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Trouble in Paradise?

Citizen's Views on Democracy in Alberta

This report examines Albertans’ attitudes regarding the state of democracy in the province. The findings suggest Albertans are very concerned about the health of democracy in the province, but disagree in fundamental ways with political leaders and much of the mainstream media regarding the causes for concern and means of improving democracy.


The Case of Highway Maintenance Privatization in Alberta

In 1995/96, the Government of Alberta decided to outsource all the maintenance on its 15,000 km of primary highways to private contractors. In 1997, KPMG Consultants produced a study for the Government of Alberta with the intention of comparing the two systems. However, given that the system had been privatized for only one year they found that it was too early to compare the financial results of outsourcing highway maintenance to previous in-house methods.

Sobering Result

The Alberta Liquor Retailing Industry Ten Years After Privatization

In 1993/94 the Alberta Government implemented major policy changes involving the control, taxing, and distribution of liquor products. Ten years later the retail industry has evolved into monopolistic competition with its inherent excess capacity and high costs. 

Alberta’s ‘Good Enough’ Approach to Fiscal Management

Parkland Intitute's Report on Alberta's Finances 2003

"Alberta's 'good enough' approach to fiscal management" is the Parkland Institute's annual pre-budget report on the state of Alberta's finances. The report examines in detail the province's current revenue structure and recent expenditures with special concentration given to the areas of health, education, and social services.

Youth Crime and Justice in Alberta

Rhetoric and Reality

This paper reviews some of the recent political rhetoric and public opinion on the controversial subject of youth crime and how to deal with it, including the Young Offender’s Act of 1984 and the new Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Making It Work

Kyoto, Trade and Politics

How will trade agreements and federalism constrain Canadian policy makers if they implement the Kyoto Protocol?

Reclaiming Medicare

A Response to the Mazankowski Misdiagnosis

In the fall of 2001, the Alberta government was about to release its long-awaited Mazankowski Report on health care in Alberta.

Advantaged No More

How Low Taxes Flattened Alberta's Future

The paper argues recent government fiscal policies have created an artificial revenue crisis, the result of which has been a second stage crisis involving renewed cuts to valued public services, intensified labour strife, higher costs to average Albertans, and general economic instability. The paper argues that government explanations for the crisis (e.g., that expenditures are out of control) are not substantiated by any existing data and serve only to mislead the public.

Writing Off the Rural West

Globalization, Governments and the Transformation of Rural Life

Some of the most intense effects of globalization can be seen in rural communities. Despite a booming world economy, rural communities-and the people who work in natural-resource industries like farming, forestry, mining or fishing-have been hard hit by recent international trade agreements. This collection looks at changing rural life, across the country and around the globe.

The British Columbia Advantage

Lessons from Alberta on the Deregulation of the Electricity Industry

In 1995 the Alberta government followed the example of Margaret Thatcher in Britain, and began to deregulate Alberta's electricity industry. Defying critics, the government promised Albertans lowered electricity prices and more stable supplies once electricity was subjected to the competitive pressures of the marketplace.

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