A new report finds increased spending to rebuild Fort McMurray following the May wildfire is going to inject $5.3 billion into the Alberta economy over the next three years.
The Conference Board of Canada report says that increased spending will boost the province’s GDP by 0.4 per cent or $1.1 billion dollars next year, followed by 0.2 percent in 2018, and 0.1 per cent in 2019.
That’s in contract to the $456 million the wildfire took from the GDP this year, due to lost oilsands production during the fire.
The reconstruction of close to 2, 000 homes and businesses destroyed by the fire, is also expected to create about 9,000 jobs next year.
The board says about $3.6 billion of the spending will be covered by insurance payouts, while governments will be on the hook for about $1.5 billion in firefighting, relief and rebuilding costs.
That’s on tops of $200 million spent already by the province, the Canadian Red Cross and oilsands companies.
But the board cautions, this doesn’t suggest that Canadians or Albertans will be better off economically. In the end government’s will be left with more debt, and the insurance industry with a hefty tab.