Presentation on theme: "Highlights from Palmer & Palmer, “The Alberta Experience” Main Thesis: - Alberta has experienced fundamental changes, in rapid succession, with little."— Presentation transcript:
Highlights from Palmer & Palmer, “The Alberta Experience” Main Thesis: - Alberta has experienced fundamental changes, in rapid succession, with little time to adapt before the next fundamental changes hit.
Economic Changes Shifts in the Staples Base of the Provincial Economy fur -> buffalo hides -> beef -> wheat -> oil -> gas -> heavy oil Recurrent Cycles of Boom & Bust 1898Klondike boom 1914Turner Valley 1930sDepression 1950spost-Leduc boom 1970sOPEC boom 1982Recession 1986Oil Price Crash 1994Klein revolution: austerity 1997oil & gas boom
Some Profound Social Changes in Alberta Ethnic & Religious Commerce Urbanization The State Social Protest Role of Women
External Shocks to Alberta and Vulnerability to Boom and Bust Cycle 1968: Multinational oil companies’ flight to Alaska 1973 ff OPEC price increases 1974-81 Energy war with federal govt. 1980N.E.P. & recession thereafter Early 80s High interest rates 1986Oil price collapse Mid-90s Cutbacks on federal fiscal transfers Alberta has one of the most unstable economies of all the provinces in Canada.
Sources of American Influence in Alberta Oil industry’s close links with Houston, Denver, & Oklahoma e.g., U.S. execs; career circuit Early settlement (pre-WWI) by American farmers incl. Mormons; close ties maintained Strong ties btwn fundamentalist religious groups in Alberta & their American counterparts American markets for Alberta’s staples (e.g., gas, wheat, beef) American TV (cable; satellite)
Bases of Right-Wing Support in Alberta Nature of the Oil Industry: - large middle class; small blue collar class - integrated w/ USA (Republican influence) Selective In-migration - ardent free-enterprise entrepreneurs - Post WWII in-migration of persons with aversion to left-wing ideas (e.g., refugees from eastern Europe, British, Dutch, Amer.) Frontierism - individualism carried forward to today - mythology of the boundless opportunities of the frontier Economic, religious, & social ties to Republican USA