon natural resource-based manufacturing and egregious social dumping. True all 3 cities generate wealth but due to distinct wealth-generating mechanisms we cannot make a fair assessment of inefficiencies and failures. This comparison can be translated from city-level to company-level. Again, Dubai-HQ-ed Emirates comes in handy. It may have the worst management style ever it will still be bailed out and turned around by sovereign wealth. Emirates can be criticized when compared to Quatar Airways. On the other hand, BA & AF-KLM are comparable since they are caracterized by post-colonial know-how, network and resource building. Global hub positioning has a marginal impact on competitveness here. In a nutshell, it hurts to hear people whining about Montreal's staggering economy and Calgary's skyrocketing's economy just like they would praise Emirate's success and Alitalia's struggle based on managerial prowess

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      C'est quand même particulier d'être incapable de penser que les gens veulent habiter à Montréal. Vivre dans le Plateau Mont-Royal est un choix de vie avec peu d'équivalent hors des quartiers centraux de la métropole. C'est désirable pour beaucoup, et les gens mettent le prix. Et il y a la proximité de beaucoup plus qu'un emploi au centre-ville qui rentre en jeu, d'ailleurs.