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Articles on Alberta

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A pumpjack draws out oil and gas from a well head near Calgary in October 2022. There are thousands of inactive oil and gas wells in the province that have not been properly decommissioned. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Despite soaring profits, oil companies are not paying enough for their environmental damage

The Alberta government is failing to ensure environmental liabilities are adequately accounted for and that progress is being made to address the province’s massive tailings ponds.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks during a news conference, as Education Minister Stephen Lecce looks on in Toronto on Nov. 7, 2022. Ontario has repealed legislation that imposed a contract on 55,000 education workers and invoked the notwithstanding clause. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Preventing use of the notwithstanding clause is a bad idea — and unnecessary

A Supreme Court reference on the notwithstanding clause could look beyond the highly polarized reactions to any particular law and get at the heart of the issue.
Danielle Smith celebrates after being chosen as the new leader of the United Conservative Party and next Alberta premier in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

How Danielle Smith won in Alberta and what it means for Canada

Danielle Smith’s win in the UCP leadership race follows the populist playbook. Will her time in office be a brief interlude, or the start of a significant challenge to national unity?
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Finance Jason Nixon, then Minister of Environment and Parks, chat before the throne speech is delivered in Edmonton in May 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A provincial sales tax is the solution to Alberta’s fiscal roller-coaster

A sales tax — a tax that’s stable, easy to administer and costs less to collect than income taxes — would stabilize Alberta’s volatile roller-coaster economy.
Climate researchers stress that natural gas bridges can often lead to nowhere as the reliance on natural gas can lock countries into fossil fuels, crowd out low-carbon technologies and risk stranding assets. (Shutterstock)

A bridge to nowhere: Natural gas will not lead Canada to a sustainable energy future

Fossil fuel companies are winning the battle on how we talk about natural gas expansion by referring to it as a “bridge fuel” or an essential bridge to the net-zero energy system of the future.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, German vice-chancellor Robert Habeck and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a hydrogen energy deal signing ceremony on August 23, 2022 in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

New ‘hydrogen alliance’ offers Canada an opportunity to export ammonia to Europe

A new energy deal between Canada and Germany could revitalize the Port of Churchill in Manitoba by increasing ammonia export traffic.
Low-quality asphalt binder — the glue that holds roads together — can leave roads prone to cracking in cold temperatures. (Shutterstock)

How Canada’s oilsands can help build better roads

The quality of asphalt binder — the glue that holds roads together — influences their condition. Binder made from Alberta bitumen is low in waxes and could extend pavement lifespan.
Edmonton demonstrators gather to protest against COVID-19 measures and support the ‘freedom convoy’ in February 2022. Research suggests Alberta separatist sentiments have as much to do with antipathy about the federal government and Justin Trudeau as actually leaving Confederation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

What the spectre of Alberta separatism means for Canada

Even though they lack the profile of Québec sovereigntists, Alberta separatists are positioned to exert significant political influence on intergovernmental relations in the years to come.
More animals, including wolves, are shifting their patterns to adjust to human activity. (Thomas Bonometti/Unsplash)

Wolf culls change hunting habits and help caribou conservation

Woodland caribou populations are on the decline because human activity changes their habitat and exposes them to predation by wolves. But changing wolves’ hunting habits may protect the caribou.
The chestnut-collared longspur spends the winter in Mexico and the southern United States; the Canadian prairies are its breeding grounds. (Jeremy Price)

Prairie songbirds are affected by unpredictable noise produced by oil drilling

Noise created by the oil industry impacts songbirds. Research found that constant noises, like those produced by oil wells, are less disruptive than the shorter bursts of noise produced by drilling.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks in response to the results of the United Conservative Party leadership review in Calgary on May 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Alberta’s political culture and history played a part in Jason Kenney’s downfall

Alberta premiers can become era-defining personalities or quickly cast aside. Jason Kenney’s fall from grace is a vivid illustration of the volatility of the province’s political landscape.
Staten Island’s Amazon distribution centre union organizer Chris Smalls celebrates with union members after getting the voting results to unionize their warehouse on April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Why did Amazon workers win the fight to form a union in Staten Island but not in Alberta?

Staten Island’s Amazon union has proven that one of the most powerful anti-union companies in North America can be unionized.
Alberta’s approach to fiscal management involves a nauseating cycle of big spending followed by massive cuts — almost entirely due to the outsized influence of oil and gas revenues. The rollercoaster at the West Edmonton Mall is seen in this photo. (Jerry Bowley/Flickr)

Alberta budget means Albertans are trapped on a relentless fiscal rollercoaster ride

Every time Alberta’s energy-based economy goes into a tailspin, it’s because the price of oil has declined precipitously, and when it booms, it’s because the price has soared.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney gives a COVID-19 update in Edmonton in September 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Why Alberta lacks a mandate to reopen Canada’s Constitution

Given low levels of turnout and high levels of “no” support in urban areas, Alberta lacks a clear mandate to press for changes to Canada’s Constitution after its equalization referendum.
Phasing out fossil fuels means that today’s production is the peak, and that from here on out extraction and infrastructure must decline over time. (Green Energy Futures/flickr)

How Canada can leave 83 per cent of its oil in the ground and build strong new economies

If Canada chooses to keep its oil in the ground, it doesn’t mean turning off the tap overnight. Skilled trades will be key to winding down the industry and building up new lines of work.
Even if Alberta was motivated to increase vaccination rates through direct government intervention, the measures may not succeed given conservatives’ lack of faith in the province, the premier and the cabinet. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Financial insecurity and right-wing beliefs drive COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Albertans

We surveyed Albertans, and while most were vaccinated, we found certain groups were less likely to be vaccinated than others. Those being people facing economic hardship and political affiliation.

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