There were 4,767 new personal and business bankruptcies in the province in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2016. There were another 6,157 proposals, the term given to a formal agreement with creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to settle debts under conditions other than the existing terms. Edmonton’s 53.3 per cent spike in insolvencies was the sharpest in Canada in the past year. In Calgary the rate rose by 18.3 per cent.
The dramatic drop in energy prices and the subsequent layoffs left Alberta with an unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent.
Most other provinces also saw an uptick in insolvencies in the past year, particularly proposals. The rate jumped by 37.7 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador, 10.4 per cent in Prince Edward Island, 22.9 per cent in Manitoba and 30.2 per cent in Saskatchewan. Ontario and Quebec were the only provinces with a decline in their insolvency rates.
In Ontario, the overall rate declined by 0.3 per cent in the past year — with a 4.4 per cent jump in proposals offsetting a 6.1 per cent drop in bankruptcies. In Quebec, insolvencies were down by 2.8 per cent — with proposals down 5.6 per cent and bankruptcies down 0.4 per cent.
In British Columbia, the overall rate remained steady, as bankruptcies dropped off by 11.5 per cent while proposals were up 12.4 per cent. – CINEWS