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Calgary Tops Ottawa With Highest Income Canada Families

Calgary, Canada’s oil capital, has surpassed Ottawa as the city with the nation’s highest family incomes, new data show.

The median family income in the southern Alberta city rose 5.2 percent to C$98,300 ($91,600) in 2012, the most-recent reporting period, to snag top spot in the nation, Statistics Canada said today. Former leader Ottawa, the national capital, fell behind Edmonton, Alberta to third in the rankings.

Calgary and Edmonton are benefiting from a booming Alberta economy stoked by rising commodity prices, while Ottawa bears the brunt of federal government efforts to rein in spending.

The greater Ottawa area, including the Quebec municipality of Gatineau, recorded a 0.8 percent gain in the median family income in 2012 to C$94,230. It was the only major metropolitan area to record gains below inflation. Family incomes in Edmonton, Alberta’s capital, rose 4.5 percent to C$96,030 on a median basis.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has implemented five rounds of restraint since 2010 to curb government spending as it seeks to balance the federal budget. More than 16,000 federal government positions were eliminated in 2012, according to a May report by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Rounding out the five cities with the highest median family incomes are Saskatchewan’s Regina and Saskatoon. The national median was C$74,540.

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver -- all with median incomes of just over C$71,000 -- are among the 10 lowest-earning major cities in Canada.

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