Alberta wildfire will cut Canadian GDP growth to zero, economist warns

Production cuts in Alberta’s oil sands forced by a raging wildfire may cause Canadian growth to stall in the second quarter, economists warned, predicting this would help keep the central bank on hold and weigh on the Canadian dollar.

The wildfire near the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray has forced the evacuation of 88,000 residents, destroyed 1,600 structures and disrupted energy production.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter cut his second-quarter GDP estimate to zero from 1.5 per cent, citing the effect of “severe disruptions” to oil production due to the wildfire in a note released Friday.

TOPSHOT - A plume of smoke hangs in the air as forest fires rage on in the distance in Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 4, 2016. Numerous vehicles can be seen abandoned on the highways leading from the raging forest fires in Fort McMurray and neighbouring communities have banded together to offer support in the form of food, water, and gasoline.  / AFP / Cole Burston        (Photo credit should read COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – A plume of smoke hangs in the air as forest fires rage on in the distance in Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 4, 2016.
Numerous vehicles can be seen abandoned on the highways leading from the raging forest fires in Fort McMurray and neighbouring communities have banded together to offer support in the form of food, water, and gasoline. / AFP / Cole Burston (Photo credit should read COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

h/t TM

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  • So it’s dipshit’s Katrina? That didn’t take long.

    • Alain

      Also the Alberta NDP’s Katrina. The two of them are a perfect match and fit.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I knew something like this would happen when he got elected.
      It’s the first of many black swans that will appear over the next four years.
      And he won’t be ready for any of them.

  • But… but… tar sands caused these fires!

    • Alain

      No, they will claim it was caused by global warming no doubt just as it causes jihad and everything else.

      • And it caused JJ Abrams to direct “Star Wars”.

      • barryjr

        That bitch dizzie Lizzie already has.

  • LauraS

    It’s a good thing our PM is an intellectual giant with a thorough understanding of economics and a detailed plan on how to bring Canada out these financially difficult times…oh, wait. Crap.

    • Alain

      Our “the budget will balance itself” PM, you mean.

    • Actually, I’d heard that former PM Harper was on the scene attempting to help.

      PM Trulander thinks that visiting Fort McMurray might not be helpful.

      Or the smoke ruins his hair or something.

      • Exile1981

        Given that Turdeau is an idiot an the rubble is still hot, it’s a good thing he isn’t going he’d likely burn himself and get in the way.

        • He would want selfies in front of smoldering remains of someone’s house.

          He, like, cares!

  • DMB

    I’m very curious on how this fire even started in the first place considering the hostile environment Rachael Notley has created for the oil industry in Alberta.

    • tamale

      An interesting thought. Esp in light of the 80%provincisl budget cut for fire fighting. Does seem too coincidental for comfort as the Gaia woe shippers’ dream outcome…

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    We can see the smoke in the sky in Manitoba.

  • Blind Druid

    It’s only property loss, that’s why insurance. As long as there is a buck to be made they will be back. Fort McMoney will rise again. Surrounded by ashes for the next twenty years or so. But lets refine the oil right here and divest ourselves from all outside sources.

  • Gary

    Maybe I don’t understand the new way fighting fires because all I hear on the radio is how the leaders are hoping for cooler weather and rain.

    Nobody puts out fires any more?

    I saw an aerial view of the fire where the grassy area was spreading , but I didn’t see any bulldozers cutting a strip across the land to stem the fire so it can’t skip over the turned soil.