It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for the week.

Since last fall, Husky Energy has been attempting to acquire MEG Energy Corp, a merger that was widely anticipated to succeed. However, Husky canceled the bid this week, surprising the industry:

Husky shares rise, MEG stock plunges after oilsands takeover offer withdrawn

Husky, the much larger of the two oilsands-producing Calgary firms, surprised observers when it announced it would not extend the offer that expired Wednesday without receiving the needed two-thirds support.

“Although this doesn’t drastically alter our investment thesis on Husky, as it was fairly valuation neutral, it will obviously place strong pressure on MEG’s share price out of the gate,” said CIBC analyst Jon Morrison in an early morning note.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, MEG shares fell by as much as 40 per cent to $5.11 from a close of $8.54 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Husky shares rose by as much as 14.7 per cent to $17.82. Via

The provincial government’s intervention in production was cited as one of the reasons Huskey backed off, but the main cause was a lack of support from MEG Energy.

Credit: MyMcMurray

Nearly three years after the 2016 wildfire, the community continues to rebuild lost homes. The ones that weren’t destroyed were thought to be contaminated, but a 2017 study, the results of which came out this week, showed that contaminants were at regular levels:

Normal levels of contaminants in Fort McMurray homes after 2016 wildfire: study

A new study indicates dust from homes in Fort McMurray, Alta., had normal levels of indoor contaminants a year after a devastating forest fire hit the city, suggesting residents did not face an elevated health risk in the aftermath of the blaze.

Arthur Chan, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Toronto, said pollutants in house dust his team analyzed actually contained fewer toxins than homes in many other Canadian cities.

“We don’t see any cause for alarm,” Chan said. “We found that the levels are below what the guidelines considered as risky.”

The results were published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Via

The study was performed in July 2017, with researches going door to door collecting dust for analysis.

The results of the 2018 Census came out this week, showing that the region’s population has decreased by about 11%:

RMWB Population Drops Over 10 Per Cent From 2015

The municipality released the results of it’s 2018 Census on Tuesday after conducting interviews and collecting online numbers from April 9 to July 31.

Our total population is sitting at 111,687 – 75,009 across Fort McMurray and the rural hamlets and 36,678 for our shadow population.

This is a 10.67 per cent decrease compared to 2015.

This is the first census the region has conducted since the Horse River wildfire which had significant impacts on the region’s population and housing. Via

The shadow population decreased as well, by around 15%. The full Census report is to be released later this winter.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

Disclaimer: The A-Team is a team of associates at Walsh Real Estate (2010) Ltd o/a RE/MAX® Fort McMurray, 9919 Biggs Avenue, Fort McMurray, Alberta, T9H 1S2. Each office is independently owned and operated. The licensed associates are Tom Albrecht, Breanna Albrecht, Denise Hildebrand, Aaron Chalmers, Erin Ogren, Heather McCandless, and Rita Sobkowich. Eric Dunham, mortgage specialist with RBC®, is not affiliated. We also recommend Amanda Stuart at TD Bank® and Mariam Fawaz at Mortgages for Less®.

Licensed and Regulated by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.