Connected by rail and highways to two major seaports, Vancouver and Prince Rupert in British Columbia, these inland ports consolidate import and distribution functions.
The Foreign Trade Zone Points, in combination with the province’s investment of $4.4 billion in the provincial highway network in recent years, and its approval of a feasibility study of a high-speed rail between its two largest cities, Edmonton and Calgary, demonstrate Alberta’s understanding of the importance of innovation and investment in mobility.
Alberta’s transportation system supports the resource-based economies across the province, including energy, forestry and agriculture. All economic development depends on a strong transportation sector because of the connection it creates and sustains between geographic and economic regions. Recent world events have shown the importance of a consistent and dependable supply chain.
Size of the Edmonton International Airport, the largest in Canada by land area
Annual number of passengers that use the Calgary International Airport
Annual number of passengers that use the Edmonton International Airport
$11.2 BILLION, EMPLOYING 75,000 PEOPLE
Combined economic impact of the Edmonton International Airport and Calgary International Airport
Sources: Statistics Canada, Government of Alberta, Edmonton International Airport, Calgary International Airport
Twinning project builds capacity for northwest Alberta
Transporting goods is key to supporting economic growth. In partnership with the Alberta Government’s Ministry of Transportation, the County of Grande Prairie and the Municipal District of Greenview are investing in their communities’ future by enhancing travel for residents and industries across north-west Alberta.
Crews started work in summer 2021 on a major project to expand and improve Highway 40 between the cities of Grande Cache and Grande Prairie, located in northwest Alberta, including the conversion of the existing two-lane highway into a four-lane one, as well as building two new bridges. The region has seen remarkable development in recent years. While Grande Prairie embraces its strategic location in Alberta’s industrially and commercially vibrant Peace Region, Greenview, the province’s third-largest rural municipality, is mobilizing its natural and economic diversity across the oil and gas, agriculture and tourism industries.
Ownership of railyards puts Foremost and Oyen in command
Industry is speeding up in southeast Alberta thanks to major rail projects in the Village of Foremost and the Town of Oyen that position the region as a transportation hub for western Canada.
With $4.2 million in funding from the federal government, the transload facility in Foremost, about 250 kilometres southeast of Calgary, is getting an overhaul that will give industry in the area a fresh start. In addition to facilitating the efficient cross-country transport of local grains and other loads, the Leonard Mitzel Logistics Facility will also support wind energy developments. Similar economic developments are happening in Oyen, located 30 minutes west of the provincial border between Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The Town, Canadian National Rail, the Special Areas Board and Palliser Economic Partnership have joined together to upgrade the rail line and develop the Oyen Rail Yard & Logistics Park. The 155-acre facility has a capacity of 2,500 rail cars hauling construction material, equipment and agricultural products.
Growing Trade Routes in South Alberta
As global supply chains have changed and demand for agri-food products has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for expanded transportation infrastructure in southern Alberta has increased. Highway 3 is positioned to address these needs, particularly after receiving a $150 million funding commitment from the provincial government to expand the 46-kilometre stretch of highway south of Calgary between the towns of Taber and Burdett. To maintain this momentum, the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association is working to secure ongoing support from local governments and communities who will most benefit from the project.
Galvanized by a clear strategic plan and an understanding of the economic corridor’s critical role in moving goods and services between markets in the neighbouring provinces of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, the local communities’ Chambers of Commerce and many private businesses along the highway have joined the Association, which hopes to expand its membership by opening to industry, municipalities and other organizations.