A few months ago, we released a study showing that for at least ten years Edmonton students have consistently and significantly outperformed Calgary students, and furthermore the gap gets larger the longer the students are in school. There is no reason why every city can't get the same great results as Edmonton.
Wood is certainly not a new fuel. We've been using it since the invention of fire to keep warm, but can it be a big part of our electricity mix in our modern age? Biomass provides green baseload power -- an important consideration for grid operators who want to integrate more renewable energy by balancing the intermittent nature of solar and wind.
Mayor Ted Clugston of Medicine Hat, Alberta has become the reluctant spokesperson for a controversial approach to reducing homelessness. Reluctant because just a few years ago, he opposed the initiative. Sometime in 2015, Medicine Hat will become the first municipality in Canada to eradicate homelessness.
Some see low fuel prices as good news, but there are many downsides. With driving becoming less costly, more cars and trucks could be on the road, which is good for the auto industry but bad in terms of pollution, climate change and traffic accidents. And because the price of oil is now lower than the cost to extract oilsands bitumen, the industry is starting to put the brakes on rapid expansion plans -- bad news for workers and businesses in Fort McMurray and those heavily invested in the industry but good news for the planet.
This is the climate movement's moment to seize. It's a moment for the labour movement and climate movement to join together to demand investment in re-tooling and re-training workers to build the new economy. It's a moment to divest from dangerous fossil fuels like tar sands and reinvest in the solutions that are here and growing.
The great boreal forest straddles the country and provinces from Nova Scotia to British Columbia have ample forestry resources. In a place like Canada biomass to energy can make a lot of sense. So we headed to the largest, closest biomass operation we could find -- the Alberta Pacific Forest Industries (ALPAC) pulp mill.
When Chris Hadfield first visited Jasper, there was a twinkle in his eye but it had nothing to do with the stars. Hadfield was focused on raising a family -- thoughts of heaven secondary to his terrestrial responsibilities. "My wife and I first came to Jasper 29 years ago," recalls Hadfield, Canada's most famous astronaut. "We were here when our son was one-year-old and she was pregnant with our second child."
Sort through the statistics and the surprise is how consistently Ontario and Quebec now mimic the weak economic opportunities in the Maritimes instead of the bright economic opportunities available in the West. There's no great mystery as to why. Provinces with substantial private sector investment -- something the West has attracted with pro-entrepreneur policies and by simply saying "yes" to resource extraction in specific -- end up with enhanced employment opportunities, higher incomes and better prospects to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle.
Twenty per cent of older adults live with a mental health issue. In Calgary alone, that equates to over 21,000 older adults, with between 1,000 and 2,000 living with severe and persistent psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder. These figures do not take into account individuals between 45 and 65 who have lived a higher-risk lifestyle and been intermittently homeless. Such individuals age more quickly than the general population, and often present as "functionally geriatric" well before the age of 65.