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Economic Overview

Economic overview: Embracing the bold & innovative

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is big in every way—it is the home to the world’s largest industrial development and one of the world’s single largest oil reserves, ranking us among the most exciting jurisdictions in Canada for investment and growth. Wood Buffalo is a place that embraces the bold and innovative, and those who can bring such ventures into the community are guaranteed to find not only a warm welcome but financial success. This is a region that embodies the concept of “bold”. Bold in every sense where the community is striving to become a leader in advanced technological developments to exciting redevelopment plans for City Centre McMurray and expansion plans to MacDonald Island Park—Canada’s largest recreational facility. Initiatives like the Municipal Development Plan, a bold strategy mapping out the future for the next twenty years in Wood Buffalo, stewards the community into the future and ensures long-term growth management and success. Bold is simply a way of life in Wood Buffalo.

New & exciting business development

For the determined and dedicated, this vast area draws innovation and a creative force that will power tomorrow. As the region is faced with rapid growth in population and oil sands development, so is the demand for innovation, creative responses and proactive planning on both levels—Municipal and industrial. Every day, industry has the opportunity to develop new and advanced technologies such as the Suncor’s Tailings Reduction Operation—a development that has changed the face of oil sands reclamation. The Municipality is actively pursuing a zero-waste initiative—an extraordinary plan that will become a global model for sustainable waste management and one that will create new and exciting business development opportunities in the heart of Wood Buffalo, Fort McMurray. This is a place of rare ground-floor opportunity for investors that can access a market that is young, ambitious and fuelled by higher than average incomes.

A region defined by growth

Wood Buffalo is a region defined by growth—being the single region in Alberta that experienced employment growth of 12% during the recession period and one that experienced a 125% population growth since year 2000. With continued oil sands development and increased labour demands, we expect our population to more than double over the next two decades. As City Centre and the airport are undergoing major expansions and redevelopment—it is the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunity that exists here in Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray—and one that is only destined to grow. The RMWB is bold, innovative and growing. Investment is not only welcomed but encouraged to meet the needs of those who proudly call Wood Buffalo home.

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Did You Know

Camping & campfire tips

Remember that overnight camping and open fires are strictly prohibited in the Athabasca Dunes and all other ecological reserves.  Camping is permitted within the Wildland Park, but access is restricted to foot only. Due to its protected designation, off-highway vehicles are also not permitted within ecological reserves.

Protect our natural resources and reduce conflicts with the following camping tips:

  • Random campers should stay a minimum of 30 meters away from any watercourses
  • Respect other campers and keep noise down to an acceptable level
  • Practice no-trace camping

Follow the following fire safety tips in the Athabasca Sand Dunes and Wood Buffalo National Park:

  • Open fires must be used wisely. Even a small campfire has the potential to become an unmanageable wildfire.
  • Always be sure to use the fire receptacle provided in the campground.
  • If your campsite does not have a receptacle, build your fire on rocks and sand, in an open area (not under a tree).
  • Keep your campfire small.
  • Never leave your campfire unattended.
  • When extinguishing your campfire, soak it, then soak it again.
  • Remember your campfire is not out until you can touch it.