My first home

W. Brett Wilson
Courtesy Heather Fritz

W. Brett Wilson

Well-known Calgary entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den investor panelist W. Brett Wilson vividly remembers the first home he bought in Calgary.

The joy and pride of first-time homeownership for his young family will always be embedded in his mind, as well as the work he put into the home.

However, that first home is also a reminder of the infamous National Energy Program, which sunk Alberta’s economy and caused plenty of financial pain for Albertans during the early 1980s.

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My first home

Featuring CREB® CEO Alan Tennant

I remember being 23 years old. The year was 1981. I was a Medicine Hat banker with my new wife, Rona, and a new job in Calgary, staring down a brand-new, three-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow. Oh, and a mortgage to pay.

We had two cars (with no garage to put them in) and no way of knowing that four years later, mortgage rates would hit a whopping 18 per cent.

We asked the question many people do now when they contemplate their first home purchase: can we afford it?

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55 Years of Calgary Real Estate: 1988 CREB® President Jerry Roberts

1988 CREB® president Jerry Roberts recalls Winter Olympics arriving at the right time for Calgarians

Like many Calgarians, the first thing Jerry Roberts remembers about 1988 was the Winter Olympics.

The international sporting event transformed Calgary, as 1,423 athletes from 57 nations competed in 46 events over 16 days in February 1988.

But perhaps more importantly, it put Calgary, then a city of 675,000 and the first Canadian city to host a Winter Olympic Games, on the world map, said Roberts, who was president of CREB® that year.

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55 Years of Calgary Real Estate: 1985 CREB® President Jim Moore

Current economic challenges harken back to past president’s term

The early 1980s in Alberta were a memorable and challenging time for anyone who lived through them.

Characterized by a severe global recession, widespread housing foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployment, by the time Jim Moore was president of the Calgary Real Estate Board in 1985, market conditions remained difficult but some changes were afoot.

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55 Years of Calgary Real Estate: 1981 CREB® President Kent Lyle

Former CREB® president Kent Lyle remembers impacts of National Energy Program like it was yesterday

It’s perhaps the most contentious three words in Alberta’s history: National Energy Program.

The early 1980s in the province are synonymous with the controversial federal initiative, which redistributed Alberta’s oil wealth and, in turn, lead to a regional recession that few have since forgotten.

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