NEWS / Statistics – GDP by Census Metropolitan Area (2016)


Today, Statistics Canada released Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for Canada’s Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and the areas outside of CMAs for 2016 and revised previous estimates for 2009-2015. All data are benchmarked to provincial nominal GDP at basic prices.  

These results continue to show that just over half of Canada’s GDP is generated in the six CMAs: Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa–Gatineau. Like population, economic activities primarily focus in cities. In 2016, CMAs accounted for 71.1 per cent of Canada’s population and generated about 74.4 per cent of Canadian GDP.  In Nova Scotia, Halifax accounted for 43.9 per cent of provincial population and 54.4 per cent of provincial GDP.

Overall in 2016, GDP per capita in reported CMAs was $54,683.  Halifax’s GDP per capita was $49,638.  Across Canada, the largest GDP per capita among CMAs is reported in Calgary, Regina, Edmonton and Toronto.  However, results may be sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices.  The lowest GDP per capita among reported CMAs was observed in Oshawa ($32,259). 

Outside CMAs, GDP per capita was $46,217.  The highest non-CMA GDP per capita was observed in Alberta at $77,383 (higher than CMA GDP per capita) while the lowest was reported for Nova Scotia ($32,613).  Per capita GDP outside Canada’s reported CMAs averaged 85.6 per cent of CMA GDP per capita. 

From 2009-2016, GDP growth has averaged 3.9 per cent inside CMAs and 2.9 per cent outside CMAs.  Halifax’s GDP grew by 2.4 per cent on average over this period, the same pace of growth for Nova Scotia outside Halifax.  The fastest growing economies over this period were observed in Guelph, St. John’s, Kelowna and Lethbridge.  GDP growth outside CMAs was faster in Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia.  

Nova Scotia’s GDP in 2016 was $37.80 billion, of which $20.55 billion was generated in Halifax and $17.25 billion was generated outside of Halifax.  GDP has been rising in both Halifax and the rest of the province, but growth outside the city has been faster for all years except 2012, when two paper mills were shuttered.  

On a per capita basis, GDP in Halifax remains significantly higher than in the rest of Nova Scotia.  However, except for 2012, per capita GDP growth outside Halifax has been faster than inside Halifax, narrowing the gap in GDP per capita between urban and rural areas of the province.

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table  36-10-0468-01   Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by census metropolitan area (CMA) (x 1,000,000)Table  17-10-0135-01   Population estimates, July 1, by census metropolitan area and census agglomeration, 2016 boundariesTable  17-10-0005-01   Population estimates on July 1st, by age and sex

CCDC 11 – updated document coming December 6, 2019

Did you know that CCDC 11- Contractor’s Qualification Statement was just updated? Effective December 6, 2019, CCDC 11 – 2019 will be in circulation.

Join us for our Sydney Member Mixer, November 26!

Recognizing that our membership is located throughout Nova Scotia and beyond, the CANS Member Mixer program takes us from one end of the province to the other. Join us on November 26, in Sydney, NS!

Follow the Pipeline: Bryony House – open for tender!

We have been following this project! Have you? See our Pipeline connection PL17-0253NS about the Halifax Transition House Association – Bryony House and view the Open Tender NS19-2272.

Help raise the voice of the construction industry during this election



With voting day fast approaching on October 21, Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is renewing their call, asking you to join the campaign, #Construction4CDNs, by clicking on the “take action” button below and sending a letter to your election candidates.

Now is the time to stand up for construction and make sure action is taken on the issues facing our industry as we work to build a better Canada.

Take action! Click here to send your letter now

CCA’s campaign #Construction4CDNs, and its associated website, champion four main issues of national importance for the construction industry. They are:

  • Strengthening investor confidence;
  • Long-term infrastructure planning;
  • Supporting innovation and technology; and
  • Attracting a skilled and diverse workforce.

Please visit the website above to read more about these issues and what we are asking the government to do to address our concerns.

