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Up In Smoke

Smokers take a toll on the bottom line of their employers. On average, each smoker cost his or her employer an estimated $4,256 in 2012, according to The Conference Board of Canada report Smoking Cessation and the Workplace: Benefits of Workplace Programs. The total includes lost productivity due to unsanctioned smoking breaks and absenteeism. Yet, employers are not doing enough to change the smoking culture in their workplace.


Government of Canada Supports the Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, announced during the Skills and Post-Secondary Education Summit 2013 that the federal government would provide funding for the Conference Board’s new Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education. The end goal of the Centre is to develop a national PSE and Skills Strategy for Canada. This strategy is intended to connect parts of the system and change how people think about post-secondary education.

Canadian Outlook

Following subpar growth in 2012 and 2013, Canada’s economy is expected to grow by close to 2.5 per cent annually over the next two years. Stronger growth in real gross domestic product is expected to come partly from an acceleration in export volumes. The federal government is currently on track to balance the budget in 2015–16, but it will have to maintain its program of spending restraint in government operations to achieve its goal.

Which Industries Are Creating Jobs?

Canada has more than recovered all the jobs it lost during the recession. There are, however, big disparities when it comes to job creation by industry. Of the 16 major industries covered by Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, just 2 have accounted for nearly 45 per cent of job growth since July 2009.

The Value of Beer in Canada

Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Canada, accounting for 8.1 per cent of all household spending on food and beverages. The Conference Board report From Farm to Glass: The Value of Beer in Canada finds that every dollar that Canadians spend on beer generates $1.12 for the Canadian economy.

Economic Development in Canada’s Northern Marine Waters

Canada’s Northern marine waters are a challenging environment for the pursuit of economic development projects. Nevertheless, oil and gas development, fishing, tourism, and the shipping associated with these and other forms of economic activity are expected to increase over the decades to come. Reducing the risks involved in developing Canada’s Arctic waters will require a new culture of safety that goes beyond rules and regulations.

Contagious Health: Spreading Wellness Through Social Media

Social media and gamification can be effective tools for delivering a health promotion message and have proven potential for affecting behaviour. Hélène Campbell, double-lung transplant recipient, describes how social media raised awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.

CBoC Highlights

Photo of the Hon. Jason T. Kenney Photo of Vijay Gill

The Hon. Jason T. Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, Government of Canada, delivered the keynote presentation at the Skills and Post-Secondary Education Summit 2013.

Vijay Gill, Director, Policy Research, examined what solutions or combination of strategies would best address congestion, emissions, and barriers to infrastructure funding in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area during a panel discussion on TVO’s The Agenda With Steve Paikin.

In This Issue

  • Up In Smoke
  • Government of Canada Supports the Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education
  • Canadian Outlook
  • Which Industries Are Creating Jobs?
  • The Value of Beer in Canada
  • Economic Development in Canada’s Northern Marine Waters
  • Contagious Health: Spreading Wellness Through Social Media

Previous Issues


What Does Health and Safety Need to Know About Wellness?
Apr 23 at 2:00 PM

Territorial Outlook 2018: Mining Outlook Brightens
Apr 26 at 1:00 PM

Artificial Intelligence versus Malware: The Fortinet Solution
May 01 at 2:00 PM

Latest Blogs

Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Calgary’s Olympic Bid

Nov 29, 2017
Pedro Antunes Pedro Antunes
Deputy Chief Economist and Executive Director
Forecasting and Analysis

In May 2017, The Conference Board of Canada produced a report entitled Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Calgary’s Olympic Bid. This report was made possible through funding provided by the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee. The findings and conclusions are entirely those of The Conference Board of Canada.

The report was reviewed and critiqued by both Trevor Tombe, economics professor at the University of Calgary, and Brad Humphreys, economics professor at West Virginia University. A summary of those critiques was printed in The Globe and Mail on Monday, November 20. We would like to offer our perspective on some of the points highlighted in the review.

Both professors stated that an economic impact analysis was not the most appropriate tool for evaluating the benefits associated with hosting the Olympic Games, but instead suggested that policy-makers should use a cost-benefit analysis to identify whether hosting the Olympics is the best use of public funds. However, our study was not meant to address the more subjective social dimensions of where government should spend. Rather, we chose to conduct an economic impact analysis because this would objectively identify both the level of expenditures necessary to undertake the games, as well as the associated geographic distribution of potential benefits. The results allow for a more wholistic discussion of how costs could be shared. This includes not only various levels of government within Canada but also the International Olympic Committee.

We should note that many of professors Tombe’s and Humphrey’s critiques were discussed in the literature review section of our study. We included critiques about how to best define costs versus benefits, and that economic impacts could vary depending on whether the economy is at full capacity. Moreover, our literature review discussed the “crowding out” effects that can occur when the heightened security, large crowds, and higher prices that come with the Olympics dissuade other non-Olympic tourists from visiting.

To ensure that double-counting and crowding out effects were netted out of our analysis of the potential pre-Games, hosting of the Games, and post-Games period, we relied on factual observations from previous Olympics when we compiled the inputs that drove the economic impact analysis. We specifically addressed potential double-counting in the areas of tourism, security, and other spending, and thus fully accounted for the crowding out effect that some earlier studies had overlooked.

Moreover, our report specifically dealt with the issue of whether Calgary’s economy might be operating at full capacity in 2026 when the Winter Games would occur. Some analysts argue that a full-growth economy would reduce the Games’ economic impact. We acknowledged that it is impossible to accurately predict business cycles far into the future. Because our economy is diversified, Canada has rarely been in a position of national full employment. We assumed for the economic impact analysis that there will be spare capacity to accommodate the economic boost associated with the Winter Games—if not within the city, at least within Alberta or other provinces. We acknowledged in the report that the economic impacts, as we’ve portioned them by region, could be affected by local economic conditions. However, there is a strong likelihood that the total economic impacts we have forecast nationally would not be affected by supply pressures, given the fact that all provincial economies are rarely operating at full capacity at the same time.

The goal of our study was not to consider non-economic political and social factors. Our study focused simply on how large the economic impacts would be, and where they are likely to occur. We stand by our research in estimating what we feel are the most probable outcomes for Calgary, the province of Alberta, and Canada.