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Alberta has considerable ethnic diversity. In line with the rest of Canada, many immigrants originated from England , Scotland , Ireland , Wales and France , but large numbers also came from other parts of Europe, notably Germany , Ukraine and Scandinavia.
Despite this, relatively few Albertans claim French as their mother tongue. Many of Alberta's French-speaking residents live in the central and northwestern regions of the province. As reported in the census, the Chinese represented nearly four percent of Alberta's population, and East Indians represented more than two percent. The Chinese presence began with workers employed in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the s.
Aboriginal Albertans make up approximately three percent of the population. In the Canadian census , the most commonly reported ethnic origins among Albertans were: Each person could choose as many ethnicities as were applicable. Amongst those of British origins, the Scots have had a particularly strong influence on place-names, with the names of many cities and towns including Calgary, Airdrie , Canmore , and Banff having Scottish origins. Alberta is the third most diverse province in terms of visible minorities after British Columbia and Ontario with Aboriginal Identity Peoples make up 5.
There are also small number of Inuit people in Alberta. As of the National Household Survey , the largest religious group was Roman Catholic, representing Alberta had the second-highest percentage of non-religious residents among the provinces after British Columbia at Of the remainder, 7. Lutherans made up 3. Members of LDS Church are mostly concentrated in the extreme south of the province. Alberta has a population of Hutterites , a communal Anabaptist sect similar to the Mennonites , and has a significant population of Seventh-day Adventists.
Muslims , Sikhs , Buddhists , and Hindus live in Alberta. Muslims made up 3. Many of these are recent immigrants, but others have roots that go back to the first settlers of the prairies. Most of Alberta's Jews live in the metropolitan areas of Calgary 8, and Edmonton 5, Alberta's economy was one of the strongest in the world, supported by the burgeoning petroleum industry and to a lesser extent, agriculture and technology. Alberta's debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to reach The Calgary-Edmonton Corridor is the most urbanized region in the province and one of the densest in Canada.
The region covers a distance of roughly kilometres north to south. In , the population of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor was 2. The Fraser Institute states that Alberta also has very high levels of economic freedom and rates Alberta as the freest economy in Canada,  and second-freest economy amongst U. In , Alberta's GDP grew despite low oil prices; however, it was unstable with growth rates as high 4.
Should the GDP remain at an average of 2. This estimate predicts a real GDP growth of only 1. A positive is the predicted Alberta is the largest producer of conventional crude oil , synthetic crude , natural gas and gas products in Canada. Alberta is the world's second-largest exporter of natural gas and the fourth-largest producer. In both Red Deer and Edmonton, polyethylene and vinyl manufacturers produce products that are shipped all over the world. Edmonton's oil refineries provide the raw materials for a large petrochemical industry to the east of Edmonton.
The Athabasca oil sands surrounding Fort McMurray have estimated unconventional oil reserves approximately equal to the conventional oil reserves of the rest of the world, estimated to be 1. Many companies employ both conventional strip mining and non-conventional in situ methods to extract the bitumen from the oil sands.
Another factor determining the viability of oil extraction from the oil sands is the price of oil. The oil price increases since have made it profitable to extract this oil, which in the past would give little profit or even a loss. By mid, however, rising costs and stabilizing oil prices were threatening the economic viability of some projects. An example of this was the shelving of the Joslyn north project in the Athabasca region in May With concerted effort and support from the provincial government, several high-tech industries have found their birth in Alberta, notably patents related to interactive liquid-crystal display systems.
Agriculture has a significant position in the province's economy. The province has over three million head of cattle,  and Alberta beef has a healthy worldwide market. Nearly one half of all Canadian beef is produced in Alberta.
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Alberta is one of the top producers of plains buffalo bison for the consumer market. Sheep for wool and mutton are also raised. Wheat and canola are primary farm crops, with Alberta leading the provinces in spring wheat production; other grains are also prominent. Much of the farming is dryland farming, often with fallow seasons interspersed with cultivation.
Continuous cropping in which there is no fallow season is gradually becoming a more common mode of production because of increased profits and a reduction of soil erosion. Across the province, the once common grain elevator is slowly being lost as rail lines are decreasing; farmers typically truck the grain to central points. Alberta is the leading beekeeping province of Canada, with some beekeepers wintering hives indoors in specially designed barns in southern Alberta, then migrating north during the summer into the Peace River valley where the season is short but the working days are long for honeybees to produce honey from clover and fireweed.
Hybrid canola also requires bee pollination, and some beekeepers service this need. Forestry plays a vital role in Alberta's economy, providing over 15, jobs and contributing billions of dollars annually. Alberta has been a tourist destination from the early days of the twentieth century, with attractions including outdoor locales for skiing, hiking and camping, shopping locales such as West Edmonton Mall , Calgary Stampede , outdoor festivals, professional athletic events, international sporting competitions such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games, as well as more eclectic attractions.
