July 13, 2024
In the federal election, the province’s economic woes fail to break through
A sign on the Trans Canada Highway welcomes visitors to Medicine Hat, Alta., a community of about 63,000 people hit hard by a years-long slump in natural gas prices.
A sign on the Trans Canada Highway welcomes visitors to Medicine Hat, Alta., a community of about 63,000 people hit hard by a years-long slump in natural gas prices.

The signs on the edge of Medicine Hat welcome visitors to “The Gas City,” a reference to the natural gas that has built and sustained this southeastern Alberta community for more than 100 years.

There are thousands of city-owned natural gas wells popping up out of the ground in local parks, boulevards and farmers’ fields stretching into Saskatchewan, which have given Medicine Hat an outsized wealth for a community of about 63,000. Generations of natural gas revenues have helped build schools, parks, roads and community centres, while keeping local taxes low. But years of rock-bottom gas prices recently prompted the city to announce that most of those wells will soon be shut down, a painful decision that has only deepened the wounds from an economic downturn that has dragged on for the past five years.

Mayor Ted Clugston says thousands of people in the region who work in the oil-and-gas sector have already lost their jobs. The city’s decision will put dozens more out of work, as Medicine Hat comes to terms with the collapse of what was once its main industry. “We are a microcosm of Calgary and a microcosm of the entire province of Alberta,” Mr. Clugston said. “It’s been a double hit for us.”

The prolonged slump in the province’s oil-and-gas sector has left tens of thousands of Albertans unemployed, wreaked havoc with the province’s finances and inflamed a sense of anger and resentment in a region that has a long history as seeing itself as ignored by the rest of the country. Calls for separation, while still on the political fringes, have become louder as polls show an increasing number of Albertans questioning their place in the country.

Yet, the province’s economic challenges have mostly failed to break into the national conversation ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election.


See Also:

(1) Rural Albertans express frustration over election cold shoulder

(2) In an ethnically diverse Vancouver suburb, immigration politics complicate Liberal re-election hopes

(3) The Liberals broke their promise on electoral reform. Will it hurt them in 2019?

(4) Singh walks the fence between TMX pipeline and possible Liberal coalition


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October 15, 2019 4:35 pm

Re: (Alberta) Mountie files lawsuit against RCMP…

Not investigators but persecutors. The RCMP officers conducting this investigation are trained criminal investigators? God help the citizens (whether as complainants or suspects) who have to interact with this trio as a matter of course. Citizens on either side of the law are in jeopardy in their own right. Ever wonder how innocent people get convicted and sent to jail? Well, wonder no more. Historically the perpetrators of this particular travesty of justice will never face consequences. In fact It’s more than likely that their careers will blossom. Why? Because being the loyal soldiers that they are is paramount. Tunnel vision, vindictiveness, incompetence have no place in our national police force. But when they do too often there is a conspicuous lack of outrage. These three apparently choose to back the narrative that the RCMP wanted to portray. And got caught. Have no doubt, these two innocent officers lives will never be the same. The scars will never heal completely. This has all the trappings of an internal witch hunt. My heart goes out to these two innocent RCMP officers. Maintain les Droit loses all meaning in situations like this. Shame, shame, shame…

At the end of Manj’s five-day tribunal hearing, Gerry Annetts, who presided over it, said the evidence from Manj’s bosses Chief Supt. Shahin Mehdizadeh and Chief Supt. Wendell Reimer was “unreliable.”

Annetts also ruled that evidence from the RCMP’s witness, Staff Sgt. Sarah Knelsen, was “some of the most biased, leading, unreliable statements I have ever seen,” according to notes provided by Manj’s lawyer from the oral decision.