In This Issue

The Civil Service

For the swearing-in of the new NDP government last May 24, provincial Chief Justice Catherine Fraser performed the ceremony on the steps of the Alberta Legislature. Beside her was a grandfatherly looking gentleman in a dark suit. His crossed legs exposed the briefest glimpse of personality—argyle socks, albeit black and white. As each minister was sworn in, he stood, shook their hand and then sat to sign the Executive Council Roll Book. He clapped a couple of times but not enthusiastically. He didn’t seem to know what to do with his hands when the crowd went wild.

This man was Richard Dicerni, the head of Alberta’s civil service.


Editorial: Stability, For a Change

The political price of constant choas.

I tend to ascribe the previous government’s failings to its lack of vision, to the party’s sycophantic relationship with the oil industry, to a hazy sense of entitlement that manifested in a thousand unscrupulous acts.

Alberta’s Muslims

Overcoming the Harper effect.

Shahab Ahmad was born in the state of Bihar, in eastern India. He left India to study for his Ph.D. in psychology in Glasgow, Scotland. Like many Muslims before him, Shahab benefited from Canada's relaxation of federal immigration laws under Pierre Trudeau.

Hugh Dempsey

A bridge between worlds.

Hugh Dempsey has added greatly to our understanding of Alberta's heritage. As a researcher, editor, writer and archivist, he has rescued many aspects of our history by collecting historical manuscripts and photos, and by recording the oral memories of First Nations people and non-Aboriginal Albertans.


Stephen Legault's The Glacier Gallows; Shawna Lemay's Rumi and the Red Handbag; Hugh A. Dempsey'sThe Great Blackfoot Treaties; and more.

This Land
Let the Land Heal


Remember "ethical oil"? And solemn declarations by past Conservative governments that our oil industry "has the best environmental regulation in the world"?

Eye on Alberta
Clippings, Quotes and Controversies


Crossing the Line; Why the Surprise?; Fear and Loathing; plus other clips, quotes and controversies.

Bolstering the Treasury


The Wildrose opposition hounded the new provincial government daily during the fall session of the Alberta Legislature. The subject was always money...

Lifelong Learning Guide


A multitude of opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills--from continuing education to speakers series and conferences.

Meet the Minister
Rachel Notley


In mid-fall Rachel Notley was still having to reassure audiences that Alberta remains a “healthy place for private investment”— i.e., that she’s no Che Guevara.

Community Action


Fairview, Alberta

Highlights from Past Issues

In Our Previous Issue

The Gap

Why doesn't healthcare include teeth?

The prospect of Canadians going without medical care–and living in pain–is why we created public health insurance in the first place. Medicare is now one of the most highly prized Canadian institutions…


To read past issues view our Archive click here.

From The Archives

Landowner Rights

How Big Oil trumps private and public good

Alberta scenario. A family pays off its city mortgage and decides to move to an acreage. They buy a place and settle into country living. An oil company fracks near their home. Soon after, they notice their water does not taste right. Alberta families who believe they have been harmed by industrial activity usually assume they have property rights that are being violated. Many believe the government will help them, at least in gaining compensation. The truth is that Canada’s Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are silent on property rights.