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West at a Glance - February 2017 Issue

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Inside this issue

Provincial Government Developments

British Columbia




News and Opinion

Key Economic Indicators

  British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Canada Last Update
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) 2,408 2,267 568 633 18,225 Dec-16
Change from previous month 17 6.9 -1.1 1.2 53.7  
% ch. from previous month 0.7% 0.3% -0.2% 0.2% 0.3%  
% ch. from year earlier 3.1% -0.8% -1.2% -0.2% 1.2%  
Unemployment Rate (SA,%) 5.8% 8.5% 6.5% 6.3% 6.9% Dec-16
percentage points from previous month -0.3 -0.5 -0.3 0.1 0.1  
percentage points from year earlier -0.9 1.5 1 0.4 -0.2  
Regular EI beneficiaries (SA) 56,330 96,890 21,390 15,690 574,540 Nov-16
Change from previous month 130 3,220 -50 180 -690  
% ch. from previous month 0.2% 3.4% -0.2% 1.2% -0.1%  
% ch. from previous year 3.4% 57.3% 40.4% 3.4% 4.8%  
Average weekly earnings $924.46 $1,114.21 $988.81 $898.14 $960.60 Nov-16
Change from previous year $14.06 -$17.86 $6.84 $14.51 $8.03  
CPI (y/y) 1.9% 1.0% 0.6% 1.1% 1.5% Dec-16
CPI (y/y) previous month 1.6% 0.2% 0.0% 0.2% 1.2% Nov-16
Consumers and Business
Retail Sales (SA, $millions) $6,373 $6,150 $1,573 $1,606 $45,227 Nov-16
% ch. from previous month -0.7% -0.5% 1.6% 0.8% 0.2%  
% ch. from previous year 5.5% -2.1% 2.5% 2.2% 3.0%  
Manufacturing Sales (SA, $millions) $3,997 $5,424 $1,238 $1,511 $51,770 Nov-16
% ch. from previous month 2.4% 3.9% 1.3% 2.8% 1.5%  
% ch. from previous year 10.3% 0.6% 11.6% 2.8% 1.6%  
Building Permits (SA, $millions) $959 $827 $143 $193 $7,168 Dec-16
% ch. from previous month -23.5% -24.3% -8.2% 5.8% -6.6%  
% ch. from previous year -26.5% -28.6% -38.4% -7.5% 1.4%  
Housing Starts (SAAR, thousands) 42 27 5 4 207 Dec-16
% ch. from previous month -9.4% 6.4% 30.6% -36.7% 10.6%  
% ch. from previous year 18.8% 3.5% 5.0% -12.9% 19.9%  
International Trade
Merchandise Exports ($millions) $3,928 $7,964 $2,547 $1,200 $41,652 Dec-16
% ch. from previous month 4.4% 4.3% -4.8% 0.8% -1.7%  
% ch. from previous year 32.8% 9.3% -2.1% 0.6% -1.2%  
Merchandise Imports ($millions) $3,867 $2,255 $733 $1,612 $41,952 Dec-16
% ch. from previous month -2.4% 16.2% 13.6% -0.8% -6.0%  
% ch. from previous year 4.1% -1.7% 0.3% -3.1% -3.6%  
Population (estimate) 4,773,345 4,268,929 1,155,393 1,323,958 36,443,632 Q4 2016
% ch. from previous year 1.3% 1.6% 1.6% 1.7% 1.3%  
Largest Cities (CMAs) Vancouver (2,463,431) Calgary (1,392,609) Saskatoon (295,095) Winnipeg* (778,489)   2016
  Victoria* (367,770) Edmonton* (1,321,426) Regina* (236,481)      

