Language selection


West at a Glance - December 2016 Issue

West at a Glance Banner

(PDF; 1.16 MB)

Inside this issue

Provincial Government Developments

British Columbia




News and Opinions Highlights

Key Economic Indicators

  British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Canada Last
Gross Domestic Product
Real GDPFootnote 1  (2007 $billions, forecast) $214 $292 $58 $55 $1,673 2016 (f)
% ch. from year earlier 3.0% -2.0% 0.2% 2.1% 1.5%  
Labour Market
Employment (SA, thousands) 2,400 2,273 567 633 18,161 Oct-16
Change from previous month 14.9 9.0 -2.4 0.9 43.9  
% ch. from previous month 0.6% 0.4% -0.4% 0.1% 0.2%  
% ch. from year earlier 2.4% -1.1% -1.8% -1.3% 0.8%  
Unemployment Rate (SA,%) 6.2% 8.5% 6.9% 6.4% 7.0% Oct-16
percentage points from previous month 0.5 0.0 0.1 0 0  
percentage points from year earlier -0.2 1.9 1.2 1 0  
Regular EI beneficiaries (SA) 54,410 90,380 19,490 15,400 571,790 Sep-16
Change from previous month 470 220 1770 180 3,290  
% ch. from previous month 0.9% 0.2% 10.0% 1.2% 0.6%  
% ch. from previous year -0.4% 55.0% 35.5% 4.1% 4.6%  
Average weekly earnings $921.43 $1,117.95 $981.87 $891.60 $957.27 Sep-16
Change from previous year $9.48 -$19.42 -$1.10 $12.48 $3.94  
CPI (y/y) 2.1% 0.5% 0.8% 1.1% 1.5% Oct-16
CPI (y/y) previous month 1.8% 0.5% 1.1% 1.3% 1.3% Sep-16
Consumers and Business
Retail Sales (SA, $millions) $6,308 $6,102 $1,530 $1,588 $44,375 Sep-16
% ch. from previous month 0.9% 0.3% -0.3% -0.8% 0.6%  
% ch. from previous year 5.5% -3.1% -1.7% 2.4% 2.2%  
Manufacturing Sales (SA, $millions) $3,933 $5,299 $1,239 $1,437 $51,467 Sep-16
% ch. from previous month 0.6% -0.4% 1.0% -1.0% 0.3%  
% ch. from previous year 9.3% -5.2% 8.4% 1.4% 1.0%  
Building Permits (SA, $millions) $996 $1,120 $143 $200 $6,864 Sep-16
% ch. from previous month -13.3% 10.4% -4.7% -23.8% -7.0%  
% ch. from previous year -6.5% -21.6% -52.9% -7.5% -1.6%  
Housing Starts (SAAR, thousands) 48 29 5 5 219 Sep-16
% ch. from previous month 33.7% 47.4% -25.2% 6.1% 19.1%  
% ch. from previous year 65.4% -21.6% 28.8% -38.7% -6.0%  
International Trade
Merchandise Exports ($millions) $3,285 $6,728 $2,565 $1,039 $39,837 Sep-16
% ch. from previous month 0.4% -4.3% 21.0% 0.5% 0.7%  
% ch. from previous year 7.6% -16.0% -6.5% -21.2% -5.2%  
Merchandise Imports ($millions) $4,410 $1,945 $665 $1,643 $47,429 Sep-16
% ch. from previous month 2.7% 0.4% -2.9% -2.4% 2.5%  
% ch. from previous year -3.2% -18.6% -11.5% -10.4% 2.7%  
Population (estimate) 4,751,612 4,252,879 1,150,632 1,318,128 36,286,425 Q3 2016
% ch. from previous year 1.5% 1.3% 1.5% 1.9% 1.2%  
Largest Cities (CMAs) Vancouver (2,504,340) Calgary (1,439,756) Saskatoon (304,975) Winnipeg* (793,428)   2015
  Victoria* (365,291) Edmonton* (1,363,277) Regina* (241,422)      

