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West at a Glance - August 2017 Issue

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Inside this issue

Provincial Government Developments

British Columbia




News and Opinion Highlights

Key Economic Indicators

British Columbia




Last Update
Gross Domestic Product
Real GDPFootnote 1  (2007 $billions, forecast) $224 $298 $60 $57 $1,716 2017
% ch. from year earlier 2.5% 3.3% 2.5% 2.1% 2.3%  
Labour Market
Employment (SA, thousands) 2,481 2,284 568 649 18,422 Jul-17
Change from previous month -5.1 -14.4 -0.4 4.8 10.9  
% ch. from previous month -0.2% -0.6% -0.1% 0.7% 0.1%  
% ch. from year earlier 3.6% 1.5% -0.2% 2.1% 2.1%  
Unemployment Rate (SA,%) 5.3% 7.8% 6.6% 5.% 6.3% Jul-17
percentage points from previous month 0.2 0.4 0.1 -0.3 -0.2  
percentage points from year earlier -0.3 -0.8 0.3 -1.3 -0.7  
Regular EI beneficiaries (SA) 50,910 71,950 18,760 14,990 525,250 May-17
Change from previous month -1850 -5,550 -50 -190 -12,760  
% ch. from previous month -3.5% -7.2% -0.3% -1.3% -2.4%  
% ch. from previous year -5.1% -11.1% 11.9% -2.1% -4.9%  
Average weekly earnings $939.99 $1,120.19 $1,004.59 $915.20 $972.41 May-17
Change from previous year $22.51 $18.68 $19.97 $27.79 $18.92  
CPI (y/y) 1.7% 0.4% 0.5% 0.2% 1.0% Jun-17
CPI (y/y) previous month 1.9% 1.2% 0.9% 1.0% 1.3% May-17
Consumers and Business
Retail Sales (SA, $millions) $7,003 $6,812 $1,658 $1,696 $48,905 May-17
% ch. from previous month 2.6% 1.6% 0.9% 0.8% 0.6%  
% ch. from previous year 9.9% 9.0% 4.7% 6.2% 7.3%  
Manufacturing Sales (SA, $millions) $4,067 $6,089 $1,256 $1,465 $54,593 May-17
% ch. from previous month 1.8% 1.3% -0.3% 0.3% 1.1%  
% ch. from previous year 8.2% 18.4% 8.9% 4.8% 8.7%  
Building Permits (SA, $millions) $1,311 $1,087 $205 $319 $8,062 Jun-17
% ch. from previous month 2.5% -8.0% 21.7% 40.4% 2.5%  
% ch. from previous year 28.5% 9.7% -10.3% 64.5% 22.5%  
Housing Starts (SAAR, thousands) 48 34 6 5 222 Jul-17
% ch. from previous month 17.6% 8.1% 6.1% -26.4% 4.4%  
% ch. from previous year 20.0% 30.9% -5.2% -34.0% 13.6%  
International Trade
Merchandise Exports ($millions) $3,750 $8,169 $2,181 $1,219 $43,794 Jun-17
% ch. from previous month -2.8% -8.4% -17.0% -3.5% -4.1%  
% ch. from previous year 27.1% 31.1% 7.4% 11.5% 13.6%  
Merchandise Imports ($millions) $4,554 $2,576 $1,076 $1,906 $50,969 Jun-17
% ch. from previous month -0.7% 3.3% 7.9% -2.6% 0.2%  
% ch. from previous year 9.1% 25.0% 44.3% 9.5% 10.0%  
Population (estimate) 4,789,221 4,291,980 1,161,365 1,332,629 36,591,241 Q2 2017
% ch. from previous year 1.3% 1.4% 1.4% 1.6% 1.2%  
Largest Cities (CMAs) Vancouver

