May 15, 2014 11:50 am

Alberta receives top marks from Conference Board

An oilsands facility seen from a helicopter near Fort McMurray, Alta., on July 10, 2012. Environmental groups are giving Alberta's energy regulator a rare pat on the back over its decision to delay approvals for certain types of oilsands projects over concerns about the intensity of development.

Jeff McIntosh, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A new report from the Conference Board puts Canada’s three oil-rich provinces on top of the world in terms of economic performance.

But for the rest of the country, the news is not so stellar.

The think-tank’s annual economic report card comparing 16 of the world’s richest countries puts Canada in fifth place overall.

That’s one spot better than last year and behind Australia, Ireland, the United States and Norway.

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In a new twist for the Conference Board’s annual report card, the 10 provinces are treated as if they were countries to create a picture of not only the internal disparities but also how the provinces compare globally.

The report places Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland — the three oil producing provinces — in that order as the top performers with A-plus scores across indicators such as per capita income, economic growth, unemployment and productivity.

They are the only jurisdictions rated to have A-plus economies.

At the bottom of the class are Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with D grades, along with countries such as France and Belgium.

Ontario, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia score B grades, putting them alongside Switzerland, Germany and the United

Manitoba and Quebec were given C grades.

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