OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says Alberta led the country in economic growth in 2011, followed closely by Saskatchewan.
The Canadian economy as a whole expanded 2.6 per cent in 2011, slowing somewhat after a 3.4 per cent expansion in 2010.
But in Alberta, the economy picked up speed. It surged 5.2 per cent last year, after a more tepid 3.3 per cent expansion a year earlier, buoyed by high energy prices that encouraged extraction and exploration in the oil and gas patch.
Saskatchewan's economy grew 4.8 per cent from the previous year, thanks to strong export demand for its natural resources.
The most populous province, Ontario, saw sluggish 2.0 per cent growth in 2011, led by mining and exploration, as well as manufacturing.
The only part of the country to see an outright contraction was Northwest Territories, where economic output dropped 5.5 per cent, led by a big decline in diamond mining.
Percentages show population growth from 2006 census to 2011 census. Source: Canada 2011 Census
A view of the Husky Energy upgrader facility inLloydminster, Saskatchewan where bitumen and heavy oil are converted to synthetic oil. (The Canadian Press Images/Bayne Stanley)
Photo: YouTube screencap
Photo: City of Cold Lake
Photo: Kathy Dempsey/Flickr
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: City of Strathmore
Photo: City of High River Prairie grain elevator and grain storage bins near High River, Alberta with the Rocky Mountains visible in the distance. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Photo: City of Steinbach
This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows a tar sands mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada. (The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
Photo: Xz1303, Wikimedia Commons