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Report: Horse River Wildfire’s Economic Impact to Dissipate by 2021

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Report: Horse River Wildfire's Economic Impact to Dissipate by 2021

Construction in Wood Buffalo, Spring 2017 // Harvard Broadcasting Reporter Jaryn Vecchio

A new report suggests the economic impacts from the Horse River Wildfire should dissipate by 2021.

On Tuesday, the RMWB released the Conference Board of Canada’s latest report – ‘Moving Forward. The Economic Impact of Rebuilding the Wood Buffalo Region’s Economy.”

Since the wildfire, the report notes industry lost $1.4 billion while the region’s GDP decreased by 14.6 per cent.

However, it adds the rebuild helped increase employment by 5.8 per cent in 2017 – while anticipating another 2.1 per cent increase next year. In the next four-years, the region could see around 11,300 new jobs.

It also highlights a growth in the region’s GDP, increasing by 18.6 per cent in 2017 with moderate increases of 2.2 per cent annually – up to 2021.

“It is expected that billions of dollars of reinvestment will take place over the 2017 to 2021 period, as structures are rebuilt, vehicles and household items are replaced, and businesses restock inventories.” said the report.

The report also suggest oil prices will rise at a “modest” pace over the next five-years.

The region is forecasting by 2030, oilsands across the province will produce roughly 3.7 million barrels per day. In 2015, the industry averaged around 2.5 barrels per day.

Over the next 20-years, $4 trillion will be invested into the Canadian economy from the oil industry.

“Our region is resilient and already showing signs of growth, which are reflected in this report,” said Amanda Haitas, Manager of Wood Buffalo Economic Development, in a release.

The rebuild, bounce back of industry, and potential rise of oil prices will be the main factors with the expected increase of the GDP.

Meanwhile, as for the population, it’s expected to see annual growth over the next few years. By 2021, the report suggests their will be 123,500 living in the region- including shadow population.

The full report can be found at choosewoodbuffalo.ca.

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