Here in the Halifax Regional Municipality, we are hearing on the news that, because of the drastic fall in the price of crude oil in the world market, there could be one thousand jobs lost in Alberta's Oil Patch. Many workers coming from all across Canada will be affected by this cut back. A lot of these same workers have been commuting from Nova Scotia. Everyone I talk to is calling for doom and gloom, anything from: they know someone who has lost their job and won't be able to pay their mortgage to : we won't be getting our Federal Equalization payments this year as Alberta will be slipping into a recession as early as the end of 2015.
Why is it, that here in Nova Scotia we can appreciate the loss of those one thousand (1,000) good paying jobs in what is probably the richest province in Canada, with a population in Calgary alone of over 1.15 million people, and growing by almost thirty thousand (30,000) people each year, larger that the combined population of Nova Scotia, which is less than nine hundred fifty (950,000) thousand with less than half a million living in the Halifax Regional Municipality, people, and the press, can not see how great the ship building contract is going to be?
In September of 2011, the Federal Government announced that Halifax and Irving won the twenty-five ($25 B) Billion ship building contract. I don't think that I can even write the number of zero's that go behind the twenty-five to stress the size of this contract, but there are a lot of them. They are scheduled to start cutting steel this September. Take a drive along the Halifax and/or Dartmouth side of the Harbour, and have a look at the infrastructure currently either ready or close to completion, or the number of new condominium buildings either just completed or under construction, and you know something BIG is about to happen here.
Seven hundred (700) jobs! Heck, we lost more in call centers closures --- no big deal you might say! Well seven hundred good paying direct jobs in construction, where the spin off employment is huge and where the population is small, and its no big deal? Yet one thousand (1000) jobs in a province more four times our size (4.083 million in January 2014) and we should all worry that the world is coming to an end? When will the ordinary Nova Scotian stop being so darned pessimistic.
We have been experiencing an extremely slow real estate market ever since June 2012 when Irving laid off some of its workers at the ship yard in Halifax. This is 2015: we will be building ships. Even if by chance the number of ships is reduced, we will build ships. Just look what happened in Saint John N.B. when they built the City Class Frigates back in the late eighties and early ninety's. The city boomed. We will as well.