CCA is grateful to all those who have participated in this campaign to date and ask you to continue spreading the word to those who may not yet have had the opportunity. CCA also encourages those whose homes and places of work are in separate ridings to send two letters to further extend our reach.

Thank YOU for Making Our 2019 Annual General Meeting a Success!





Attendees are encouraged to provide their feedback on CANS 157th AGM by clicking
HERE and completing the delegate feedback survey.


The Construction Association of Nova Scotia’s 2019 Annual General Meeting, held on October 4-6, 2019 at the Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre in Western Shore, NS was a big success!

Guests kicked off the weekend with two activities: a Golf Tournament held at The Chester Golf Course and an excursion to explore Mahone Bay followed by a tour of Saltbox Brewery with lunch catered by Circa 1860 Kitchen. At the golf tournament, first place went to Shane Sinclair, Dylan Smith, Stephen Gray and Brad Payne, and second place went to Vince Moseley, Doug Brophy, Jeremy Stewart and Michael Crossley.


At Saturday’s business sessions delegates heard from Canadian Construction Association’s Chair John Bockstael and Liam Daly, Manager of Public Affairs at CCA, who presented on the past year’s events and highlighted the Strategic Plan, CCA2023. Delegates also heard from CANS Committee Chairs about the progress that CANS has made over the past twelve months, and looked toward the future with a session to kick off the creation of the next CANS Strategic Plan.

Saturday’s Awards Luncheon recognized David Wilson’s contributions to the construction industry, as the recipient of the 2019 Honourary Life Membership Award. Through the designation of Honourary Life Membership, the Construction Association of Nova Scotia honours individuals who, through their deeds and actions, have significantly contributed to the betterment of the Association, the industry, and attainment of CANS’ goals and visions.

Long-term Member Awards were also presented to member companies that have held membership with the Association for 50 years or more. The following companies received their award at the AGM: Englobe Corp., Gallagher Canada Limited, South Shore Ready Mix Limited and Truefoam Limited. The Long-term Member Award honours companies who have shown their dedication, support, and commitment to the Association throughout the years and is an achievement to be proud of.

CANS also congratulated those members who have achieved 25 years of continuous membership by presenting them with a Bowman Award.  G.J. Cahill & Co. (1979) Ltd., The Guarantee Company of North America and Wickwire Holm accepted their Bowman Awards at the AGM this year.

Delegates danced the night away in their Hawaiian shirts, leis and grass skirts, all ready for the Best Dressed Awards, to the musical talents of Big Fish at Saturday evening’s Hawaiian Luau!



Attendees: If you attended the 157th AGM, we would love to hear from you! Please submit feedback here:

Sponsors: If you sponsored the 157th AGM, keep your eye out for the sponsor feedback survey from Natalie!



CANS 158th Annual General Meeting

When: October 2-4, 2020
Where: Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa in Digby, Nova Scotia
Theme: The Great Gatsby (Jazz, flappers, glitz, glamour, champagne and decadence)

Register NOW! Click here to register for next year’s AGM, today! 
Sponsor NOW! Contact Natalie at 902.210.1720 or!



CANS congratulates those members who have achieved 50 years of continuous membership by presenting them with a Long-term Award.

  • Englobe Corp.
  • Gallagher Canada Limited
  • South Shore Ready Mix Limited
  • Truefoam Limited
  • V.J. Rice Concrete Ltd.



CANS congratulates those members who have achieved 25 years of continuous membership by presenting them with a Bowman Award.

