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West at a Glance - May 2017 Issue

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Inside this issue

Provincial Government Developments

British Columbia




News and Opinion Highlights

Key Economic Indicators

  British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Canada Last Update
Gross Domestic Product
Real GDPFootnote 1  (2007 $billions, forecast) $221 $295 $58 $57 $1,710 2017
% ch. from year earlier 2.4% 2.2% -1.2% 2.0% 2.1%  
Labour Market
Employment (SA, thousands) 2,454 2,289 568 640 18,311 Apr-17
Change from previous month 11.3 -0.3 -2.2 -0.5 3.2  
% ch. from previous month 0.5% 0.0% -0.4% -0.1% 0.0%  
% ch. from year earlier 3.4% -0.8% 0.2% 1.1% 1.5%  
Unemployment Rate (SA,%) 5.5% 7.9% 6.2% 5.4% 6.5% Apr-17
percentage points from previous month 0.1 -0.5 0.2 -0.1 -0.2  
percentage points from year earlier -0.3 0.5 -0.1 -0.8 -0.6  
Regular EI beneficiaries (SA) 53,530 88,470 18,040 15,660 554,160 Feb-17
Change from previous month -1150 -3,330 -770 -290 -11,690  
% ch. from previous month -2.1% -3.6% -4.1% -1.8% -2.1%  
% ch. from previous year -0.9% 31.8% 13.5% 0.1% 0.7%  
Average weekly earnings $931.22 $1,108.40 $1,003.63 $907.02 $967.59 Feb-17
Change from previous year $18.02 -$13.00 $15.38 $17.96 $14.11  
CPI (y/y) 2.0% 1.3% 0.6% 1.6% 1.6% Mar-17
CPI (y/y) previous month 2.3% 2.2% 1.4% 2.3% 2.0% Feb-17
Consumers and Business
Retail Sales (SA, $millions) $6,618 $6,634 $1,677 $1,635 $47,763 Feb-17
% ch. from previous month -0.7% -0.3% 0.6% -0.1% -0.6%  
% ch. from previous year 4.3% 6.3% 4.8% 1.4% 4.7%  
Manufacturing Sales (SA, $millions) $3,847 $5,744 $1,361 $1,477 $53,629 Feb-17
% ch. from previous month -1.7% -1.4% 0.4% -1.4% -0.2%  
% ch. from previous year 5.9% 16.4% 22.7% 3.1% 6.8%  
Building Permits (SA, $millions) $962 $1,110 $151 $181 $7,002 Mar-17
% ch. from previous month -23.1% -0.6% -38.6% -31.5% -5.8%  
% ch. from previous year -13.3% 9.8% 13.2% -25.7% 1.5%  
Housing Starts (SAAR, thousands) 47 31 4 6 214 Apr-17
% ch. from previous month -0.9% -11.1% -17.9% -31.9% -15.1%  
% ch. from previous year 0.0% 9.0% -9.7% 13.6% 13.5%  
International Trade
Merchandise Exports ($millions) $4,068 $9,603 $2,560 $1,146 $45,861 Mar-17
% ch. from previous month 35.5% 20.3% 13.4% 4.7% 19.2%  
% ch. from previous year 26.8% 68.3% 20.2% -4.2% 16.5%  
Merchandise Imports ($millions) $4,543 $2,373 $994 $2,083 $49,861 Mar-17
% ch. from previous month 10.9% 16.5% 28.4% 22.6% 16.4%  
% ch. from previous year 6.8% 6.6% 10.6% 11.9% 8.2%  
Population (estimate) 4,777,157 4,280,127 1,158,339 1,328,346 36,503,097 Q1 2017
% ch. from previous year 1.3% 1.5% 1.5% 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
BCs Economic Future - An All-Party Debate Business in Vancouver (BIV) will host a debate with Andrew Wilkinson (BC Liberal Party), Carole James (BC NDP Finance Critic), and Andrew Weaver (BC Green Party Leader) to discuss the future of BC's economy. Vancouver, BC BCs Economic Future :May 2, 2017
PwC PwC hosts its 30th annual Global Forest, Paper & Packaging Industry Conference. Vancouver, BC PwC :May 10, 2017
WOOD MARKETS WOOD MARKETS will host the 7th Annual Global Softwood Log & Lumber Conference shortly after the announcements of countervailing and anti-dumping duties from the US. Vancouver, BC WOOD MARKETS :May 11, 2017
Simon Fraser University The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will host SFU President and Vice-Chancellor, Andrew Petter, in a discussion about building BC's innovation economy. Vancouver, BC Simon Fraser University :May 30, 2017
2017 BC Economic Summit The BC Economic Development Association will host this year's summit, focusing on key issues facing economic developers, community planners, and Indigenous leaders and communities. Victoria, BC 2017 BC Economic Summit :June 11-13, 2017
Aboriginal Opportunities Forum The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will host its annual Aboriginal Opportunities Forum 2017 with keynote speaker Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, MP for Granville and Minister of Justice. Vancouver, BC Aboriginal Opportunities Forum< :June 16, 2017
University of Calgary's W21C Program 2017 Reverse Trade Show A trade show hosted by Alberta Health Services, which highlights clinical challenges for seniors that could be addressed through the development of innovative technological solutions. Calgary, AB University of Calgary's W21C Program 2017 Reverse Trade Show :May 2, 2017