Upcoming Events

Event Description Location Date
British Columbia
Port of Vancouver The Vancouver Board of Trade will host Port of Vancouver President and CEO Robin Silvester for his annual address. Vancouver, BC Port of VancouverDecember 8, 2016
The Future of Vancouver International Airport The Vancouver Board of Trade will host Craig Richmond, President and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority for a keynote address. Vancouver, BC The Future of Vancouver International Airport:January 18, 2017
Vancouver Resource & Investment Conference 2017 Cambridge House International Inc. and Katusa Research will co-present the world's largest investment conference dedicated to resource exploration. Vancouver, BC Vancouver Resource and Investment Conference 2017January 22-23, 2017
AME Roundup 2017 The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) will hold its annual Conference covering all aspects of mineral exploration. Vancouver, BC AME:January 23-26, 2017
The Global Imbalance of Power The Vancouver Board of Trade will host Jessica McDonald, President and CEO of BC Hydro, to discuss the global future of electricity and how BC fits into the picture. Vancouver, BC Global Imbalance:January 24, 2017
Western Business Outlook: Vancouver The Conference Board of Canada will partner with the Vancouver Board of Trade to deliver its annual business outlook. Vancouver, BC Western Business Outlook:January 27, 2017
Canadian Finance Forum 2017 The event will provide industry insights and a look at up-andcoming high-tech companies. Vancouver, BC Canadian Finance Forum 2017:February 8-9, 2017
Annual Aboriginal Oil and Gas Forum The 15th annual forum focused on how legislative and regulatory changes impact Aboriginal communities in Western and Northern Canada. Banff, AB Annual Aboriginal Oil and Gas Forum:December 1-2, 2016
International Oil Sands Tailings Conference A conference bringing together experts and individuals interested in tailings technology and management in Alberta's oil sands industry. Lake Louise, AB International Oil Sands Tailings Conference:December 4-7, 2016
Prospecting Calgary's GoldMind One event in a series of roundtables to identify the unemployed and underemployed talent available in Calgary and bring forward ideas to get them back to work. Calgary, AB Prospecting Calgary's GoldMind:December 7, 2016
Fall Global Export Forecast Webinar 2016 Peter Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist at Export Development Canada, provides insight on the major events influencing the world economy and their implications for Canadian exporters. Webinar Fall Global Export Forecast Webinar 2016:December 7, 2016
2017 ESNA Economic Outlook Conference An annual conference held by the Economics Society of Northern Alberta, presenting various economic and industry outlooks for the year ahead. Edmonton, AB 2017 ESNA Economic Outlook Conference:December 8, 2016
2016 Alberta Export Awards Honouring export success in Alberta as well as featuring speakers from industry who will share best practices on achieving cross-border excellence. Edmonton, AB 2016 Alberta Export Awards:December 8, 2016
Investing in Innovation Lunch and Learn This lunch and learn session with MNP LLP, an accounting firm, will teach attendees about key performance indicators and scientific research and experimental development. Calgary, AB Investing in Innovation Lunch and Learn:December 8, 2016
Beyond Line of Sight UAV Operations Discussion A session discussing the potential of Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) operations to improved data acquisition and decision support in the oil and gas sector. Calgary, AB Beyond Line of Sight UAV Operations Discussion:December 13, 2016
North American Business Accelerator Expert Workshop on Clean Technology A two-day networking workshop connecting Canadian, American and Mexican business accelerators and highlighting the potential of valuable regional clean technology innovation ecosystems. Calgary, AB North American Business Accelerator Expert Workshop on Clean Technology:December 13-14, 2016
2017 Impact Luncheon A lunch hosted by Edmonton Economic Development to celebrate the city's successes over the last year and discuss how a global mindset translates into a resilient economy. Edmonton, AB 2017 Impact Luncheon:January 10, 2017
Energy Efficiency in Alberta Conference The Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance hosts this event, timed to coincide with the creation of Alberta's new energy efficiency agency. Edmonton, AB Energy Efficiency in Alberta Conference:January 17, 2017