  • Able Electric 2016 Limited
  • Advanced Energy Management Ltd.
  • Asbestos Abatement Ltd.
  • Atlantic Explosives Ltd.
  • Blaine F. MacLane Excavation Ltd.
  • Fundy Electric Limited
  • G.J. Cahill & Co. (1979) Ltd
  • John Morrison Contracting Ltd.
  • R.D.L. Construction Limited
  • Sansom Equipment Ltd.
  • Techno Hard Surfaces Limited
  • The Guarantee Company of North America
  • MacPhail Construction Ltd.
  • Waller Agencies Limited
  • Wickwire Holm



Level                                                    Company

Title Sponsor                                        MARSH

App Sponsor                                         Lindsay Construction

Diamond Sponsor                                 Kent Building Supplies

Platinum Plus                                        TD Banking

VIP Sponsor                                          NSCC Foundation

Print Sponsor                                        Halcraft Printers

Platinum                                               AON Construction Services Group

Platinum                                               Conrad Bros Ltd.

Platinum                                               Nova Scotia Power

Gold                                                     AW Leil Cranes & Equipment

Gold                                                     Bird Stairs

Gold                                                     Black & McDonald

Gold                                                     BOYNECLARKE LLP

Gold                                                     Department of Labour and Advanced Education

Gold                                                     dexel

Gold                                                     Dexter Construction

Gold                                                     Iron Dog Inc.

Gold                                                     PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

Gold                                                     Pomerleau Inc.

Gold                                                     Procore Technologies

Gold                                                     SANCTON

Gold                                                     Scientext Technical Writing Ltd.

Gold                                                     Stanhope Simpson Insurance

Gold                                                     Steinhart

Gold                                                     Travelers Canada

Silver                                                    Arrow Construction Products

Silver                                                    Atlantica Contractors

Silver                                                    Battlefield Equipment Rentals

Silver                                                    BELFOR

Silver                                                    Big Bang Promotional

Silver                                                    Bird Construction

Silver                                                    CBCL Limited

Silver                                                    DORA Construction

Silver                                                    Eastern Fence

Silver                                                    Heritage Gas

Silver                                                    Kent Mobile Shelters

Silver                                                    L.E. Cruickshanks Sheet Metal Ltd.

Silver                                                    MacGregors Industrial Group

Silver                                                    Marco Group

Silver                                                    Marid Industries

Silver                                                    Meridia Recruitment Solutions

Silver                                                    Merit Nova Scotia

Silver                                                    Ocean Contractors Limited

Silver                                                    RKO Steel Ltd.

Silver                                                    The Guarantee Company of North America

Silver                                                    The Shaw Group

Silver                                                    Tirecraft

Silver                                                    Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company

Silver                                                    WCB Nova Scotia

Water Sponsor                                      Rogers Communications Canada

Golf Hole Sponsor                                 CANS Group Health and Wellness

Golf Hole Sponsor                                 MacFarlands Industrial

Golf Hole Sponsor                                 MCT Insurance a division of BrokerLink

Golf Hole Sponsor                                 NationTek

Golf Hole Sponsor                                 Schooley Mitchell

Golf Hole Sponsor                                 Steinhart Distillery



Want to see what you missed out on at CANS 157th AGM? Catch up on all of our CANS Events on Flickr



Please email Alison Clack, Marketing & Communications Lead

CANS Welcomes 2019-2020 Board of Directors


CANS 157 Annual General Meeting was held at Oak Island Resort and Conference Centre from October 4-6, 2019. In addition to celebrating our organization’s successes over the past year, CANS welcomed its new Board of Directors and bid farewell to the board members from the previous year who’ve retired.

Please join us in welcoming CANS 2019-2020 Board of Directors:

Tim Houtsma, Marid Industries Ltd. — Chair of the Board

Tom Skinner, RKO Steel Limited — Immediate Past Chair of the Board, Treasurer

Victoria Stanhope, Stanhope Simpson Insurance Ltd. — Vice-Chair of the Board

Chad Wiesner, Lindsay Construction

Matt Sancton, Sancton Group Inc.

Rene Cox, Bird Construction Group

David Wood, Municipal Contracting Ltd.

David MacGregor, MacGregors Industrial Group

Heather Cruickshanks, L.E. Cruickshanks Sheet Metal

Charles Savoie, Black & McDonald Ltd.

Allan MacIntosh, MARCO Group

Gordon Shupe, Coastal Entrance Solutions

Gordon Gamble, Iron Dog Inc.

