The prosperity of Alberta seems like a myth for those who earn $14 or even $18 an hour—these days it barely covers the rent. People migrate to our province because they hear tales of the oil prosperity. When they arrive here, they discover they can't find an affordable residence. It seems we have room for everybody in Alberta except those in need of low-cost housing.
During the last two decades of the 20th century, worker productivity doubled. Meanwhile people have seen their real wages stagnate or decline in real terms since the mid-70s. A Canada-wide study, The Rich and the Rest of Us: The Changing Face of Canada's Growing Gap, examined Canadian incomes over the past three decades. It found that everyone except the upper 10 per cent of the population has been working longer hours while most of the economic gains have gone to this top group. The lowest half of the population showed a drop in their share of total income.