01/06/2015 10:40 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Canada's Economic Shift: Ontario, B.C. To Grow Faster Than Alberta

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TORONTO - Falling oil prices will shift the balance of power among Canada's provinces this year, with Alberta expected to see its growth rate slashed in half, according to Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter.

Meanwhile, Ontario and British Columbia will battle it out for who will see the fastest growth this year, Porter said during a panel discussion hosted by the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.

However, Porter predicts it will be a "race of the turtles," as both provinces are expected to grow at no more than 2.5 per cent this year.

National Bank chief economist Stefane Marion says Ontario's growth will be slowed by the fact that the manufacturing sector was gutted during the financial crisis and recession.

During previous economic recoveries, Ontario had excess capacity in its factories and could quickly benefit from an increased demand for exports.

However, much of that capacity was lost after the last recession and will take some time to rebuild, Marion says.

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