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Ricardois the Executive Director of the Parkland Institute, Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta – a position he has held since May 2002. Previous to that he worked for nine years as Projects Coordinator for Change for Children Association, an Alberta-based international development organization working in Latin America. He has a degree in Political Science and History from the University of Alberta, and has over 20 years experience as a volunteer, staffer and consultant for various non-government and non-profit organizations around the province. Ricardois a regular speaker to students, teachers, and community groups around Alberta. He has spoken extensively and written on energy policy, democracy, privatization and the Alberta economy. He is a regular media commentator on public policy issues, and writes a regular column for VueWeekly in Edmonton.
Changing water allocation system requires careful analysis of all alternatives
As Alberta’s population continues to increase, and the economy continues to grow, so too do concerns about the future availability of water, particularly in the semi-arid south. How the government deals with the critical issue of water allocation in the province will have significant consequences not only for the province’s population centres, but also for the province’s water-intensive agricultural industry, economic growth and the long-term sustainability of critical provincial eco-systems.
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Government focuses on spending without beefing up available revenues
On the same day that Alberta’s provincial budget was released to the public, oil briefly hit over $103 per barrel. Third-quarter results from the oil patch revealed a doubling or tripling of profits in that sector. And despite the economic downturn in 2009, that year was the second most profitable Alberta’s oilsands operators had ever seen.
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As the City of Winnipeg moves forward with its plan to corporatize Winnipeg’s water and waste department, city residents would do well to look at the experience in Edmonton since the amalgamation of that city’s water and electrical utilities under the corporate banner of Epcor back in the 1990s.
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