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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.

Public Bodies, Private Parts

Surgical Contracts and Conflict of Interest at the Calgary Regional Health Authority

In September 2000 The Health Care Protection Act (formerly Bill 11) was proclaimed and established as law in Alberta. Since the Act permits private, for-profit surgical facilities to keep patients for more than a 12-hour stay, it is only a matter of time before for-profit hospitals are approved and operating in Alberta. The first ones are likely to appear in Calgary.

We are paying a high price for free trade. The 49th Parallel is vanishing, creating a new integrated continental oil and gas market in which Canadian energy industries are used to feed an ever-growing American demand.

Advantage for Whom?

Declining Family Incomes in a Growing Alberta Economy

This report is an analysis of Albertans’ family incomes during the 1990s. It compares the incomes of Alberta families at all income levels, examines the income gap between the richest and poorest of families, and discusses the escalating stress that Alberta families face as they attempt to maintain their standard of living in an increasingly competitive market place.

Change and Opportunity

EPCOR in a Deregulated Electricity Industry

This study extends examines EPCOR’s standing in the throes of the deregulation of Alberta’s electricity industry. It finds that EPCOR provides remarkable value to the City of Edmonton, and despite unexpected shifts in regulatory positions by the Alberta government, this value is likely to hold in the medium and long term.

Clear Answers

The Economics and Politics of For-Profit Medicine

The Government of Alberta under Ralph Klein has asked a reasonable question: can health care be better provided partly as a private, for-profit product rather than as a not-for-profit public service? But -- despite the claims of advocates for market-driven medicine -- private hospitals are neither cheaper nor more efficient than public ones. Clear Answers summarises the huge body of evidence showing that they are more expensive and less efficient.

Giving Away the Alberta Advantage

Are Albertans Receiving Maximum Revenues From Their Oil and Gas?

Alberta's oil and gas resources are free gifts of nature and contribute significantly to Alberta's advantage. But are Albertans receiving maximum value from the sale of our oil and gas resources?


The Open and Shut Case Against Privatizing EPCOR

The study presented here is a business analysis of the issue of whether or not Edmonton City Council should proceed with the sale of EPCOR.

Contested Classrooms

Education, Globalization, and Democracy in Alberta

Education has become a battlefield, the classroom the arena where the contest is fought. Alberta stands as a model of radical education reform in Canada. But reform is not necessarily right or good, especially if undertaken without the consultation of those most affected by it. A range of commentators – teachers, scholars, parents, and others – discuss the conflict in Alberta's schools.

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