This Is Canada's Depression: Surging Crime, Soaring Suicides, Overwhelmed Food Banks "And The Worst Is Yet To Come"

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in March, we brought you “Drugs, Prostitution, Violence Plague Oil Boom Towns Gone Bust,” in which we detailed the plight of towns like Sidney and Bainville, Montana, where the slump in oil revenue has made it all but impossible for local authorities to cope with surging crime rates that some attribute to the influx of oil workers the communities experienced in the good old days of high crude prices. 

The problem, apparently, was that despite the dramatic slump in oil, companies hadn’t yet begun to cut jobs or slash capex and so, officials were left with less money to put towards policing their growing populations. 

As dangerous as it may be for small towns to experience exponential growth in what The Washington Post described as “highly paid oil workers living in sprawling ‘man camps’ with limited spending opportunities,” what’s even more dangerous is the prospect that suddenly, the majority of those workers will be jobless. That is, if there’s anything that’s more conducive to raising the crime rate than legions of highly paid young men living in small towns with “limited spending opportunities,” it’s legions of formerly highly paid young men stuck in small towns with limited job opportunities. 

With that in mind, America can look north to Calgary for a preview of what’s in store for America’s oil boom towns.

Although Alberta’s largest city bares little resemblance to Sidney and Bainville, the three do have one thing in common: oil. "Calgary boasted one of the lowest jobless rates in Canada as crude prices rose over $100 a barrel [but] it’s now reeling after a global glut pushed prices down by two-thirds,” Bloomberg notes.

For our part, we’ve spent quite a bit of time documenting the city’s trials and travails:

As we noted earlier this year, resource revenue makes up nearly a third of Alberta's annual revenue:

"Alberta’s real GDP is expected to expand in 2015, but at a much slower pace of 0.6%. This is down from the Second Quarter forecast of 2.8%," provincial authorities wrote in March, in their quarterly fiscal update. That underscores just how significant the swift decline in crude prices is for the province. Since then, the government's projection for 2015 GDP has fallen by a full percentage point, as the economy is now expected to contract by 0.6%. Here's more from the latest fiscal update:

The sharp decline in oil prices has substantially reduced capital spending in the energy sector. Oil and gas investment is expected to fall over 30% in 2015, with weakness carrying into 2016. Conventional investment has been hit especially hard. Rig activity has declined almost 50% through the first seven months of 2015. 



Lower oil prices are weighing on production and exports. Although exports remain an important driver in Alberta’s economy, the forecast for oil production has been revised lower since March. This mainly reflects unplanned disruptions in oil sands production and the significant slowdown in conventional drilling. In addition, weakness in the oil and gas sector has spread to other sectors of the economy. Alberta machinery manufacturing has fallen 20% since January. This can be mainly traced to declining industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing, which primarily serves the oil industry. 

Needless to say, this has had a dramatic impact on jobs. As we reported on Tuesday, Canada is expected to lose some 100,000 oil and gas sector jobs by the end of the year. Jobs like those Jillian Berling-MacKenzie, 25, and her boyfriend used to have. Here's Bloomberg:

Jillian was one of the lucky few of her graduating geology class to secure full-time work this year, at oil company ConocoPhillips. She bought a house with her boyfriend, also a newly graduated geologist with a job, before they both became victims of the cuts. A friend’s company has provided some contract work paying slightly more than employment insurance as Berling-MacKenzie tries to land positions just about anywhere, seeing no postings she qualifies for in her field.

And then there's Keely Eng, 27, who was fired from an engineering position in March at Nexen and is now so worried about her future in the field that she simply threw in the towel and decided to go to medical school: 

The dearth of opportunities has Keely Eng, 27, seeking a career change. Eng was let go from an engineering position in March at Nexen, the Cnooc Ltd. subsidiary. Dreading an extended job hunt, Eng took medical school exams and has applied to several programs.

And don't forget about Kevin Mulligan, 61, who was let go by Stampede and now works with his wife making Christmas decorations: 

Kevin Mulligan, 61, was among Stampede workers who “got the Tuesday boot,” he said. The former park maintenance manager, six years from retirement, is helping his wife with a Christmas wreath-making side business to supplement severance payments while job-hunting.


“My new job is finding a job,” Mulligan said.

As The Financial Post notes, Alberta's troubles go beyond falling crude prices. "Apart from the protracted price declines, Alberta’s oil and gas sector has also had to contend with a 20 per cent hike in corporate taxes, a carbon tax and new regulatory policies to limit rein in carbon emissions," the Post writes, adding that "a new provincial royalty regime is to be announced in January, leaving Alberta oil and gas producers under a cloud of uncertainty [while] the new federal government also plans to unveil new policies, including a review of the regulatory process, which the sector sees as more burden in an already difficult environment for the industry."