Jon Mullin, Grey Cardinal Management Inc.

Mark Isbister, Pomerleau Inc.

Mike Clements, Ocean Contractors  Limited

Allison Coffin, Heritage Gas Limited

Elizabeth Smith, CBRE Limited

Gerard Jessome, Transporation and Infrastructure Renewal

Duncan Williams, President & CEO, Ex-Officio

Sheryl Farrington, Secretary to the Board


We would also like to recognize a retiring member, Devin Hartnell, Lindsay Construction, for his dedicated service on the board. Devin has been a member of CANS Board of Directors since 2015-2016. We appreciate the time and wisdom you contributed to the board over these years. Thank you for your service!

CCA News // Board unanimously approves new governance structure


Historic decision: CCA Board and members unanimously approve modern governance structure

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has achieved a significant milestone in keeping with our promise in the 2018 – 2023 strategic plan to modernize the association. The new structure, enabled by updated by-laws in keeping with the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, will include a smaller governance board of up to 20 members, supported by two new board committees (Audit/Finance and Nominations/Governance), as well as five National Advisory Councils (Civil; General Contractors; Manufacturers, Services and Suppliers; Local Construction Associations; and Trade Contractors). The new board will strengthen the voice of our association partners in at least two ways: two chief operating officers (COOs) will be nominated to the board and an LCA council has been created with a formal link to the Board. Read more about this decision on CCA’s website.

Industry News // Statistics Canada releases methodology for estimating changes to North American trade patterns



Study: Estimating the effect of changing Canada/United States border costs on North American trade patterns and expenditures – detailed methodology


Statistics Canada recently completed a report on the methods used for estimating the effect of changing Canada-US border costs on North American trade. This paper is a follow-up to a previous report that provided detailed results of the study. The paper discusses in greater detail how Statistics Canada used its Surface Transportation File (STF), United States (US) domestic trade data, and a gravity trade model framework to study trade flows among 201 Canadian and United States regions for 2012. The paper also highlights a number of desirable properties of the Poisson Pseudo Maximum Likelihood (PPML) estimator, such as robustness to heteroscedasticity, the ability to hand zero-valued trade flows, and how the estimator simplifies the estimation of general equilibrium effects by satisfying adding-up constraints.

A large body of research has estimated average bilateral border costs, the combined effect of tariff and non-tariff barriers, indirectly by applying the gravity trade model framework, with border costs usually expressed as a tariff rate equivalent. Recent economic studies using this approach suggest further research is needed to accurately estimate these border costs, with concerns raised over the limited information on trade flows found in studied datasets. Geographic aggregation, to national levels or sub-national levels like provinces or states, has been found to introduce upward bias in the estimated border costs. This issue was addressed by another recent Statistics Canada study (Bemrose, Brown and Tweedle 2017), which used highly detailed trade data from the Surface Transportation File (STF).


The Gravity Model

Gravity models of trade originated with the preposition that bilateral trade flows should be increasing with the economic sizes of trading partners, and decreasing in their distance. The seminal work of Anderson and van Wincoop (2003) provided the first of many theoretical justifications for the gravity model, which showed that in addition to size and proximity, gravity models should also incorporate “multilateral resistance” terms to capture the influence of other trading partners. The gravity model for exports from location i to j (Xij) can be written as:

where Πi and Pj are the multilateral resistance terms, Yi is total output for location iEj is location j’s total expenditures on goods and services from all locations, tij is the bilateral trade cost, and −ε is the trade cost elasticity.



The STF was built from shipping records to measure domestic trade between detailed locations within Canada and between the United States and Canada. This dataset was combined with US Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) data to produce trade flow data among 201 comparable Canadian and United States regions for 2012. The resulting dataset is one of the most geographically detailed trade datasets available for measuring the average cost of the Canada-US and provincial borders.