Upcoming Events

Event Description Location Date
Business Leaders Luncheon: Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is hosting Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, to discuss how the federal government's infrastructure plan will benefit projects in the Greater Victoria region. Victoria, BC Aug. 1, 2017
Business Excellence Series: FinTech A conference organized by Business in Vancouver (BIV) to help SMEs make informed decisions in the FinTech landscape. Vancouver, BC September 12, 2017
Inclusive Business Forum: Leveraging Opportunities to Innovate Human Capital The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will host its inaugural Inclusive Business Forum to assist local companies identify talent management strategies. Vancouver, BC September 21, 2017
Canadian Mining in a Changing World The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is hosting Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, to discuss opportunities for the growth of sustainable mining in BC and across Canada. Vancouver, BC Sep. 27, 2017
Vancouver Island Economic Summit 2017 The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance will host a forum for businesses and stakeholders in Nanaimo on how to champion Vancouver Island in the Global Marketplace. Nanaimo, BC Sep. 29, 2017
4th Annual Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Show The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Show offers networking opportunities for businesses and individuals, including speeches from industry leaders. Vancouver, BC Oct. 24, 2017
National Gathering of Elders 2017 The first national gathering of elders from all Indigenous groups of Canada. A chance for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to find common ground promoting environmental responsibility and cultural preservation. Edmonton, AB September 11-14, 2017
Opportunities North An Edmonton North Partnership event focused on creating and expanding economic opportunities and partnerships between northern and southern businesses and organizations. Topics will cover business, agriculture, education, tourism, transportation and healthcare. Edmonton, AB September 12-14, 2017
EconoUS2017 - Innovation For Shared Prosperity A workshop event organized by CCED to connect and inspire social innovators from across Canada who share a passion for creating inclusive community economic development. Calgary, AB September 13-15, 2017:AB
Health And Life Sciences Showcase An event featuring educational seminars, pitch presentations, roundtables, vendors and BioAlberta's annual awards gala. Edmonton, AB September 20, 2017
Banff Venture Forum A showcase of hi-tech companies from across North America offering insight into key issues within the industry. A premium networking opportunity and a chance to learn from world-class professionals in the investment community. Banff, AB September 21-22, 2017
Aboriginal Business Match ABM allows business connections to be made by eliminating geographic barriers, condensing time requirements and reducing costs. Enoch, AB September 25-27, 2017
2017 Alberta Climate Summit: Seizing Innovation And Opportunity In A Low-Carbon Economy The event, hosted by the Pembina Institute, will bring together 500+ thought leaders from industry, government, environmental NGOs and community stakeholders to learn from success stories, identify opportunities and challenges, and explore solutions related to Alberta's clean energy future. Calgary, AB September 28, 2017
Rural Alberta Innovation And Learning Commons A learning commons focused on rural economic and community development attended by councilors, mayors, CAOs, EDOs, community development professionals and students from across the province. Olds, AB September 29 - October 1, 2017
2017 Canadian Inland Ports Conference The event will investigate the economic and societal importance of existing inland ports and demonstrate the potential economic impact of these inland ports within their region and Canada. Calgary, AB October 4-5, 2017
2017 Calgary Energy Roundtable This event brings together industry and government leaders to discuss Canada's energy future. Calgary, AB October 11, 2017
Second Richard Marceau Energy Symposium Hosted by the Bowman Centre for Sustainable Energy and Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) to move forward on nation-building sustainable energy projects. Calgary, AB October 11-12, 2017
CERI 2017 Electricity Conference This conference will discuss the opportunities and challenges of greening the Canadian electricity system. Calgary, AB October 16-17, 2017
NSBA 3rd
Annual Popcorn & Entrepreneurship Series
The North Saskatchewan Business Association will host their third annual event presented by EY Canada. The event titled "Changing the Pulse of the Province" will celebrate founder and CEO of AGT Foods & Ingredients Inc., Murad Al Katib, who won this year's EY World Entrepreneur of the Year award. Saskatoon, SK August 30, 2017
EDCE Entrepreneurial Development Conference and Expo The event offers insights and opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs. It includes over 20 sessions, workshops and presentations from top industry experts, an interactive small business expo, and 3 one-on-one networking events. Saskatoon, SK September 15-16, 2017
International Downtown Association (IDA) 63rd Annual Conference and Tradeshow Winnipeg will host the 63rd Annual Conference themed "AuthentiCITY". The tradeshow will be the place for practitioners to study best practices, explore new ideas, network, and share solutions on transforming cities into healthy and vibrant urban places. Winnipeg, MB September 13-15, 2017:MB
Projectworld Business Analyst World Winnipeg A unique industry-leading event that empowers Project Management and Business Analysis professionals with the skills to take their careers to the next level.  The Workshops look deeper into Lean, Six Sigma, Agile Environments, Leadership and Essential Tools. Winnipeg, MB September 18-21, 2017
Agricultural Bioscience International Conference A premier global meeting promoting innovation in bioscience to ensure sustainable food, feed, fibre and fuel security as the climate changes. Winnipeg, MB September 25-28, 2017
Global Forum 2017: Shaping the Future The Global Forum is an independent, high profile, international, non-for-profit event dedicated to business and policy issues affecting Digital Society. This is the first time in 25 years the forum will be held in Canada and will include more than 300 key policy-makers as well as public/private stakeholders from more than 30 countries. Winnipeg, MB October 1-3, 2017
Southern Manitoba Manufacturers' Summit This annual event provides a forum for Southern Manitoba manufacturers of all sizes and sub-sectors to explore a balanced approach to long-term social, environmental and economic objectives. Manitoba October 26, 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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