As we pointed out three weeks ago, the real casualties in Canada are no longer metaphorical economic objects, but the very people who until recently enjoyed comfortable lives only to succumb to an unprecedented collapse in the local economy. According to the chief medical examiner's office, 30% more Albertans took their lives in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. Here are the numbers:

  • From January to June 2014, there were 252 suicides in Alberta.
  • During the same period this year, there were 327.
  • If the trend continues, Alberta could be on track for 654 suicides this year.
  • In an average year, there are 500, according to the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

Well, in the latest abysmal news out of Alberta, Bloomberg reports that food bank use and crime are now soaring amid the protracted slide in crude. "Calgary’s unemployment rate rose to 6.9 percent in November from 4.6 percent a year earlier, Statistics Canada data show, as 21,100 more were put out of work," Bloomberg writes. "Home sales have fallen 21 percent this year as the average price skidded 2.6 percent, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board." Here's more: 

Crime is rising, home prices are falling and food banks are overwhelmed in Calgary as job losses spread. And the worst isn’t yet over in the heart of Canada’s oil patch.


Some of the city’s largest employers are poised to cut more jobs in 2016 as they reduce spending for a second straight year, adding to an estimated 40,000 oil and natural gas positions lost across the nation since the crude price rout began 18 months ago.


“We all know someone who has lost a job,” Naheed Nenshi, the city’s mayor, said in a speech this month, lamenting the “funeral"-like atmosphere in the business community.


Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids is providing 16 percent more school lunches than in September -- about 2,900 across 187 schools. The rise is unprecedented, said Tanya Koshowski, the group’s executive director. Food bank use jumped 23 percent in Alberta in the year ended March 2015, the country’s biggest increase, according to Food Banks Canada.


Police are pointing to economic decline and rising drug use to explain Calgary’s crime surge. In the first 10 months of 2015, commercial break-ins almost doubled from a year earlier, bank robberies were up 65 percent and home invasions increased 52 percent, Calgary Police Service data show.

Here are the graphs from CPS:

And here are the visuals from Food Banks Canada:

While it's not possible to definitively identify the proximate cause, it seems clear that the same mindset which is driving the suicide rate higher is also compelling Albertans to commit crimes. As Nancy Bergeron, who has answered distress centre phone lines for a few years, puts it, "people are just at wit's end."

Why? Because, as we put it previously, "simply because the price of a commodity has dropped to a third of what it was just over a year ago, and the shocking impact has been a paralysis of every aspect of financial, economic and social life, first in Alberta, and soon everywhere else across Canada, as the local recession (on its way to a depression) spreads across the country and eventually crosses the U.S. border."

One person who isn't concerned is Greg Cosma, a 58-year-old engineer was let go from Cenovus in October and now builds houses for Habitat For Humanity as a volunteer.

His message to new graduates hoping to find gainful employment in Canada's oil patch: “If you’re good at something, you have a future. Don’t sweat it.

*  *  *

Full Calgary Police Service report

2015 1st Quarter Statistical Report

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insanelysane's picture

Don't worry Canada, the US will sacrifice a few more soldiers to make sure the flow of heroin continues.  Self medication is the best cure for joblessness and hunger.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

A depression, eh?

Canucks, does it feel like a depression up there?

Deathrips's picture

Would feel much more sympathy if in the past every time i told a Canadian what was going on with fiat central bank neofuedalism, I got a PC progressive more gov't will fix it answer. And there was NOOO way the govt was in on it. Talking about moneychangers is also anti semetic.

Banging my head into that wall got old.

The pain hasnt even started yet....

Lifes hard, its even harder when you're stupid.



Disclaimer. Theres retards everywhere...canadians have a smug retardeness to them thats passively obsurd.

Latina Lover's picture

Oh Great, now that Canada is melting down, are we to expect millions of Canucks sneaking into America to mooch off our welfare systems?

hedgeless_horseman's picture



TORONTO — Police are searching for two suspects after a home invasion left a homeowner and their neighbour tied up and robbed at gunpoint in Ajax on Friday night.

Durham Regional Police said the homeowner answered a knock at the door and a suspect forced his way into the house armed with a handgun in the Westney Road and Kingston Road area at about 6:15 p.m.

A second suspect, who was also armed, entered the house shortly after and police said the homeowner was assaulted and their hands were tied while the other suspect robbed the house.

Police said a neighbour came to the house while the robbery was occurring and they were forced inside by a suspect and tied up.

Police described the suspects as follows:

Black male aged 19 to 22 years old standing 5’8" tall with a slim build and wearing a blue hooded jacked, blue jeans and white running shoes.