According to Alberta Economic Development, Calgary and Edmonton both host over four million visitors annually. Banff , Jasper and the Rocky Mountains are visited by about three million people per year. The two mountain parks are connected by the scenic Icefields Parkway. Another tourist destination that draws more than , visitors each year is the Drumheller Valley, located northeast of Calgary.
Drumheller also had a rich mining history being one of Western Canada's largest coal producers during the war years. Located in east-central Alberta is Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions , a popular tourist attraction operated out of Stettler , that offers train excursions into the prairie and caters to tens of thousands of visitors every year.
The Government of Alberta is organized as a parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislature. Its unicameral legislature—the Legislative Assembly —consists of eighty-seven members elected first past the post FPTP from single-member constituencies.
Locally municipal governments and school boards are elected and operate separately. Their boundaries do not necessarily coincide. The Queen and lieutenant governor are figureheads whose actions are highly restricted by custom and constitutional convention. The lieutenant governor handles numerous honorific duties in the name of the Queen. The government is headed by the premier. The premier is normally a member of the Legislative Assembly, and draws all the members of the Cabinet from among the members of the Legislative Assembly.
The City of Edmonton is the seat of the provincial government—the capital of Alberta. The previous premier was Jim Prentice , who became the leader of the then governing Progressive Conservatives on September 6, , following the resignation of Alison Redford and the interim leadership of Dave Hancock. Alberta's elections have tended to yield much more conservative outcomes than those of other Canadian provinces.
Since the s, Alberta has had three main political parties, the Progressive Conservatives "Conservatives" or "Tories" , the Liberals , and the social democratic New Democrats. The Wildrose Party , a more conservative party formed in early , gained much support in election and became the official opposition , a role it held until when it was dissolved and succeeded by the new United Conservative Party created by the merger of Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives. The strongly conservative Social Credit Party was a power in Alberta for many decades, but fell from the political map after the Progressive Conservatives came to power in For 44 years the Progressive Conservatives governed Alberta.
They lost the election to the NDP which formed their own government for the first time in provincial history  , signalling a possible shift to the left in the province, also indicated by the election of progressive mayors in both of Alberta's major cities. Government revenue comes mainly from royalties on non-renewable natural resources Alberta also privatized alcohol distribution. The privatization increased outlets from stores to 1,; 1, jobs to 4, jobs; and 3, products to 16, products. Albertan municipalities raise a significant portion of their income through levying property taxes.
Policing in the province of Alberta upon its creation was the responsibility of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. This organization policed the province until it was disbanded as a Great Depression era cost cutting measure in With the advent of the Alberta Sheriffs Branch , the duties of law enforcement in Alberta has been evolving as certain aspects, such as traffic enforcement, mobile surveillance and the close protection of the Premier of Alberta have been transferred to the Sheriffs. Alberta has two main east-west corridors. Urban stretches of Alberta's major highways and freeways are often called trails.
Albert Trail as it leaves Edmonton for the City of St. Calgary, in particular, has a tradition of calling its largest urban expressways trails and naming many of them after prominent First Nations individuals and tribes, such as Crowchild Trail , Deerfoot Trail, and Stoney Trail. Edmonton LRT , which is underground in the downtown core and on the surface outside the CBD , was the first of the modern generation of light rail systems to be built in North America, while the Calgary C-Train has one of the highest number of daily riders of any LRT system in North America.
Alberta is well-connected by air, with international airports in both Calgary and Edmonton. Calgary International Airport and Edmonton International Airport are the fourth- and fifth-busiest in Canada , respectively.
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Calgary's airport primarily serves the Canadian prairie provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for connecting flights to British Columbia, eastern Canada, 15 major U. The vast majority of this trackage is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway companies, which operate railway freight across the province.
Additional railfreight service in the province is provided by two shortline railways: The Rocky Mountaineer operates two sections: Alberta provides a publicly funded health care system, Alberta Health Services , for all its citizens and residents as set out by the provisions of the Canada Health Act of Alberta became Canada's second province after Saskatchewan to adopt a Tommy Douglas -style program in , a precursor to the modern medicare system. Notable health, education, research, and resources facilities in Alberta, all of which are located within Calgary or Edmonton:.
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The Edmonton Clinic complex, completed in , provides a similar research, education, and care environment as the Mayo Clinic in the United States. All public health care services funded by the Government of Alberta are delivered operationally by Alberta Health Services. AHS is the province's single health authority established on July 1, , which replaced nine local health authorities.
As with any Canadian province, the Alberta Legislature has almost exclusive authority to make laws respecting education. Since the Legislature has used this capacity to continue the model of locally elected public and separate school boards which originated prior to , as well as to create and regulate universities, colleges, technical institutions and other educational forms and institutions public charter schools, private schools, home schooling.
