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Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada

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ISBN: 9781771990295 9781771990301 9781771990325 9781771990318 Year: Pages: 440 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990295.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-10 20:03:30
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Prior to May 2015, the oil-rich jurisdiction of Alberta had, for over four decades, been a one-party state. During that time, the rule of the Progressive Conservatives essentially went unchallenged, with critiques of government policy falling on deaf ears and Alberta ranking behind other provinces in voter turnout. Given the province’s economic reliance on oil revenues, a symbiotic relationship also developed between government and the oil industry. Cross-national studies have detected a correlation between oil-dependent economies and authoritarian rule, a pattern particularly evident in Africa and the Middle East. Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada sets out to test the “oil inhibits democracy” hypothesis in the context of an industrialized nation in the Global North.In probing the impact of Alberta’s powerful oil lobby on the health of democracy in the province, contributors to the volume engage with an ongoing discussion of the erosion of political liberalism in the West. In addition to examining energy policy and issues of government accountability in Alberta, they explore the ramifications of oil dependence in areas such as Aboriginal rights, environmental policy, labour law, women’s equity, urban social policy, and the arts. If, as they argue, reliance on oil has weakened democratic structures in Alberta, then what of Canada as whole, where the short-term priorities of the oil industry continue to shape federal policy? In Alberta, the New Democratic Party is in a position to reverse the democratic deficit that is presently fuelling political and economic inequality. The findings in this book suggest that, to revitalize democracy, provincial and federal leaders alike must find the courage to curb the influence of the oil industry on governance.

Alberta’s Lower Athabasca Basin: Archaeology and Palaeoenvironments

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Book Series: Recovering the Past: Studies in Archaeology ISSN: 2291-6784; 2291-6792 ISBN: 9781926836904 9781926836911 9781926836928 Year: Pages: 566 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781926836904.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Archaeology
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-17 23:37:41
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Over the past two decades, the oil sands region of northeastern Alberta has been the site of unprecedented levels of development. Alberta's Lower Athabasca Basin tells a fascinating story of how a catastrophic ice age flood left behind a unique landscape in the Lower Athabasca Basin, one that made deposits of bitumen available for surface mining. Less well known is the discovery that this flood also produced an environment that supported perhaps the most intensive use of boreal forest resources by prehistoric Native people yet recognized in Canada. Studies undertaken to meet the conservation requirements of the Alberta Historical Resources Act have yielded a rich and varied record of prehistoric habitation and activity in the oil sands area. Evidence from between 9,500 and 5,000 years ago—the result of several major excavations—has confirmed extensive human use of the region’s resources, while important contextual information provided by key geological and palaeoenvironmental studies has deepened our understanding of how the region’s early inhabitants interacted with the landscape.Touching on various elements of this rich environmental and archaeological record, the contributors to this volume use the evidence gained through research and compliance studies to offer new insights into human and natural history. They also examine the challenges of managing this irreplaceable heritage resource in the face of ongoing development.Contributors: Alwynne Beaudoin, Angela Younie, Brian O.K. Reeves, Duane Froese, Elizabeth Roberston, Eugene Gryba, Gloria Fedirchuk, Grant Clarke, John W. Ives, Janet Blakey, Jennifer Tischer, Jim Burns, Laura Roskowski, Luc Bouchet, Murray Lobb, Nancy Saxberg, Raymond LeBlanc, Robert R. Young, Robin Woywitka, Thomas V. Lowell, and Timothy Fisher

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