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The Victoria Economy Thread


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#41 mat

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 03:19 PM

Vancouver announced today the annual summer fireworks competition will be cancelled due to lack of corporate sponsorship. This is one of the biggest summer events for the city, bringing in an estimated $15 million in revenue - it does cost around $4 million to put on.

Locally we have not had any big announcements of event cancellations - but I do wonder about Tall Ships, Canada Day etc. - anyone know?

#42 G-Man

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 03:33 PM

Tall ships only come about once every 5 years or so. The Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations have been cancelled before in the not too distant past.

#43 Ginger Snap

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 08:20 PM

Tall ships only come about once every 5 years or so. The Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations have been cancelled before in the not too distant past.


Every three years. They were just here in 2008, so we are not due to have them again until 2011.

#44 mat

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 08:41 PM

Every three years. They were just here in 2008, so we are not due to have them again until 2011.


One of the reasons I asked this was to get a feel for other events around town, some which require a big capital pre-investment, or deposit, for issues around security, fire city regulations etc - anything from the marathons and runs, to Jazz Fest et al.

I have not seen any co-agenda events yet announced regionally for next year while the 2010 Olympics are on. Normally that would be a perfect time to attract some of the attendants individually, or part of packages, to the Island.

#45 G-Man

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:45 AM

The "booming economy" did not save Folkfest, Latin Caribbean Festival or Summer in the Square. So I don't think a diving economy should necessarily kill other festivals on its own.

#46 spanky123

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 06:18 AM

Western Canada hit hardest by decline

B.C. and Alberta see swifter, sharper downturn than other provinces as housing slumps and bankruptcies soar

http://www.theglobea...ndrecovery/home

As our business, political and media "leaders" tell us that everything is fine in BC, you have to search out "east" to get the truth.

#47 mat

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:32 AM

Western Canada hit hardest by decline

B.C. and Alberta see swifter, sharper downturn than other provinces as housing slumps and bankruptcies soar

http://www.theglobea...ndrecovery/home

As our business, political and media "leaders" tell us that everything is fine in BC, you have to search out "east" to get the truth.


The 'boom' in Alberta and BC was faster and bigger than anywhere else in Canada, so we naturally have further to fall. If this economic correction was affecting just one sector - an example would be forestry - then BC would likely still be seeing growth, however we are seeing across the board retrenchment in resources, tech, services, agriculture and tourism.

The Tyee reported today on the real cost of gang warfare - and mentioned the estimated economic value of the marijuana industry:

... the marijuana industry, which now, according to one reliable source, creates 5 percent of the B.C. gross domestic product, employing 150,000 British Columbians.

Marijuana, most of it exported to the United States, generates $6 billion a year in wealth. By comparison, B.C. forestry and logging totalled $2.96 billion in 2007.


Despite the moral. legal, health and social issues surrounding the soft drug industry, it is obviously a massive generator of employment and personal revenue: one that is not taxed.

#48 mat

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:14 AM

this is really anecdotal - from a compilation of meetings with companies who 'export' tech, tourism and resources, with head offices within the CRD. - feel free to criticize - this comes from numbers presented at meetings I have attended, or sent to me.

All are down on average compared to 2007 - forest and transport export down 75% (December). Crab, Tuna and Salmon down 40% in future (next 3 months) contracts. Tourism 2009 pre-sale bookings down 60% (B+B, Hotel, Conference)

#49 Newlywednotnearlydead

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:46 AM

Maybe the original title of this thread was right after all.

As your post mat, I wouldn't be surprised by those numbers at all. Exports to the US have plunged, as evidenced by our first trade deficit since 1976. I expect an awful year for tourism, total numbers will be down and I expect a lot of discounts and sales to try and entice tourists, meaning lower profitability and fewer part time jobs.

#50 spanky123

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 11:19 AM

this is really anecdotal - from a compilation of meetings with companies who 'export' tech, tourism and resources, with head offices within the CRD. - feel free to criticize - this comes from numbers presented at meetings I have attended, or sent to me.

