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Report shows decline in active businesses in Wood Buffalo

Last Updated Sep 16, 2019 at 11:26 am MDT

Looking toward downtown Fort McMurray from lower Thickwood. Archived photo taken by Jenna Hamilton.

The number of active businesses in the region has dropped.

According to the Oil Sands Community Alliance’s Sustainable Community Indicators report, the region saw a 20 per cent decrease in active businesses between 2015 and 2018.

The report notes that’s the largest drop among other comparing communities, including the provincial average.

The report suggests the decrease, which is being felt in many communities across the province, is mostly because of the economic downturn.

It also notes our region’s businesses would have been affected by the Horse River wildfire.

Other findings in the report show that at the end of 2018, we had approximately 12 physicians per 10,000 people and on average, patients spent less time waiting in emergency departments than comparator communities.

Voter participation rates in the region have also been increasing both provincially and municipally, but generally remain below comparator communities and the province.