9 Signs That Alberta Is Really, Truly F***ed Right Now

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Dear Alberta,

We know that things don't look too great at the moment.

The economy is tanking and the provincial government is plunging further and further into deficit.

Sure, there are some optimists who see a "flicker of hope" in rising oil prices. But even they admit that most oil producers can't generate a profit at current levels.

And sure, the truth hurts — but sometimes it's important to hear it, if only to figure out how to make a bad situation better.

With that in mind, here's a list of reasons why Alberta is really, truly, f**ked right now.

Downtown Calgary is starting to look like a ghost town

Things have been a little quiet in Calgary's city centre over the past few months.

Commercial real estate vacancies are up 20 per cent and experts say it's only going to get worse.

By 2018 the downtown core could have 11 million square feet of empty offices — the equivalent of about 647 NHL rinks, according to The Canadian Press.

It will be like walking through a downtown ghost town.

The oilsands are set to lose even more jobs

And if you're a construction worker in the oilsands, you might want to think about switching industries.

Construction jobs in the oilsands are expected to virtually disappear in the next four years.

And that's happening as at least one company experiments with driverless trucks.

oilsands truck

All. This. Stuff. Being. Auctioned.

For companies going out of business, there's no better way to try and recoup some of the costs than selling off your old equipment.

It seems like lots of Alberta companies have the same idea, with the largest ever auction of Canadian industrial equipment taking place this week.

alberta auction
That's a lot of formerly profitable equipment. (Photo: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers)

“I saw this as an opportunity to get out while I still could, before you start getting the mass exodus,” business owner Jeff Ludwig told The Globe and Mail.

Ludwig's company is liquidating all of its assets — 48 remote work-site trailers. It's a mere drop in the bucket of the over 10,000 items up for auction.

Wages are plummeting

If you're looking to make some money, go west — further west, that is.

Because weekly wages have fallen faster in Alberta this year than in any other province, dropping 3.4 per cent to $1,118.

alberta
That's not the direction we want to see this chart going in.(Chart: StatsCan)

Need EI? Good luck.

Employment insurance is supposed to be there when you need it.

That sounds great when you're not stuck at the end of a line with the other 60,000 Albertans hoping to sort out their claims.

Thank goodness the government extended EI benefits ... unless you're in Edmonton.

Our hockey teams kind of suck

Those looking for escapism through Canada's favourite sport are out of luck.

But at least the rest of Canada isn't doing much better. Here's to next season.


Massive fires. And no money for firefighters.

Wildfire season has started and according to one expert the province is just "waiting to burn."

Hot, dry weather has created ideal conditions for forest fires, like the one that forced an evacuation of hundreds of Albertans near Fort McMurray.

Unfortunately, the Alberta government felt this was the best time to cut almost $15 million from the province's wildfire budget, despite last year's fire season being the busiest in 25 years.

Please, nobody light a match.

The province really needs to bone up on sex ed

Alberta's sexual education programs should receive a failing grade, critics told the Edmonton Sun last month.

In probably unrelated news, sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and syphilis have more than doubled over the past year.

Language is failing Albertans

Albertans have a right to be upset given everything that's going on.

Unfortunately, it seems like we don't have the words to express ourselves.

One angry commenter hoping to kickstart a revolution against Alberta's NDP government accidentally coined the word "kudatah."

kudatah

But there's one thing Albertans can be happy about

There are lots of fun, free things to do in Alberta to distract you from all the bad news.

After all, the best things in life are free.

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