Posts Tagged ‘Alberta

If Albertans are a bit smug about the financial problems in the United States, it might be a little too soon.

First a muse on the news, then some some small things noticed in our job-rich, labour-scarce Alberta.

Plans for major projects slated for Alberta have already had hiccups. Costs have risen and some old players have moved aside for new ones.

One upgrader put on hold was the Northern Lights project of Synenco and China’s SinoCanada Petroleum Corp., owned by China’s  giant resource company, Sinopec. The partnership was a 60-40 split with Synenco the managing partner. Sinopec became a partner in the Northern Lights project in 2005 for $150 million.

In May 2007 the partnership scrapped its Northern Lights upgrader plans. In August, 2008 Synenco sold its stake in the Northern Lights project to French energy company Total, for $530 million. Total is now the new partner for the Chinese.

The  Northern Lights project is a bitumen mine 100 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, slated to produce 114,000 barrels of bitumen over 28 years. But the Northern LIghts upgrader was the other half the project, and those plans were put on hold in May, 2007.

More recently the largest of the upgraders to be located north of Edmonton, the Fort Hills upgrader, 60 per cent owned by Petro-Canada, is a project under review as cost estimates have climbed from $14.1 billion (June, 2007) to $21 billion this month. Like the Northern Lights project, the Fort Hills project includes an an bitumen mine as well as upgrader.

Then these tidbits.

Not mentioning names, but an engineer for  an Edmonton chemical company is home, laid off. No sales, he says. A salesman for industrial painting equipment says he had to find something else, and has. His commissions were flat, sales were down, and gasoline was up. A nurse whose parents live in St. Albert arrived from New Orleans certain she would find a job in her home province. She couldn’t. Five hundred nurses from the Philippines hired recently for Edmonton hospitals, but she couldn’t find  a job in the area. She was amazed and is going back to the U.S. If you don’t speak Spanish, you can’t work at an industrial kitchen in Barrhead for a manufactured home builder. There are so many foreign workers in the kitchen that Spanish is mandatory, not optional. These are small signs we’re not used to hearing. Not just layoffs, but, we are bumping up against foreign workers having hiring preference for jobs in Alberta.

It means that a lot of money and jobs that were expected to be flowing in Alberta are question marks. While that doesn’t mean a slowdown, there are signs that the bloom on the rose isn’t quite as rosy.


How can you tell if Sarah Palin is from Wasilla or Wetaskiwin?

The girl seems down-right Albertan. She is about as Canadian as you can get. She likes moosemeat, she owns a float plane, her husband works in the oil-patch, she hunts, and even as the head of government she drives her own car to work.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, likes free trade, while the Democratic Party nominee, Barak Obama, has made threatening noises to rip it up. (Go ahead, rip it up, along with the guarantee of supply, world price, and no fees. You buy Manhattan with beads once.)

As Alaska governor, Sarah Palin wants more drilling. The woman also has a very Albertan attitude toward oil companies, too, namely the state owns the resource, and oil companies just hold leases to extract the resource. She knows Canada. Her state has inked a deal with TransCanada Corp. for a half a billion dollar gas pipeline, she’s a genuine hockey mom and, hey, McCain even has relatives in Canada.

Suddenly Obama-Biden look less exciting, eh?


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  • wordbeeps: No, he doesn't deserve an apology. Who tweets during a funeral? If you do, expect feedback. I didn't say the mourners were faking it. I think they we
  • Holly Stick: Look you fuckwit, are you too stupid to realise that Ghomeshi was an actual friend of Layton's, when you tweeted to him that the mourners were faking
  • aardvarkcola: Thank you. I see the rest of your message now. i'm honoured to to have your words on my blog. That alone is a delight. Lawrence