Black male aged 19 to 22 years old standing 6’0" tall with a medium build and wearing a black hooded jacket, black pants and black running shoes.


The hope that criminals and psychopaths will not obtain or use weapons because it is illegal is a fantasy.

Deathrips's picture

Bringing their Scandanavian "Social Democracy" solution with them.

I would bet a sandwich that not 1 in 10 canadians know what a FULL RECOURSE LOAN is.

They are a'boot Fooked...cue 25k "refugees" to seal the deal.


Latina Lover's picture

Instead of the Scandanavian solution, after the banksters are finished raping them, the Canucks will get the Final Solution.

Deathrips's picture

Talk about Cog Dissonance..they think they are free and in control of their system..but have a queen on their currency and are a CROWN CORPORATION.

A Canadian will tell you its nostalgia.



Main_Sequence's picture

The USSA is no different, and it's official name is 'Virginia Company'.

Deathrips's picture

AS an American i can say, "at least I know that much".



VinceFostersGhost's picture



Now might be a great time to take the queen off your money.


Maybe stick a moose on there....or something.


BLOTTO's picture

If you live in any country that begins with the letters A to Z - your screwed.


Every nation has been inflitrated by them.


This is a war of our minds and spirits now...always was.


Andre: OK. Yes, we are bored. We're all bored now. But has it ever occurred to you Wally that the process that creates this boredom that we see in the world now may very well be a self-perpetuating, unconscious form of brainwashing, created by a world totalitarian government based on money, and that all of this is much more dangerous than one thinks? and it's not just a question of individual survival Wally, but that somebody who's bored is asleep, and somebody who's asleep will not say no?


My Dinner with Andre (1981)

JRobby's picture

We need a fact check on this. I mean Michael Moore said that there is no gun violence in Canada so this story can't be right......

They need some real media companies up there that can identify these as Syrian terrorists and report it to them.

opport.knocks's picture

Moore is right that the incidence of gun violence is far lower in Canada than the USA. It is not zero here and he never claimed it was. 

There are 89 guns per 100 people in the USA ve 31 per 100 in Canada. 

According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 11,000 homicides were committed using firearms in the U.S. in 2011. Statistics Canada reports in the same year Canada had 158 homicides committed using firearms.

US population is about 10x higher than Canada, so that makes the US gun homicide rate about 7x higher.

Also gun homicides with a legal registered firearm are very rare here in Toronto. Most are illegal unregistered weapons that find their way here from the US.

Abitdodgie's picture

If you take away the murders in "gun free zones " in America you will see that America has the lowest murder rate per 100,000 people per capita in the world , so that means in the places that people can carry guns or have them at home we are very civilized . Of course I would stay away from the gun free one as they are pretty dangerous .

JRobby's picture

Thank you Abit

Your application to work at CNN et al is soundly rejected

Never One Roach's picture
More than 3,000 Washington prisoners mistakenly freed early



"Yes we can!"

Stuck on Zero's picture

Any Albertans who are sad and depressed about their conditions are welcome to come live in Detroit.

BaBaBouy's picture

It Is Fucking Insane...

The MSM is harping about the 25K Syrians not arriving fast enough by Dec-end. ITS THE TOP FUCKING NEWS!!!

MEANWHILE almost nothing about the CAD hitting decade LOWS, and prices jacked up almost weekly...


PS... In uS you have a PC MSM. In cDA you have PC MSM on Steriods...


rccalhoun's picture

hm all as nurses at $42.00 per hour and ship them to the usa OR mandate that theu pay nurses $42 per hour up there and institute obamacare on canada

The Greek horse's picture

O CANADA that's what is all left a beautiful national anthem


Overfed's picture

Probably more like 120 guns per 100 people in the USA. If one were to exclude a certain demographic, so called gun violence in the US would be about on par or below any western European country you might care to name.

Beltain's picture

And that is the real elephant in the room that no one, especially the MSM and the gun grabbing lefty Multii-culters ever want to address.


The USA does not have a gun problem it has a Black problem.

On second thought the left does address it but only in the sense of throwing more money after the trillions that have already been wasted.


DanDaley's picture

What you Canadians need are some liberal/Democrat run cities to get your numbers about we give you say...Chicago, Detroit, New York, Camden, Stockton, Cleveland, Memphis, LA, New Orleans and a few others -only Democrat run hell-holes, mind you. Then you can have the big numbers and we wil be a quiet, peaceful nation once again.

