Calgary, bulldoze the economic blues away

Recession got you down? Well we've been here before. The early '80s were replent with doom and gloom as oil prices fell through the floor. Sound familiar? How did we bust out of the doldrums? A catchy jingle and a bulldozer.

'Yes we can!' The city's attitude adjustment during the '80s recession

With a glut of oil wreaking havoc on Calgary's economy in the '80s, the Chamber of Commerce launched a feel-good campaign, complete with Ralph Klein driving a front-end loader. 2:36

It's January. It's cold. It's dark. We're in a recession. Gloom stalks the streets of our city.

Well Calgary, we've been here before. In late 1982, the times were tough here in oil and gas country. The world was experiencing an oil glut (sound familiar?), prices were down and Calgarians were in a rut.

So, the Chamber of Commerce decided we were all being negative and needed a serious attitude adjustment. They created a new campaign called, "Yes we Can".  It even came with a nifty song to cheer us out of the economic doldrums. 

Calgary Mayor Ralph Klein got onboard, and decided to bulldoze his way through the negativity. Literally.

Check out how we at the CBC reported the whole thing from this story which aired back on November 15th, 1982.


Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads.