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15 bytes added, 22:46, 1 April 2010
Alberta was formed as a province in 1905. Its capital is [[Edmonton]], located roughly in the middle of the province, while the headquarters of most oil business headquarters companies are located to the south in [[Calgary]]to the south. Most of the population of Alberta lives along the "Highway 2 Corridor" between [[Edmonton]] and [[Calgary]], although [[Lethbridge]] to the south, [[Grande Prairie]] to the northwest, and [[Fort McMurray]] to the northeast are also major centres.
The original inhabitants were the First Nations People, but significant immigration occurred when the Canadian Pacific Railway was built and the Government offered incentives for settlers to come to Alberta. Since then the province has enjoyed steady immigration and population growth, though it is notable that there are few groups who immigrated in vast numbers such as the Chinese to Vancouver did.
This is the richest province in Canada, its . Its wealth is derived mainly from Crude Oil production, though historically farming and cattle raising were important. Ranching maintains a high place in the economy and especially in the culture, especially particularly in Southern Alberta. Seventy percent of the Canadian Herd (of cattle) is located in Alberta. In 2003 the price of oil rose beyond $55 a barrel making the vast reserves of oilsands in the Northern part of the province economically viable. Since then Alberta has enjoyed rapid growth, but also experienced significant problems along with that growth.
It is also noteworthy that Alberta is widely considered to be the most conservative area of Canada, however this is a complicated issue. Regional politics affected Alberta significantly, including the much hated National Energy Program in the 1980s. So the region votes Conservative both as an expression of regional preference as much as politic preference. This won't affect the average traveller, and may many benefit as Alberta's taxes are lower than that of the rest of Canada (there is no PST: Provincial Sales Tax).
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