All are down on average compared to 2007 - forest and transport export down 75% (December). Crab, Tuna and Salmon down 40% in future (next 3 months) contracts. Tourism 2009 pre-sale bookings down 60% (B+B, Hotel, Conference)


No doubt your numbers are correct Mat.

The problem is, and I have voiced it many times, is that the Government, the chamber, the real estate board and everyone else who has a self-interest to serve all insist that things are not as bad as they sound and that the economy will soon improve.

When things start to go bad then they turn very quickly because people are not prepared. I can't count how many businesses and non-profits that I have spoken with recently that have made NO plans for a softening economy because they have been told that Victoria would be exempt.

I will take your report Mat and extend it to now include retail. The independant owners I have spoken to have told me that retail has fallen off a cliff here in the past two weeks.

I hope that things will improve in the near term but you have to plan for the worst.

#51 G-Man

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:50 PM

^ How does the Tourism Board profit from providing bad advice? They are funded by the hotel room tax. No bookings, no money.

#52 spanky123

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 02:55 PM

^ How does the Tourism Board profit from providing bad advice? They are funded by the hotel room tax. No bookings, no money.


Never said the tourism board, but the general belief seems to be that people are really stupid and as long a you tell them that things are fine they will continue to spend money at your establishment.

Government of course has its own agenda in that they feel they will be blamed at election time for any economic woes so they try to convince people that everything is under control.

#53 Roger

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:46 AM

Here are some articles on rising unemployment in Victoria.

EI benefits soar in Greater Victoria (Times Colonist)

December figures show an increase of 49.1 per cent

A total of 2,490 capital region residents were on regular EI benefits in December, compared with 1,170 in December 2007, Statistics Canada said yesterday.

The number of people working in retail and wholesale trade in Victoria was down by 2,900 from last January on a seasonally adjusted basis from January 2007, said Vincent Ferrao of Statistics Canada. Accommodation and food services numbers are down by 3,400 for the same period.


Now the Globe & Mail is covering Victoria unemployment:

Soaring unemployment marks sea change for Victoria


The city has long claimed one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, but Statistics Canada yesterday reported the number of people claiming employment insurance benefits in Victoria is up nearly 50 per cent over the past year.

At the Spectrum Job Search Centre, the change is evident: There are lineups for computers and counsellors. The mood is more intense, too, as job opportunities at all levels dry up.

Since the fall, the number of first-time employment-insurance claimants walking into her agency has doubled. At the same time, the number of new job postings has dropped. From an average of 30 or 40 new postings each month, the centre had just eight calls from employers looking for workers in January.

The clients coming in are from all sectors of the work force, from investment bankers to construction workers. Ms. Walker's office averaged 1,550 visits each month for the last 18 months. In January, 2,600 visitors showed up looking for work.

The biggest change she has tracked is in the construction industry, where a long-running boom has turned to bust. That's being felt in the building-supplies business, too. Service industry and manufacturing jobs are down as well.


#54 spanky123

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 08:19 AM

Two things immediately strike me. The first is how quickly the job market has turned and secondly the fact that these are December numbers and December was actually an ok month for many businesses (especially in Victoria).

From my own observations, most local businesses hadn't started to really see much of an economic impact until late January / early February.

#55 dt_electric

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:30 AM

This is my first post, but economy stuff is a pet-peeve of mine....

The media spin and fear-mongering makes the current economic situation far worse than it needs to be.

And please excuse my view on tourism.... but, IMO, its fluff. Its a perk. It's a gratuity. It's a complete and total 'bonus' industry(?) that runs on the economic tides. Be happy when its working for us. DON'T dare fuss if it isn't.

If people would give their head a shake and be self-aware in their own locale - rather than letting the TV, Internet, and newspaper dominate what they think... then our economy wouldn't suffer even to the minor extent that it has (and only to the tiniest fraction of what is perceived.)

My 2 cents

#56 AnonAnnie2

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:13 AM

I sure hear the frustration with the media on our economy. At the same time, I wouldn't want to be a reporter trying to figure out how to report it!

