May 2014 Alberta Economic Fundamentals

Ally

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Calgary single family home starts up 15%





Construction starts of single-family homes in the Calgary area climbed 15 per cent last month from activity a year earlier, says a federal agency.





Shovels turned in 630 homes in the Calgary census metropolitan area last month, up from 545 during the same time in 2013. The Calgary census metropolitan area includes surrounding cities and towns, such as Airdrie, Cochrane and Chestermere.





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Ally

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Banff housing committee looks to industrial area





Banff`s Community Housing Strategy Committee is open to the idea of promoting more residential development in the industrial compound as one way of dealing with the tourist town`s housing crunch.





In an interim document released for public feedback, the committee has responded to a series of recommendations that came out of a 2012 housing needs assessment, including a call for an area redevelopment plan for the commercial services land use district.





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Ally

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Calgary rental reality: People living in motorhomes





Calgary`s razor-thin rental market has forced many folks to find alternative accommodations ` but few as `funky` as the four-decade-old RV parked behind Kym Tymeson`s house.





After spending the past winter inside the Chevy motorhome themselves, Tymeson and her fiancà and 13-year-old son found a house to rent in Martindale and put their four-wheeled digs on the market to subsidize their rent.





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Ally

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Canadian crude links to U.S. refineries improving, despite pipeline delays





While major Canadian pipeline companies are unable to secure approvals for flagship projects, connectivity is improving between Alberta`s oil basin and U.S. refineries, according to Barclays Capital.





The vastly improving logistics situation should also help narrow differentials between Western Canada Select (WCS) and the U.S. crude benchmark, flying in the face of the assumption that pipeline delays would hinder the development of the oil sands.





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Ally

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Canada crude-by-rail exports reach record high of 160,000 bpd





CALGARY, Alberta, May 26 (Reuters) - Canadian exports of crude oil by rail hit a record high of 160,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2014, Canada's National Energy Board says, a more than 50 percent rise from the same period a year earlier.





Canada shipped 160,164 bpd out of the country by rail between January and March, a sharp rise from the first quarter of 2013, when it exported 105,632 bpd, the NEB said on Friday. The first-quarter figure was a 7 percent increase from the final quarter of 2013, when 149,479 bpd were exported by rail.





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Ally

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Edmonton's LRT system to benefit from government partnership





EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 26, 2014) -
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, Regional Minister for Northern Alberta and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Spruce Grove, today announced that the Government of Canada has aside up to $150 million for the Valley Line Stage 1 Light Rail Transit expansion project in Edmonton under the New Building Canada Fund - Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component.





This contribution would bring the total federal contribution to the project to up to $400 million. The Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton are also partners on this project.







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Ally

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Calgary city councillors to review zoning limits for secondary suites





After years of political impasse over easing Calgary`s restrictive secondary suite rules, inner-city councillors will bid to remove zoning limits in their own wards.





If the initiative led by Coun. Druh Farrell goes through at June 9`s council meeting, all single-family houses in Wards 7, 8, 9 and 11 could obtain permits for basement or backyard apartments.





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Ally

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As mortgage rates fall, Calgary realtors anticipate boost to an already strong market





CALGARY - Calgary`s hot housing market has received another incentive that could boost sales activity even more in the coming days.





Mortgage rates are starting to come down again right during the busy time of the year for the industry.





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Ally

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Recruiting won't be enough to address oilsands labour needs





EDMONTON - Alberta`s expanding oilsands sector will need 98,000 workers in construction, operations and maintenance jobs by 2023, up from 73,000 this year, says a new labour forecast designed to help ensure those positions get filled.





The report, released Wednesday, is billed as the first of its kind.





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Ally

Research Assistant
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Oil sands labour crunch looms as new projects set to come on stream





Petroleum engineers, pipefitters and plumbers can expect to be in high demand as the oil sands sector looks to hire an additional 25,000 people to meet the needs of the expanding sector during the next decade.





Employment in the oil sands and the related construction sector will rise about 35% to reach 98,380 by 2023, according to a benchmark annual report Wednesday by the Petroleum HR Council, a unit of Enform Canada, a safety association for the oil and gas industry.





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