Fort McMurray is known as the oilsands “capital”, so just how will the wildfires affect the province and the rest of the country economically?
A new report by the Conference Board of Canada says the temporary shutdown of oilsands operations in Fort McMurray reduced production by more than 1-million barrels per day.
The Board calls that a major hit to the local economy but only in the short term.
Board Associate Director Marie-Christine Bernard says Alberta’s and by extension Canada’s economy has taken a hit because of the fire but…
“These homes that were destroyed will need to be rebuilt, and also the cleaning efforts – those will be adding to the economy as we see more construction activity in Fort McMurray. Also, the oil production that is presently shut down right now – companies will bring back in the next few days.”
In the first two weeks the province has lost roughly $985 million dollars in real GDP.
That’s 0.33% of Alberta’s projected GDP for 2016 and 0.6% for the whole country.
It also suggests while the wildfires will take about 1% out of real GDP growth in Alberta, at the national level, the impacts will be hardly felt.
The Board says there are mitigating effects.
Efforts to rebuild will add around $1.3 billion in GDP to the province in 2017 and beyond.
The report adds the true cost of the tragedy is its effects on people’s lives.
The wildfires manage to touch at least 2400 buildings, and forced upwards of 80,000 people to flee.