BadKiTTy's picture

@opp.knocks - you have to contextualise the stats with the fact that the vast majority of gun crime is gang related (black on black).  

jeff montanye's picture

that's not actually true:

blacks commit more violent crimes per capita than whites but not the majority (much less vast majority) of violent crimes since there are so many more whites.  and indeed each race seems to pick on its own.

also the meme about mass shootings being in gun free zones because they are gun free is basically untrue.  the crimes are committed largely in schools or workplaces where the shooters have a relationship and find those they wish to kill, not because the places are gun free. that so many shooters kill themselves or die in "suicide by cop" shootouts is another reason to doubt this argument.

p.s. few mass shooters in non gun free zones have been stopped by fire from civilians.





newdoobie's picture

No offense but you must be careful about mixing your auguments. Mixing violent crime with gun crime and or homicide. Also remember the huge number of gun homicides that are suicides. Take suicides out of gun crime/homicice and the numbers are waaaaay different. Canadas gun homicide rate is low due to the Indian suicide method in Canada is different than in the US.

mc225's picture

they could put debbie stratton on their money. that would be tight. perhaps morbid though... there's probably a happier canadian fleshpot they could employ.

all countries should dispense with pics of presidents and queens and such on their money, and switch over to poledancer types.

usa should have bettie page.

all of this president or mao or lenin or queen/king stuff is creepy though...

mc225's picture

oops... dorothy stratten, not 'debbie stratton'

robertocarlos's picture

Eric Roberts shotgunned her point-blank.

Deliverator's picture

That can't be right. Neither of them are black. You need to re-check your facts.

WhackoWarner's picture

NOW would be a great time for every Canadian commet maker here to contribute a few bucks to COMER; in support of the lawsuit that winding it's way through courts.  Fed gov. is presently making time-wasting dismissal motions trying to slow it down.

Trudeau Libs implied a need for some type of investment bank to fund infrastructure and other loans within Canada.  FOOLS FOOLS FOOLS.....that is what COMER is fighting for.  This funding already exists.


oobilly's picture

After the queen dies.... we'll have Charles and he looks very Moose like.

If we ask nicely maybe Greece and Ukraine can help us out.

Jack Burton's picture

If more Americans understood what 'Virginia Company' means and the very deep effect that "founding American institution" has had on American politics and social system! Unlike The Massachusetts Bay Colonyfurther north which, though founded on strict relegious grounds, had a measure of personal freedom and responsibility. The Virginia Company was slave based and ignorant. White slaves and black slaves both came to work for the Company. It's system turned into the Deep South and much of modern American social order.

WhackoWarner's picture

miniscule, tiny amounts of people understand the legal structure of Virginia corp.  CROWN corps,,,reason why legally a birth certificate is written in CAPITAL LETTERS.  Captured from birth.


Follow the money and legalese down to the real (hidden) sources.

Shift For Brains's picture

In a similiar vein, for Americans: If you don't understand the ol' switcheroo that was played on who has jurisdiction in the States united, you really should get the news.


This guy (MD) has had a number of actions at law to try to force a finding on the substance of what is claimed regarding federal jurisdiction within the states of the original American compact.

Time well spent...

Killdo's picture

as a foreigner, I have always felt that slavery never actually left America. 

it was just watered down and has been extrapolated more and more on a wider and wider spectrum of population

Kind of what Romans did with a religion of slaves (christianity)

swmnguy's picture

The Northeastern finance capitalists figured out in the mid-19th century that it is a lot more profitable to outsource your slaves.  You can pay them nearly nothing, as you don't lose anything if they die.  Never pay one cent above the bare minimum required to keep them coming back to do your work for you.

But if you officially owned slaves, you'd have an interest in makind sure they weren't too ill to work, or too stupid, or too malnourished.

reinhardt's picture

if more folks understood what your getting at - there would be a social revolution in at least the more developed nations


overmedicatedundersexed's picture

the canadian i never wanted to know: bernie ebbers of worldcom fame..wonder if he is outta jail, those were the good ol days when the elite went to jail.

Karaio's picture

For me, that Canadians and Canadian stay there.

I never saw so many people standing nose!

Canadian women have not butt (formula: the higher the pressure in the ass dick head).

Canadian men do not know how to speak French or Spanish.

Some speak English.

The only thing in common is that all are fucked with or without Mounted Police.


Alan_F's picture

Wow. That writing the product of the US school system?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

How funny, seeing a cacophony of words coming from an English linguistics expert like you.  What, you're Brazilian?

Shift For Brains's picture

Thanks for sharing your Stream of Unconsciousness with us.

GMadScientist's picture

Peidos cão aleatórias manchar os ventos do Brasil!

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Main,

Yep! Spot on. The Criminal Fraud UNITED STATES, CORP. INC. Bankrupted via The Banking Emergency Act of 1933 run by The City of London & owned by The Vatican City Assassins