Tech Entrepreneur Space Launch Event An event to celebrate the opening of a new downtown workspace for Edmonton's technology entrepreneurs. Edmonton, AB Tech Entrepreneur Space Launch Event:January 19, 2017
ConvergX – A Global Defence and Energy Conference A global aerospace, defence, security and energy conference that aims to create investment and growth opportunities between sectors. Calgary, AB ConvergX:February 7-9, 2017
Big Data, lnternet of Things & Machine Learning in Oil & Gas Canada Conference The second annual conference, which will bring together more than 140 Canadian energy technology leaders to discuss the challenges of remaining profitable in the low oil price environment. Calgary, AB Big Data, lnternet of Things & Machine Learning in Oil & Gas Canada Conference:February 14-15, 2017
Western Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement This event brings together participants from industry, Aboriginal communities and government for practical guidance to develop long-term partnerships. Edmonton, AB Western Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement:February 28-March 1, 2017
2016 Breakfast Series – Mayor of Regina event A Year in Review with Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. Regina, SK 2016 Breakfast Series – Mayor of Regina event:December 14, 2016
Pre-Budget Discussion – Luncheon Series The Hon. Kevin Doherty, Saskatchewan Minister of Finance, delivers a presentation on "Keeping Saskatchewan Strong in Challenging Times". Saskatoon, SK Pre-Budget Discussion – Luncheon Series:December 16, 2016
Western Canadian Crop Production Show The Western Canadian Crop Production Show has become Western Canada's premier grain industry showcase by presenting information to producers on the latest technology, services, and products. Saskatoon, SK Western Canadian Crop Production Show:January 10-11, 2017
CropShere 2017 Held in conjunction with the Western Canadian Crop Production Show, CropSphere 2017 will host sessions on market outlook, research, and agronomy. Saskatoon, SK CropShere 2017:January 10-11, 2017
2017 SABEX Awards The Gala event honours Saskatoon region's finest businesses with awards in sustainability, community involvement, growth and expansion, and marketing. Saskatoon, SK 2017 SABEX Awards:February 9, 2017
Saskatoon Region Economic Outlook Forum 2017 hosted by the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) SREDA's annual Saskatoon Region Economic Outlook Forum provides a detailed and insightful look at the year ahead. It discusses the projected outlook for the local economy, the new economic growth drivers and SREDA's 2017 priorities to strengthen and grow the economy. Saskatoon, SK Saskatoon Region Economic Outlook Forum 2017:February 28, 2017
Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA) Emerging Issues Conference MEIA will partner with ECO Canada to host their annual conference. Issues discussed will include changing legislation, climate change and drinking-water quality. Winnipeg, MB MEIA:December 1, 2016
Manitoba Precision Agriculture Workshop The workshop features speakers explaining how UAV technologies can simplify farm operations and management, reduce risk, and help increase efficiencies, yields and profits. Southport, MB Manitoba Precision Agriculture Workshop:December 13, 2016
Manitoba AgDays An annual exhibition of agricultural production expertise, technology and equipment for farmers and businesses from across Canada and the North-Central US. Brandon, MB Manitoba AgDays:January 17-19, 2017
Driving Innovation A Manitoba conference focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses to keep abreast of new technologies, reach new markets and enhance productivity. Winnipeg, MB Driving Innovation:January 25-26, 2017
Crop Connect This crop production and farm management conference includes a tradeshow and guest speakers on topics ranging from agronomy to finance. Winnipeg, MB Crop Connect:February 15-16, 2017

Western Economic Diversification Canada

The role of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is to improve the long-term economic competitiveness of Western Canada by supporting programs and services that enhance innovation, business development, and community economic development. In addition, the department undertakes policy, advocacy and coordination activities in order to advance the interests of Western Canada in national economic decision-making.

Date modified: