Chilliwack was one of the fastest growing mid-sized economies in the entire country between 2005 and 2012

Chilliwack was one of the fastest growing mid-sized economies in the entire country between 2005 and 2012

Chilliwack one of the fastest growing mid-sized cities

Average annual GDP increases for Chilliwack were 6.2 per cent in 2005-12.

Chilliwack saw above-average economic growth in the years since the global recession in 2008, according to the first Conference Board of Canada’s Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2013.

That kind of impressive economic performance bucks a downward trend seen by many mid-sized Canadian cities.

Chilliwack was named among one of the fastest growing mid-sized economies in the entire country between 2005 and 2012, and it was one of only two B.C. communities aside from Duncan, to make the job-growth list.

“I think it’s fabulous,” said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “I’m grinning from ear to ear.”

That kind of news on the economic front, put the Chilliwack mayor in a great mood on Monday.

The average annual GDP increases for Chilliwack were 6.2 per cent during that specific timeframe of 2005-12, according to the numbers. The employment data used in the report came from Statistics Canada and the economic data, like GDP, or gross domestic product, came from CBoC.

“My heart is going to burst out of my chest with pride,” said Gaetz.

“It’s really exciting to see that some of our strategies are working, and that growing jobs at home is working.”

She points to the synergy between the city’s economic development corporation, CEPCO, and Tourism Chilliwack, as well as University of the Fraser Valley and the Chilliwack school district. Also noted was the fact that taxes and fees are kept purposefully low, by Chilliwack, especially the business tax multiplier tamed at 2.2 per cent.

Chilliwack officials will often cite the fact that only 13 per cent of the community leaves Chilliwack on a daily basis to work, play or shop.

“That’s also pretty low. It means we’re pretty self-contained,” said Gaetz.

Other communities to the west of Chilliwack have even higher percentages of residents who leave daily for a variety of needs.

“One of the things about attracting and retaining business, and growing business, is we are dependent on farming and that makes for a stable economy.”

With about 850 farms in Chilliwack, they are looking for future growth in that sector, she said, especially with the recent financial boost from the province for agriculture facilities at UFV, coordinated by outgoing MLA John Les.

“That’s only going to aid our growth in the farm sector and strengthen the economy even more.”

Many resource dependent communities have struggled with tough economies in recent years, and never regained the job losses they saw, by contrast.

Most mid-sized cities were enjoying substantive economic success before the 2008-09 global recession.

“However, 29 of the 46 mid-sized cities posted negative economic growth on an average annual basis in 2008 and 2009,” reads the news release. “The recession was particularly painful for mid-sized cities in Ontario, where the economies contracted in all 11 mid-sized cities. In contrast seven of the 10 mid-sized cities in Atlantic Canada bucked this trend during the recession.

Fortunately for most mid-sized cities, economic growth resumed in 40 of 46 cities in 2010. But the recovery was short lived for many; 13 posted average annual negative economic growth between 2011 and 2012.

Nearly half of the 46 mid-range cities looked in the CBoC’s first Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2013 have not recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, based on historical economic data between 2005 and 2012.

“The employment picture has been uneven among Canada’s mid-sized cities over the past decade or so.

“A total of 21 cities have yet to see their employment levels return to pre-recession levels.

“This is a troubling turn of events, given that these mid-sized cities play an important role as economic engines in their respective regions,” said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies.

There were some bright spots. Between 2005 and 2012, eight mid-sized cities posted average job growth greater than or close to three per cent per year:

• Brockville, Ont.• Leamington, Ont.• Timmins, Ont.• Prince Albert, Sask.• Lethbridge, Alta.• Wood Buffalo, Alta.• Chilliwack, B.C.• Duncan, B.C.

Just Posted

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Most Read