As I watched Rosebud Theatre's brilliant performance of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" on stage for the first time, I began to quickly see why so many people from Alberta make the trip to Rosebud, located 35 kilometres southwest of Drumheller (a 25-minute drive) and 100 km (one-hour drive) northeast of the Calgary airport.
According to the poll, conducted by Environics and commissioned by Environmental Defence, 41 per cent of Canadians believe the importance of the oilsands to the economy is six to 24 times higher than it actually is. And a full 57 per cent of Canadians overestimate the value of oilsands to the country's economy.
There has been much hand-wringing over the claimed disappearance of the middle class. At the national level important policy such as a stable currency and domestic peace matter to the creation of prosperity and the formation of the middle class. But domestically, consider one issue -- tax rates -- that can be easily compared across provinces and which has an effect upon wealth creation and thus opportunities and jobs.
While we're pleased that federal and provincial regulators finally took action and laid charges against Plains Midstream, the size and nature of the settlements is somewhat disconcerting. It raises a number of questions and once again sheds light on the major weaknesses in Canada's environmental law and enforcement framework.
While the Alberta Energy Regulator has made regulatory orders in some cases, no charges have been laid related to any of the oil spills that made headlines last summer. And for the most part, the public remains in the dark about how those spills have affected their communities and the environment. As the AER enters its second year, it has a golden opportunity to live up to its big promises.
If you go to the University of Calgary you don't suffer from a lack of choice when it comes to Students Union clubs. There are options for everything from swing dancing to politics to Bronies. But the most interesting club in our view is one called Team Zeus. It's only three years old but these undergrads are building an electric racing motorcycle.
While some might turn their noses up at the current economics of solar thermal hot water systems less developed countries without our huge natural gas grid are jumping all over the opportunity. China has by far the most installed capacity with 117,600 megawatts of domestic solar thermal hot water systems as of 2010.