There are forty-two public school jurisdictions in Alberta, and seventeen operating separate school jurisdictions. Sixteen of the operating separate school jurisdictions have a Catholic electorate, and one St. Albert has a Protestant electorate. In addition, one Protestant separate school district, Glen Avon, survives as a ward of the St. For many years the provincial government has funded the greater part of the cost of providing K—12 education.
Prior to public and separate school boards in Alberta had the legislative authority to levy a local tax on property as a supplementary support for local education. In the government of the province eliminated this right for public school boards, but not for separate school boards.
Since there has continued to be a tax on property in support of K—12 education; the difference is that the mill rate is now set by the provincial government, the money is collected by the local municipal authority and remitted to the provincial government. The relevant legislation requires that all the money raised by this property tax must go to the support of K—12 education provided by school boards. The provincial government pools the property tax funds from across the province and distributes them, according to a formula, to public and separate school jurisdictions and Francophone authorities.
Public and separate school boards, charter schools , and private schools all follow the Program of Studies and the curriculum approved by the provincial department of education Alberta Education. Homeschool tutors may choose to follow the Program of Studies or develop their own Program of Studies.
Public and separate schools, charter schools, and approved private schools all employ teachers who are certificated by Alberta Education, they administer Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Examinations set by Alberta Education, and they may grant high school graduation certificates endorsed by Alberta Education.
The University of Alberta , located in Edmonton and established in , is Alberta's oldest and largest university. The University of Calgary , once affiliated with the University of Alberta, gained its autonomy in and is now the second-largest university in Alberta. Athabasca University , which focuses on distance learning, and the University of Lethbridge are located in Athabasca and Lethbridge respectively. In early September , Mount Royal University became Calgary's second public university, and in late September , a similar move made MacEwan University Edmonton's second public university.
There are 15 colleges that receive direct public funding, along with two technical institutes, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. There is also many private post-secondary institutions, mostly Christian Universities , bringing the total number of universities to Students may also receive government loans and grants while attending selected private institutions. There has been some controversy in recent years over the rising cost of post-secondary education for students as opposed to taxpayers.
In , Premier Ralph Klein made a promise that he would freeze tuition and look into ways of reducing schooling costs. Summer brings many festivals to the province of Alberta, especially in Edmonton. Both Calgary and Edmonton host a number of annual festivals and events, including folk music festivals. The city's "heritage days" festival sees the participation of over 70 ethnic groups.
The Stampede is Canada's biggest rodeo festival and features various races and competitions, such as calf roping and bull riding. In line with the western tradition of rodeo are the cultural artisans that reside and create unique Alberta western heritage crafts. The Banff Centre hosts a range of festivals and other events including the international Mountain Film Festival. These cultural events in Alberta highlight the province's cultural diversity. Most of the major cities have several performing theatre companies who entertain in venues as diverse as Edmonton's Arts Barns and the Francis Winspear Centre for Music.
Soccer, rugby union and lacrosse are also played professionally in Alberta. Alberta Separatism has a long history of support. Geopolitics expert Peter Zeihan devoted a chapter in his book Accidental Superpower to argue why Alberta would be better off as a U. Alberta has relationships with several provinces, states, and other entities worldwide. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Canadian province. For other uses, see Alberta disambiguation. Fortis et liber "Strong and free". List of communities in Alberta.
List of Canadian provinces and territories by gross domestic product. Politics of Alberta and Monarchy in Alberta. List of Alberta provincial highways and List of airports in Alberta. Health care in Canada. Higher education in Alberta. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message.
Retrieved April 30, Retrieved September 29, Archived from the original on December 21, Retrieved October 7, Retrieved January 26, Retrieved August 6, Retrieved October 3, National Energy Board of Canada. Retrieved July 30, Retrieved April 3, Retrieved April 22, Archived from the original on July 26, Retrieved August 20, Archived from the original on March 11, Retrieved January 30, Dragon Hill Publishing Ltd. Retrieved May 19, The Canadian Heritage Rivers System. Retrieved December 12, Historica Foundation of Canada.
Retrieved October 1, Agroclimatic Atlas of Alberta. Archived from the original on Archived from the original on March 1, Retrieved December 6, Everything you need to know". Retrieved January 8, Retrieved February 17, Retrieved 27 July Retrieved August 28, Exploring the Natural Wonders of Southern Alberta.
Rocky Mountain Books Ltd. Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants. Retrieved August 31, A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairie. U of Nebraska Press. Alberta Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 11, Archived from the original on August 22, Retrieved November 12, More than dozen found in landfill". The Globe and Mail.
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Retrieved August 18, Dinosaurs of Alberta exclusive of Aves: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. Retrieved February 1, Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Retrieved January 5, University of Toronto Press. Archived from the original on September 30, Retrieved August 7, Retrieved 25 April Archived from the original on November 4, Hopefully, you like military men. There are slightly more single women in Ottawa than Calgary and slightly more single men in Calgary than Ottawa.
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