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Old June 21st, 2005, 06:53 PM   #1
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Abbotsford economy is Canada's fastest-growing

Abbotsford economy is Canada's fastest-growing
Gross domestic product grew by sizzling 6.7 per cent last year

Michael Kane
Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Abbotsford enjoyed the fastest-growing economy in Canada last year, with job gains matching skyrocketing population growth, according to a study released Monday.

The gross domestic product of the Abbotsford metropolitan area grew by a sizzling 6.7 per cent last year, compared to 3.9 per cent for British Columbia as a whole, the Conference Board of Canada said.

The study's author forecasts the city's growth will slow this year to a meagre 0.2 per cent, but conceded it will be stronger if a surge in construction is sustained.

"We are forecasting another strong year of population growth,"Greg Sutherland, an economist at the Ottawa-based Conference Board, said in an interview.

"If the housing is there to match it and the employment is there to match it, there is a lot of upside potential."

Abbotsford's population grew by 2.5 per cent last year to 160,000 and is expected to surpass 170,000 within four years.

In the first five months of this year, the city issued building permits worth $148 million, almost matching the total for the whole of 2004, said Jay Teichroeb, economic development manager.

"Permits are up quite dramatically for residential, commercial and agricultural," Teichroeb said. "It looks like better growth this year than the Conference Board is anticipating."

Mayor Mary Reeves said construction and population are increasing and there is no evidence of a slowdown. She welcomed the study as "exciting news for British Columbia" and confirmation of Abbotsford's status as the economic hub of the Fraser Valley.

The study shows total employment in the Abbotsford area increased by 6.3 per cent last year, which pushed personal income growth by a "remarkable 9.6 per cent" and boosted retail sales by 11.9 per cent.

Although non-residential construction was weak, housing starts increased for the fifth year in a row, feeding growth in the finance, insurance and real estate services sector.

This year the $24-million Mt. Lehman Road interchange upgrade and the $6.8-million expansion of the Abbotsford International Airport will support growth in non-residential construction.

Economic growth is also being fuelled by expansion at airport-based Cascade Aerospace, the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operation that is the city's largest private sector company with about 600 employees. Cascade added 100 skilled jobs in January and is planning to add another 100-120, said Linda Thomassen, marketing manager.

One cloud on Abbotsford's horizon is a shortage of development land. Jake Siemens, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, said the business community is hopeful that the Agricultural Land Reserve will release 920 acres contiguous to the city's existing urban boundary, mostly near the airport.

Teichroeb said development land is needed to ensure that job growth keeps pace with residential growth over the next 20 years while minimizing the need to commute outside the city.

mkane@png.canwest.com

ABBOTSFORD'S RED-HOT ECONOMY:

It's all systems go in this Fraser Valley city, according to a new study:

- In the first five months this year, Abbotsford issues building permits worth $148 million -- almost the total for 2004.

- Population up by 2.5 per cent, to 160,000.

- Employment up by 6.3 per cent, pushing personal income growth by 9.6 per cent and boosting retail sales by 11.9 per cent.

Ran with fact box "Abbotsford's Red-Hot Economy", which hasbeen appended to the end of the story.
© The Vancouver Sun 2005
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 05:56 AM   #2
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about rezoning alr, good portion of that is junk land, but some is also quite useful, esp. for rasberries, etc. what abby should have done is built costco and other shopping on that instead of taking up parts of sumas way, which is much nicer farmland... this is a bit of a debate in abby...
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:12 AM   #3
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The problem with the ALR is that it is huge and also very spread out> this has meant that the cities keep trying to take a hundred acres here and over there etc as it is in several different cities.
Bit by bit, they are selling it off, especially with Campbell.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
The problem with the ALR is that it is huge and also very spread out> this has meant that the cities keep trying to take a hundred acres here and over there etc as it is in several different cities.
Bit by bit, they are selling it off, especially with Campbell.
I don't think it's specifically Campbell's doing, previous administrations did nothing to really put a stop to it. In addition, the pressure to develop is greater now than previously.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #5
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Anyway, the only problem with getting a job in Abbostford is that you would have to live there.
Beautiful country but the ugliest city I have ever seen. I've been to Brantford, Sarnis, Sudbury, SaultSte.Marie but NOTHING compares to Abbostford.
Its downtown is not only ugly but almost non existent. It litterally has the downtown of a town of one or two thousand people.
Also it is in the bible-belt and WOW is it red-neck! It is reported to have more churches per capita than any other city in NA. Don't know if its true but what a bunch of Hillbillies.
Its like a whole city of trailor trash.........horrible place.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #6
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Ive been to Brandford....that place is much uglier than Abbotsford. Abby is gourgious, big beautiful homes, great landscaping, and a spectacular setting. Brandford is quite litterally a brown piece of shit.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #7
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I know where Brantford is, but where is Brandford?
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Old June 25th, 2005, 09:26 AM   #8
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And don't forget these sizzling numbers are percentages not absolute. Oak Bay's murder rate rose infinity percent over 2003 in 2004, since it was the first murder in decades.