Workers and Communities in Transition An Energy Futures Lab Community Meeting to discuss workers and communities in transition. Edmonton, AB Workers and Communities in Transition :May 2, 2017
Alberta-US Trade Summit A summit hosted by Calgary Economic Development that will include expert panels discussing the current political and economic environment. Calgary, AB Alberta-US Trade Summit :May 2-3, 2017
2017 Summit of Co-Operative Leaders Hosted by the Alberta Community & Co-Operative Association (ACCA), this summit will feature panel discussions on the role of co-ops in strengthening Alberta's economy. Red Deer, AB 2017 Summit of Co-Operative Leaders :May 3, 2017
15th VenturePrize Awards Celebration An awards event hosted by TEC Edmonton to celebrate innovation and technology in Alberta. Edmonton, AB VenturePrize :May 4, 2017
Report to the Community: Reimagine An event by Calgary Economic Development discussing new ideas and innovative technologies and how they shape Calgary's story to the world. Calgary, AB Report to the Community :May 5, 2017
CCAB Aboriginal Economic Development Conference A conference highlighting innovation in the Indigenous economy. Calgary, AB CCAB :May 11, 2017
Let's Talk Exports with EDC's Peter Hall Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and Export Development Canada (EDC) are hosting a breakfast with guest speaker Peter Hall, Vice President and Chief Economist at EDC, to discuss global economic trends. Edmonton, AB CME-ENO :May 11, 2017
Polytechnics Canada's Annual Conference The theme of this years' conference is "Canada's Polytechnics: Building Canada through Skills and Innovation," and it will feature keynote speaker Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation. Edmonton, AB Polytechnics Canada's Annual Conference :May 31-June 1, 2017
CERI 2017 Petrochemicals Conference An event hosted by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), focused on global opportunities and challenges for the Canadian petrochemicals manufacturing industry. Kananaskis, AB CERI :June 4-6, 2017
Alberta & Saskatchewan Renewable Energy Summit A summit on renewable energy opportunities in Alberta and Saskatchewan with speakers and industry exhibits. Calgary, AB Renewable Energy Summit :June 5-6, 2017
Smart Energy Communities An Energy Futures Lab Community Meeting to discuss smart energy communities. Edmonton, AB Smart Energy Communities :June 6, 2017
Radical Carbon Efficiency in Energy Production An Energy Futures Lab Community Meeting to discuss radical carbon efficiency in energy production. Edmonton, AB Radical Carbon Efficiency in Energy Production :June 8, 2017
The Festival of Big Ideas An exhibition held by ABC Tech featuring Edmonton Region innovators. Edmonton, AB The Festival of Big Ideas :June 9-10, 2017
Global Petroleum Show An Industry event featuring educational seminars, networking, and exhibitions related to the energy sector. Calgary, AB Global Petroleum Show :June 13-15, 2017
Business Retention and Expansion International Conference 2017 An annual conference focused on industry trends and business retention and expansion tactics, strategies and challenges. Edmonton, AB Business Retention and Expansion International Conference :June 19-20, 2017
Tecnovate 17 TECTERRA's forum providing Canadian geospatial technology companies with opportunities to network, build alliances, and develop commercial opportunities. Calgary, AB Tecnovate :June 21, 2017
2017 Agri-Value and Networking Event This year's theme is "Growth, opportunities and Challenges in Value-Added Processing." The workshops will feature an address by Lyle Stewart, the Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture, as well as other local and international speakers. Saskatoon, SK Agri-Value and Networking Event :May 4, 2017
2017 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference The conference includes talks on crude oil transportation, production optimization, geology, and environmental issues. Also featured is the core workshop, intended to give delegates a unique perspective on the geology of key plays within the Williston Basin. Regina, SK Williston Basin Petroleum Conference :May 2-4, 2017
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. 2017 Annual Business Conference This year's business conference will focus on "Business Innovation Through Technology," featuring high-calibre speakers and content while providing the opportunity to learn from some of the province's up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Saskatoon, SK Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan :May 10, 2017