Upcoming Events

Event Description Location Date
British Columbia
Facing Technology Disruption: Will Your Organization Survive or Thrive? The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will host BCIT President Kathy Kinloch for a panel discussion with three local changemakers who have harnessed disruptive technologies to build successful businesses. Vancouver, BC February 7, 2017
Canadian Finance Forum 2017 The event will provide industry insights and a look at up-andcoming high-tech companies. Vancouver, BC February 8-9, 2017
Post-Budget Member Forum with Hon. Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance The Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) will host their annual post-budget briefing with BC's Finance Minister, who will provide an in-depth look at the province's economic plan and fiscal outlook. Vancouver, BC February 24, 2017
Transportation Summit 2017: The Future of Our Region The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will host this opportunity for the business community to discuss the future of the region's transit and transportation networks. Vancouver, BC March 3, 2017
#BCTECH Summit The Province of BC and the BC Innovation Council will co-host the second annual #BCTECH Summit, the largest technology conference in BC showcasing the province's technology industry. Vancouver, BC March 14-15, 2017
UBC President's inaugural address The Vancouver Board of Trade will host the new President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia (UBC), Prof. Santa Ono, for his inaugural address. Vancouver, BC March 28, 2017
AHIA Breakfast A breakfast meeting hosted by the Alberta Health Industry Association, featuring Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services. Edmonton, AB February 1, 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 February 7-9, 2017
17th National Conference – Aboriginal Economy The annual conference hosted by AFOA Canada (Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada), discussing Aboriginal communities' economic growth. Calgary, AB AFOA: February 7-9, 2017
Canada-China: New Golden Decade The Canada China Business Council will host Consul General Wang XinPing and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous, to discuss Canada-China relations. Edmonton, AB February 9, 2017 : link 1
30th Annual Deputy Ministers' Dinner Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) annual dinner offering opportunities for CME members to meet with key Alberta deputy ministers and discuss the future of manufacturing in the province. Edmonton, AB February 22, 2017
2017 Environmental Gathering: Breaking Through A conference hosted by the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation which will provide opportunities for collaboration between environmental non-profits, First Nations communities, industry, and government. Edmonton, AB February 23, 2017
Western Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement This event brings together participants from industry, Indigenous communities, and government for practical guidance to develop long-term partnerships. Calgary, AB February 28-
March 1, 2017
Creating Prosperity Through Innovation A lunch event hosted by TECTERRA, featuring Director of Portfolio Development Richard Gorecki. Edmonton, AB March 1, 2017
Propel Energy Tech Forum An annual forum for energy technology companies that focuses on technology developments in energy efficiency, oil and gas extraction, pipeline operations, and environmental monitoring. Calgary, AB March 1-2, 2017
Southeast Alberta Energy Diversification Symposium (SEEDS) This conference will provide an opportunity for discussion about Southeast Alberta's energy diversification opportunities. Medicine Hat, AB March 2-3, 2017
CERI 2017 Oil and Gas Symposium: Where do we go from here? Symposium hosted by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) to discuss the current oil and gas extraction environment such as pipeline approvals, LNG plants, market prices, and First Nations engagement. Calgary, AB March 6-7, 2017
Western Business Outlook: Edmonton The Conference Board of Canada's outlook for Edmonton in 2017. Edmonton, AB March 8, 2017
Western Business Outlook: Calgary The Conference Board of Canada's outlook for Calgary in 2017. Calgary, AB March 10, 2017
EDA 2017 Annual Professional Conference & AGM Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) will host its annual conference with the theme of "Embracing Change. Creating Opportunity." Banff, AB March 22-24, 2017
AccelerateAB An annual event connecting local startups, mentors, investors, and other partners to accelerate the success of Alberta's entrepreneurs. Calgary, AB April 19, 2017
XXV Anniversary Business Forum and Gala Dinner The Canadian Council for the Americas is hosting an event to discuss the future of the economic regions in the Americas (NAFTA, Pacific Alliance, Pacific Rim, US-Canada and the Americas). Calgary, AB April 25, 2017
Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Convention 2017 The SUMA annual convention tradeshow has become the largest annual trade show of its kind in North America. This year's event is titled "Shaping Saskatchewan." Saskatoon, SK February 5-8, 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 February 9, 2017 : link 2
Regina and District Chamber of Commerce 2017 Luncheon Series The Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of the Economy, will provide a speech outlining the importance of engaging refugees in Regina's economy. Regina, SK February 13, 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 February 28, 2017
SUSTAINTECH 2017 The third annual SustainTech conference is an innovative event featuring technologies and practices that promote and bring together industry, academia, and regulators to share new ideas and technologies. Saskatoon, SK March 16, 2017
CANDO Links to Learning "Links to learning" is an annual training forum for First Nations Economic Development Officers and Land Management Officers. Saskatoon, SK March 28-30, 2017
Saskatchewan Economic Summit 2017 The Saskatchewan Economic Summit 2017 is organized by the Conference Board of Canada's Saskatchewan Institute. The Summit is an opportunity for senior government officials and decision-makers from the private sector to discuss issues affecting Saskatchewan. Regina, SK April 3-4, 2017
Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum The ninth annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum is presented by the Saskatchewan Mining Association, the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy, and the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association. The forum will provide information on how businesses can access mining supply opportunities. Saskatoon, SK April 4, 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 February 15-16, 2017
Rotary Career Symposium Manitoba's largest career symposium features over 185 booths with post-secondary and employment options for students and job seekers. Winnipeg, MB March 14-16, 2017
2017 Dare to Compete unConference This conference is organized around human resources & skills development, technology & innovation, trade & business development, and the business environment. Winnipeg, MB March 21, 2017
Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association (ManSEA) ManSEA holds its annual general meeting and conference, with the theme "Carbon Pricing and Sustainable Energy – What does it mean for me?" Portage la
Prairie, MB
April 5, 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.

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