I am in sales, so is my husband and, we have children in IT, trades, accounting and insurance. (4 grown kids).
I and hubby are holding our own, kids who are in trades i.e. a 3rd year apprentice electrician lost job, while the ones who are IT, hawking silk-screened t-shirts or insurance; shooting wedding videos, bussing tables, crunching numbers or warehouse work are holding their own.

#57 spanky123

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:27 AM

I hear the argument a lot that the economy is really fine and that it is the media making much ado about nothing.

This morning statscan released figures showing that the economy contracted 3.4% last quarter, the stock market hit a 12 year low, and AIG just announced the largest loss in corporate history. There is no opinion or spin in these figures. You may prefer that the media just says nothing but they are doing their job.

What people seem to be arguing then is the impact on them. If you are working locally, are young, and have no money in the stock market then I can see how the downturn in the economy may see unimportant to you. It isn't for your boss however. He or she is seeing their own net worth and retirement savings drop, they are having more difficulty collecting bills from customers, and demand for products or services is likely slowing or contracting. At some point that impact will be pushed "downstream".

I also hear that since our economy is so saturated with Government workers we are safe. After all, many Government workers are guaranteed wage increases this year and next thanks to Carole Taylor and they will spend their way to prosperity. This may help buffer things for a while in Victoria, but eventually even that tap will run dry as Government revenues continue to slide due to lower oil and gas royalties and stumpage fees and reduced tax revenue.

Last summer I said that the local development community had 6 months for the economy to improve or that we would start seeing major projects abandoned. People would sit on the fence and wait for a turnaround but at some point they would capitulate. I think that we are at the same point now for the rest of the economy.

#58 G-Man

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:49 AM

Anyone that doesn't already know that the media are prolonging the economic downturn should wake to the fact that is exactly what is happening.

The economy is really nothing more than a numerical way of looking at the mood, desires and fears of the general population on a massive scale.

If everyone woke up tomorrow and thought it was ok to come out from under the rock the economy would be back to where it was in a few short weeks. This is of course not going to happen. So we going on feeling sorry for our selves as a collective for the next few years after which we will feel like partying again and back up it goes.

It's your emotions, stupid!

#59 Roger

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 10:07 AM

Anyone that doesn't already know that the media are prolonging the economic downturn should wake to the fact that is exactly what is happening.

The economy is really nothing more than a numerical way of looking at the mood, desires and fears of the general population on a massive scale.

If everyone woke up tomorrow and thought it was ok to come out from under the rock the economy would be back to where it was in a few short weeks. This is of course not going to happen. So we going on feeling sorry for our selves as a collective for the next few years after which we will feel like partying again and back up it goes.

It's your emotions, stupid!


G-Man - You never cease to amaze me. If only people in Victoria and North America just kept spending money (they don't have) by using more and more credit we would all be OK. Sounds like a sound economic plan.

#60 G-Man

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:07 PM

^ It doesn't have to be the lay person spending the money.

If banks were opening up there credit lines and people instead of pulling money out of the stock market all together moved it other stocks the markets would have stayed at the same level. Instead people panic, especially those with lots of money and move investments into bonds causing the market to tank. This is fueled by media exploitation of fear and nothing to do with the actually functioning of the economy.

For example, last week the TD Bank posted a huge profit. Instead of reporting that the bank was doing very well despite the economic downturn the CBC had a headline that read "Profit slides 27% at Toronto Dominion Bank".

The fact that the bank is profiting and still doing well is great news and should have been trumpeted but the CBC decided to play to the general malaise felt in the world and tried to pull out a negative angle.

Actually another example that the economy is controlled by emotion not rationale is when you look at today's tumble. This is in part caused by the announcement that the Canadian Economy contracted 3.4 % in 2008. So what! It has already happened why should an announcement of how the economy performed in the past have effect on today and subsequently the future. Of course most human systems are just silly games developed by humans to keep their oversized brain busy.

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