Finer geographic detail should provide better estimates of average shipping distances between economic regions, and make intraregional trade costs more homogeneous across geographical units. Previous studies have suggested that measurement errors in distance and large differences in intraregional trade costs can cause substantial bias in estimated border costs. Sub-State and Sub-Provincial geographies were created for this study using the CFS’s division of states into metropolitan and non-metropolitan (MA/non-MA) areas, and the aggregation of STF trade flows into Economic Regions (ERs) comparable in size to the US MA/non-MA geography.

Most research is limited to using great circle distances between arbitrary points within trading areas. These measures often mischaracterize the distance goods traded between regions actually travel. The STF and CFS allow the derivation of network distances that more accurately reflect the origins, destinations and journeys goods can be expected to take.



The gravity model has traditionally been estimated by taking the natural log and using ordinary least squares (OLS). However, Silva and Tenreyro (2006) show that this approach leads to biased estimates in the presence of heteroskedasticity due to the retransformation problem. The authors suggest estimating the gravity equation in multiplicative form using Poisson Pseudo Maximum Likelihood (PPML) estimation. PPML is robust to heteroscedasticity and has the added benefit of being able to accommodate zero-valued observations for the dependant variable (i.e. zero-valued trade flows). Fally (2015) shows that importer and exporter fixed effects estimated by PPML will always satisfy the adding-up conditions for the multilateral resistance terms, simplifying the process of estimating full general equilibrium effects of changes to border costs.

For the econometric specification, the functional form of the multilateral resistance terms need not be identified to estimate the gravity model, since these terms can be replaced with importer and exporter fixed effects. Proxy variables are used to capture bilateral trade costs, which include distance and dummy variables that indicate if a provincial border, state border, or the Canadian-US border separates the two regions. In much of the literature, the trade cost of exporting from region i to region j is assumed to be a log-linear function of distance. This assumption is likely problematic when using a fine geographic breakdown, as trade involves both fixed and variable transportation costs. To account for possible nonlinearities in the effect of distance, a spline function is defined over various ranges of distance.



The results suggest that the tariff rate equivalent for the Canada-US border is in the neighborhood of 30%, while the provincial border imposes a cost equivalent to a 10% tariff, on average. To gauge the significance of these costs, model estimates are used to evaluate the general equilibrium effects of changing Canada-US border costs through two counter factual scenarios. First, the cost of trading between Canada and the United States is assumed to be equivalent to trading across provincial borders. This amounts to reducing the Canada-US border cost to a 10% tariff equivalent. The second scenario is representative of Canada and the US withdrawling from a preferential trading agreement (i.e. NAFTA). For this case, it is assumed that the Canada-US border cost would increase to a 36% tariff equivalent.

Results suggest that reducing the cost of the Canada-US border from 30 to 10 per cent will lead to an 82.2 per cent increase in exports from Canada to the United States, a 52.0 per cent decrease in inter-provincial exports, and a 46.1 per cent decline in intra-provincial exports. In addition, expenditure on domestic and imported non-energy goods increases 11.4% in Canada.

Estimates also suggest that increasing the Canada-US border cost from 30 to 36 per cent would reduce Canadian exports to the United States by 23.4 per cent and increase trade within Canada with inter-provincial exports rising 11.3 per cent and intra-provincial trade increasing 9.8 per cent. The authors also find that the higher border cost would reduced non-energy goods expenditures by 1.8 per cent (approximately $10 billion CAD in 2012).


Anderson, J. E. and E. van Wincoop (2003). Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle. American Economic Review 93(1), 170–192.

Bemrose, R. K., W. M. Brown, and J. Tweedle (2017). Going the Distance: Estimating the Effect of Provincial Borders on Trade when Geography Matters. Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, no. 394. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11F0019M. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Fally, T. (2015). Structural gravity and fixed effects. Journal of International Economics 97(1), 76–85.

Silva, J. M. C. S. and S. Tenreyro (2006). The Log of Gravity. The Review of Economics and Statistics 88(4), 641–658.