Carbon Capture Summit - Celebrating Saskatchewan Innovation The summit will consist of a tour of SaskPower's Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) unit as well prominent speakers from the industry including a special presentation from Saskatchewan's Minister of the Environment. The event also features a presentation from SaskPower on the future of CCS. Weyburn, SK Carbon Capture Summit :May 11, 2017
56th Edition of the Canada Wide Science Festival (CWSF) Hosted by the University of Regina, the event recognizes students from Grades 7 to 12 that have identified solutions to local, regional, or global concerns through their science projects. Students are competing for nearly $1 million in cash awards and scholarships and are assessed by volunteer judges. Regina, SK CWSF :May 14-20, 2017
Leadership Conference 2017 The event hosted by the Edwards School of Businesses a day of collaboration with evidence-based practitioners who represent industries in health, technology, sports, and education. The event will provide attendees with tools and best practices to implement to make more strategic decisions. Saskatoon, SK Leadership Conference :May 18, 2017
Emerging Labour Force Trends Conference Sponsored by the Government of Saskatchewan, the event will feature the Saskatchewan Minister of the Economy who will give an overview of Saskatchewan's Labour Market Challenges & Opportunities. Regina, SK Emerging Labour Force Trends Conference :May 24, 2017
Saskatchewan Mining Week 2017 The week-long event will feature various activities and events ending with the 49th Annual Emergency Response/Mine Rescue Skills Competition. Saskatoon, SK Saskatchewan Mining Week :May 28-June 3, 2017
International Minerals Innovation Institute - 4th Annual "Let's Talk Minerals!" This year's event includes sessions on "Innovation through the right Systems, Technology and Culture", "Driving Innovation through Ecosystems", and "PotashCorp Kamskénow - A Learning Journey in Cultural Responsiveness." Saskatoon, SK International Minerals Innovation Institute :June 1, 2017
Aboriginal Business Match Event (ABM) The event in June will spotlight Agriculture and Manufacturing. The event will connect community, national and international decision makers to provide business-ready opportunities for productive land base use and diverse and industrial equipment. Regina, SK ABM :June 5-7, 2017
Canada's Farm Progress Show (40th Anniversary) The 40th Anniversary of the Canada Farm Progress Show brings in more than 40,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors from around the world. The event connects local producers and international customers with the latest in dry land farm equipment, technology and innovation. Regina, SK Canada's Farm Progress Show :June 21-23, 2017
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Sowing the Seed The Premier of Manitoba, the Mayor of Winnipeg and expert panelists discuss insights into the innovation and cost-savings P3's can bring to the Winnipeg infrastructure market. Winnipeg, MB Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Sowing the Seed :May 2, 2017
Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise The Canadian Community Economic Development (CED) network hosts a conference that brings together over 250 social entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and supporters from across the country. Winnipeg, MB Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise :May 10-12, 2017
Vision Quest Vision Quest will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and youth to discuss and promote Aboriginal business, community and economic development. Winnipeg, MB Vision Quest :May 16-18, 2017
CANSEC The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) will showcase leading-edge technology, products and services for army, navy, air force and joint forces military units. Ottawa, ON CANSEC :May 31 - June 1, 2017
Skills Canada National Competition 2017 The Skills Canada National Competition is a multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices from across the country. Each year, over 500 students compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions. Winnipeg, MB Skills Canada National Competition 2017 :May 31-June 3, 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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