22 February 2007

I knew I was feeling poorer....

Calgary's inflation rate dwarfs national average

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Like residents of most places in Canada, Calgarians experienced a slower pace of price increases in January, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
The increasingly benign rate of price increases across Canada generally — a 1.2 per cent national annual rate in January compared to a 1.6 per cent annual rate in December — has most analysts convinced that interest rates are now unlikely to change for some time, with the Bank of Canada unconcerned about the generally negative effect of rapid price gains on the economy.

Nonetheless, Calgary continued to have to deal with the fastest rising prices in Canada, with a January inflation rate of 4.6 per cent produced by higher shelter, particularly owned accommodation costs. January's result was a decline from the 5.7 per cent rate recorded in December, 2006, helped in part by lower utility costs compared to a year earlier.

Like its premier city, Alberta topped out the provincial inflation numbers but did see lower cost increases than experienced as 2006 drew to a close. Across Wild Rose Country, prices in January were 3.9 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier, a decline from the 4.7 per cent rate in December.

Statistics Canada released rates for all major cities, but cautioned that figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples (Previous month in brackets):

•St. John’s, N.L., 1.1 (1.1)
•Charlottetown-Summerside, 1.2 (1.6)
•Halifax, 0.9 (1.0)
•Saint John, N.B., 0.3 (0.7)
•Quebec, 0.3 (0.9)
•Montreal 0.6 (1.2)
•Ottawa 0.4 (1.1)
•Toronto 0.3 (1.0)
•Thunder Bay, Ont., -0.4 (0.6)
•Winnipeg, 1.7 (1.7)
•Regina 1.6 (1.5)
•Saskatoon 1.5 (1.4)
•Edmonton 3.0 (3.8)
•Calgary 4.6 (5.7)
•Vancouver 2.6 (2.6)
•Victoria 1.7 (1.5)

Canada's core inflation, excluding food and energy, inched up to 2.1 percent on the year, from 2.0 percent in December.

I think we all know that the red-hot economy here is making everything more in demand and thusly more expensive. However I had no idea that the inflation rate in Calgary was as high as 6 or 7% month over month over the past year. My salary certainly hasn't been keeping up at that rate, and I doubt neither has it for another 70% of Calgarians. The group of people that are benefitting from the boom are certainly in the minority, and there lies a problem. Many people are finding it more difficult to remain in this city and maintain a steady standard of living. Quite sad for a city with such a a strong economy, but with all the advantages come just as many disadvantages, which we can all see quite visibly on the streets of our city. Now you see why the conversation of moving out of Calgary back to BC or Saskatchewan is becoming more commonplace?


Jeff Skybar said...

Well it would explain the high consumption of alcohol here as I read today. Then on the next page it talks about how Calgary is one of the magor cities that supports arts an culture. Great a bunch of broke, drunk, artsy fartsy people.

BTW I don't know WHERE all this arts and culture is that they are claiming because usually there is a better tolerance for minorities, such as gays because we are more inclined to be in the arts and culture profession. This I have not seen lately. But WHY should I be surprised when a couple of months ago the city boasted about being one of the gay freindly cities in Canada. Again What? Where? One gay bar for a city of over a million, yep we MUST be a gay friendly city... It just makes me wonder where all this information is coming from. Certainly not from anything credable as far as I'm concerned.

Reid Dalgleish said...

I'm not sure about the prevalence of arts and culture here either. It might exist, but it's neither challenging nor affordable.

I think Calgary is relatively gay-friendly. I don't know of many other cities that have evolved with such a degree of integration of gay men and women into the general population. You can't base a city's attitude towards gays by the number of bars it has. That's not an issue of the population as a whole, but of those that want/should be able to provide that service to homos in this city -- and that would typically be the members of the gay community itself. At a civic level, we've had relatively strong support for such events as the OutGames and Pride.

I wonder sometimes if the gay community itself has a defense mentality that really isn't warranted anymore? It's not like we make ourselves very visible in Calgary. If we did, we probably wouldn't encounter a whole lot of resistance and people in general would be a lot more cognizant of our existence and our activities in the city's communities themselves. Back to that integration idea. We're everywhere in Calgary, not just stuck to a gay ghetto somewhere downtown, so if we were more visible, people would realize that we're living, working, and spending money everywhere that straight people do. Might be a good thing? Maybe not?

Jeff Skybar said...

I think parts of calgary are Gay friendly, like 17th Ave or 4th street or around the beltline. Maybe even some communities close to DT. But the farther out you go, the less tolerance there is. And for sure any venue which draws in crowds of people that are, well lets be nice, not up on current affairs does not foster the growth of a gay community or make the city friendlier towards gays. Maybe everybody is just coupled in this city and like we said at lunch, I am viewing this from a single man's point of view.

Phillip Ditcbburn said...


Reid, could you call me. I with CBC Radio in Vancouver - trying to set up a panel discussion on living in Calgary.
My phone number here is 604-662-6981
Phillip Ditchburn, Sounds Like Canada.