The Current

Continuous slump in oil means tough times for Albertans

The Alberta boom that saw job creation soar and wages climb is bust. The daily headlines offer uncomfortable numbers on everything from housing prices to suicide rates. We hear from the mayors of Calgary and Fort McMurray on how their communities are coping and looking for new ways forward.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Fort MacMurray Mayor Melissa Blake say their communities are struggling through undeniably tough times due to the slump in oil. (Twitter/CBC)

At the close of trading yesterday, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate oil was priced at just $30.48. And people across the country are asking "How low can it go?"

The costs of cheap oil are being felt ... and felt hard... in Alberta, and not solely in the oil sector. The ripple effects of falling oil prices have cost an estimated 100,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. All those layoffs have led to empty office towers and tumbling house prices.

Crime is on the rise, as are suicide rates, and food banks across the province are overwhelmed.

We invited two Alberta mayors to join us to see how their communities are reacting and coping.

  • Melissa Blake is the Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She was in Fort McMurray.
  • Naheed Nenshi is the Mayor of Calgary.

Is the falling price of oil having an impact on you... whether you're in Alberta, or elsewhere?

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This segment was produced by Calgary Network Producer Michael O'Halloran.