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Letter from Canada: Alberta’s debt quagmire

The province’s strategy of stimulating economic diversification through oil revenue largesse has largely proved a failure

Alberta has long squandered its oil and gas wealth, behaving more like Venezuela than Norway. Instead of saving non-renewable resource revenue for a rainy day, let alone future generations of Albertans, the provincial government has instead used royalty revenues to provide high quality social services and keep taxes low—the so-called ‘Alberta Advantage’. It was hoped a healthy and well-educated population and low tax rates would encourage businesses in other industries to locate in laissez-faire Alberta to diversify the province’s economy. But this has not happened. Instead, it has rained heavily on Alberta since the middle of last decade, precipitated by the 2014-16 oil price crash, sinc



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