• @Bearlydave
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    21 month ago

    I grew up in Fort McMurray, home of the Canadian oilsands.

    I remember this being a small place and the local newspaper running the story that the place moved from “town” to “City” status.

    In the early 2000s this place boomed. Went from about 35000 population to 90000 (there was talk of about 140000 in the region, many people flying in and working out of campus).

    During this time, we were getting lots of bad press… The media running stories of rampant drugs in the area and that sort of thing. They used footage from outside the seediest bar in town at 3 a.m. of you go to any town or city and hang out at the lowlife bar at 3 a.m. you can claim how horrible the place is. In reality, this place is filled with young working families. Sure, we have some problems but then any place in earth.

    The 2008 financial crisis was kind of a break. By this, I mean that this place was so busy that this slightly impact to the region meant that, for the first time in about 5 years, I had an opportunity to hire some semi-qualified people. In the past 5 years, some of the interviews I had with people (this is for IT jobs) were just ridiculously bad.

    2014 saw the price of oil crash. That definitely slowed things down here, moving it from a boom town to a normal place.

    2016 brought the wildfires. You may have seen it on the news. 88000 people evacuated from the city.

    In 2020, a flood struck our downtown area. Folks from that area were evacuated to other areas.

    Currently, we have another wildfire in the region. About 6000 people are currently evacuated but as I understand it, the fire still a ways away and it has been raining a bit over the last couple of days, so I am not overly concerned for the homes of evacuees.

    So, my home town has gone through lots of chance and challenges over the years. It was built on a real pioneering spirit and I’m proud of the that the people have demonstrated through the hard times.