Oil price pain seeping into other sectors

CALGARY -- From airlines to wireless providers to beer makers, few sectors have managed to dodge the impact of weak crude prices.

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WestJet, Telus and Molson Coors are among companies that have recently cited the oil price collapse as a drag on their financial results.

Calgary-based WestJet has been shifting capacity away from Western Canada as demand for flights to and from energy-focused destinations plummets.

Telus pointed to the slowdown in Alberta as one reason behind its lower profits during its most recent quarter.

And Molson Coors Brewing Co. says beer drinkers -- particularly in Alberta -- are choosing economy brews over premium brands amid the ongoing economic slowdown.

ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch says it underscores the importance of oil and gas to the wider Canadian economy.

"Sometimes -- outside of Alberta, particularly -- there's some skepticism or even some derision against the petroleum sector," he said. "Some people feel it's getting its comeuppance, not feeling too sorry for the petroleum sector at all. But they need to realize that it has broader implications for the whole economy."



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