And as for ugliness, don't forget Langley is pretty heinous. I hear Mississauga is pretty blowful (Mississauga goddamn)
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Old June 25th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #9
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Abbotsford is a nice place, thats why its population is growing.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 05:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanmdx
I know where Brantford is, but where is Brandford?
I meant Brantford smart ass
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Old June 26th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #11
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I think Sarnia is worst, industrial border towns are as bad as it can get but Brantford gives it a run for its money I suppose. Another town I couldn't wait to get out of was Comox on Vancouver Island, rural ass redneck logging town. I dont know maybe I didnt see enough of it. Ive never been to Abbotsford so don't know about that.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 06:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJoe
Another town I couldn't wait to get out of was Comox on Vancouver Island, rural ass redneck logging town. I dont know maybe I didnt see enough of it.
when were you comox last? it's really changed...but yes, redneck for sure. there are parts of comox (the gated communities) where they want to know if you're white or not before you move in...bullshit i tell you. but comox really isn't that bad. cumberland on the other hand...ewwwwwww...

also, i've been to abbotsford and i don't mind it at all. i kinda like it there. one thing that i find is that the city is hard to get around in. i was coming over the abbotsford-mission bridge once and then we got lost...maybe it's just cuz my family and i are really dumb..
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Old June 26th, 2005, 06:34 AM   #13
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It was about 4-5 years ago. My best memory of the place was swimming in some river that had a hydroelectric dam(or something like that) upstream and there was basically a sign saying if you hear a siren go off then get the f*ck out of the way, so that was good to know.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #14
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yeah, that's the puntledge river in courtenay.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
Also it is in the bible-belt and WOW is it red-neck! It is reported to have more churches per capita than any other city in NA. Don't know if its true but what a bunch of Hillbillies.
Its like a whole city of trailor trash.........horrible place.
You know, I think alot of us like you, you contribute alot to this forum, but honestly, what the hell? ^ So churchgoers are rednecks now? And hillbillies? Thanks alot... really.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #16
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The place is a bible-belt sexist, homophobic wonderland.
Like I said, the countryside is beautiful but the town centre is horrid.
The pollution from Vancouver is very bad and the crime rate is very high, even by BC standards.
No historic buildings, a tiny little ugly downtown. Its a strip mall with houses around it and white trash for days.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 02:51 AM   #17
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Agreed. I've been in Abbotsford and it is boring as hell. There's nothing interesting to look at except the volcano in Washington.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 07:11 AM   #18
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It is more than mildly ironic that someone from Saltspring would accuse others of being hillbillies; Ganges is hardly this century's Rome. You accuse the people of Abbotsford of being low income and lacking refinement by using the term "trailer trash" - a very, very classy way of explaining it. Grow up. And there is nothing intrinsically wrong with organized religion; it is a tool just like the car, ethics, or the crocodile. Don't pin personal shortcomings on a book, Dorian.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 07:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haber
There's nothing interesting to look at except the volcano in Washington.
Mt. Baker's quite amazing. Up there with Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #20
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Abbotsford may be boring but it is not redneck. if you want to see rednecks, head south of the line. We have over 40 churches now i think, and they are not filled with rednecks. We are not exclusive to christianity either. i'm not sure if whites are even a majority anymore, as we have 2 sikh temples. yes, there is crime, but it could be worse. We could live on saltspring island. About downtown, it is ugly, but there is a plan to renew it a bit... now if they could only get rid of the monster homes...
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