Northern Economist 2.0

Monday, 16 January 2017

Falling Use, Rising Price: A Modern Lament

This morning's Thunder Bay paper featured a municipal councilor lamenting that the new provincial cap-and-trade policy will add at least $375,000 to the City of Thunder Bay's energy bill.  According to the councilor: “It’s very frustrating because we reduce consumption substantially and then bingo, it’s gone.”  As the story notes, the city’s finance department in November projected the legislation will lead to a $200,000 increase to natural gas, $150,000 for diesel fuel and $25,000 to gasoline based on estimates of 3.3 cents per cubic metre of natural gas, 4.7 cents per litre for diesel and 4.3 cents per litre for gasoline.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Recent Economic News Around Northern Ontario

Here is a listing of some stories out in the north over the last few days of economic significance for the economy of northern Ontario and its residents.  Enjoy.

Economic Growth Minimal - The Chronicle Journal, January 11, 2017

Business for the Arts - Netnewsledger, January 12, 2017

Should Timmins Have a University? -, January 12, 2017

Legend Boat gets FedNor boost - Sudbury Star, January 11, 2017.

Economists to Share Trump Ideas with Morneau. North Bay, January 12, 2017.

In Wynne's world Ontario is just fine. January 8, 2017.

Rubicon goes back to the drawing board. Northern Ontario Business, January 10, 2017.

Foresters seek common ground on endangered species management. Northern Ontario Business, January 9, 2017.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Building Permits Down

Statistics Canada has just released its building permit results for November of 2016 and the numbers are down overall largely as a result of a decline in construction intentions in Alberta.  According to Statistics Canada:

In the residential sector, the value of building permits fell 1.6% to $5.1 billion in November, following three consecutive monthly increases. Declines were posted in four provinces, led by Alberta. The largest gains were posted in British Columbia and Quebec.  The value of non-residential building permits rose 3.0% to $2.6 billion in November, the fourth increase in five months. Higher construction intentions were registered in five provinces, led by Quebec and Ontario. The largest decline was reported in Alberta.

The interesting results are for Census Metropolitan areas as the value of building permits was down in 16 of 34 census metropolitan areas for the month of November.  Both of the major northern Ontario CMAs - Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay - registered decreases in November from October at 61.6 percent in Thunder Bay and 5.9 percent in Sudbury.

When November 2015 to November 2016 is examined, over the course of the year Moncton registered the largest increase at 227 percent while Brantford saw the largest decrease (See Figure).  Over this same period, Thunder Bay saw a 49 percent decrease while Greater Sudbury saw a 19 percent decrease.