The impact of the changing American consumer is being felt here in Canada, said Pedro Antunes of the Conference Board of Canada.

"When we look at the big picture for 2009 what we're seeing is basically a collapse," he said.

A collapse of jobs - the Conference Board predicts the Canadian economy will shed the equivalent of Halifax's population in jobs -- as well as gross domestic product.

The once robust Alberta economy is no more - the Conference Board suggests unemployment here will increase by more than two per cent this year and will continue to rise in 2010.

The GDP is expected to drop here too - the first time since 1986. A sign of hope for 2010 though - with a forecast three per cent gain.

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