Conference Board of Canada’s economists heading to Red Deer

A recent forecast from the Conference Board of Canada said Alberta will lead the country in GDP growth in 2017, and an upcoming seminar in Red Deer will delve deeper into the province’s economic outlook.

The Western Business Outlook event is slated for March 9 at the Welikoklad Event Centre. Several speakers will examine topics such as the economic outlook for Alberta, Canada and beyond; rebuilding Alberta’s economy and a business panel discussion featuring local business leaders.

Reg Warkentin, Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce policy and advocacy manager, said the event will provide some much needed fact-based insight about where the economy is and where it is going.

Speakers include Conference Board of Canada’s executive director, Western Canada Bruce M. Leslie; senior vice-president and chief economist Craig Alexander and executive director, economic outlook and analysis and deputy chief economist Pedro Antunes.

They will join ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch to give the range of talks.

The panel will be moderated by Darcy Mykytyshyn, Red Deer College Donald School of Business dean. It features Antunes; Chris Lavlin, MNP LLP, consulting services group partner and Michael J. Sinclair, partner with Warren Sinclair LLP.

The Conference Board of Canada’s provincial economic outlook released last week said rising oil production will make Alberta the fastest growing provincial economy in 2017.

“This type of information is invaluable when it comes to making any sort of investment decision,” Warkentin said. “There is still a fair bit of hesitation for businesses looking to pull the trigger and commit to spending their scarce resources. This will hopefully eliminate that.”

The event in Red Deer takes place on March 9 at the Welikoklad Event Centre, 4922 49th St., starting at 8 a.m. For more information visit

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