Alberta (wild bros country)

Alberta is a province in western Canada with a population of just under 4.5 million people. Its two major cities are Calgary and Edmonton, these are followed by a sprinkling of minor and small cities.

Capital city

I’ll get around to Calgary soon enough, but if we take a look at the second largest city and capital Edmonton what do we find? A city with lots of stabbings, crime, rapes and sexual violations against children.

For years Edmonton was known as ‘Stabmonton’. Its stabbing rate for homicides ranged anywhere from 25 – 50% leading to its own news subsection. Additionally sexual assault cases continued rising, beating out other major cities per capita, with the second highest rate by 2018. (And of course rising by 44% in just a few months during the recent pandemic.)

As of 2020 it has the highest per capita sexual assault rate of all the major cities at 98.61 per 100k, well ahead of second contender Vancouver at 85.06

A 2020 study found that almost half of Albertans experience sexual abuse! 34% of kids, then up to 45% as adults.

Aside from Calgary (1.5 Million Pop) and Edmonton (1.4 Million metro pop) – what else is there in Alberta? After the two “big” cities there are a bunch of small shit cities sprinkled around … most of them around the 60,000 pop mark.

Shitville

Let’s take Grand Prairie: it has a population of 63k and was the most dangerous city in Canada in 2018 and 2016.

How about Wetaskiwin? (Pop: 13k) It was the most dangerous place in Canada in 2019; dropping to 6th in 2020. (At least that’s an improvement over its third place listing in 2018.) It was fourth for homicide in 2020.

How about Red Deer? (Pop: 100k) It was the second most dangerous place in Canada in 2019 and third place in 2016. How about Lethbridge? (Pop: 101k) Naturally it was the third most dangerous place in 2019. How about Cold Lake? (Pop: 15k) It was sixth place that year too and rounding out the top 10 for homicide.

OK you get it. There are a bunch of small, shit cities in Alberta with violence and crime, listed as most dangerous according to the Crime Severity Index. I could go back into their rankings over the past 5-10 years as they move up and down but I’m sure the point is made.

We already know that outside the few major cities this country is full of violent shit holes that make up the small cities. Nothing new here but that’s exactly the point. You’re getting nothing new in Alberta: there are the same problems you find in small cities in Ontario, B.C., and the prairies.

Population

After Ontario and B.C. (evenly matched), Alberta has the next highest percentage of immigrants at 21%. It also has the third largest visible minority percentage at 23%. But does this tell the whole story?

The Edmonton-area comprises 32% of Alberta’s population; Calgary-area has 34%. These two major metropolitan areas (“Calgary-Edmonton Corridor”) house over 60% of Alberta’s residents.

Ten percent of Edmonton-area residents are not Canadian citizens; 23% are immigrants, mainly economic: largest number from Philippines, India, Europe, Africa. 11% of Calgary-area residents are not Canadian citizens; while 29% are immigrants: mainly from Asia (Philippines, India, China), followed by Europe and Africa. It can be safely assumed the majority of minorities/immigrants live in the two main cities if they aren’t working specific oil and gas related jobs elsewhere. The small towns and little cities are more likely white and Canadian-born.

Overall: 70% of Albertans are of European heritage; 6.5% are Indigenous and the rest are visible-minority. More than half of Albertans are Christian and it’s known as a ‘conservative’ province.

[*Data from Statistics Canada 2016 profile]

Are you following?

Bored yet? I am. Okay let me try to shorten this up: Alberta is a small province housing around 12% of Canada’s population. It has two ‘major’ cities – being dumps with less than 2 million each. Outside of those there are a bunch of tiny shit cities and towns that sprung up around oil and gas jobs and are full of rednecks with tendencies towards violence. There are a lot of immigrants but they’re in the ‘big cities’ and the rest are white and conservative everywhere else.

Edmonton is a dismal dump with shit weather (averaging about -15 C for at least 3 months of the year) and no claims to fame other than a big ass mall, stabbings and being rapey.

Calgary is flat, ugly, alternately super hot or cold and has nothing pretty nearby. Its claims to fame are faux-cowboy honky tonk crap, and the “Stampede” (annual rodeo/festival).

Whenever Canadians talk about Alberta they laugh it off as the ‘Texas of Canada‘, and by that they mean: wannabe cowboy culture, conservatism, and oil (probably how the whole association began).

Economy

Historically Alberta has been known for its primary economic sector (oil and gas). Extraction industries provided a lot of well-paying jobs for decades and brought the province a good deal of wealth and economic migration. Even now it accounts for 16% of its GDP. Then there’s construction at 10%, and finance and real estate.

Whenever clean energy is put into use Alberta is going to have big issues: almost a fifth of its GDP will be gone (or significantly diminished) and the other sectors relying on the money and population growth connected to that will contract.

People often associate Alberta with farming and ranching but over 80% of its residents live in an urban setting and only 3.3% of the workforce is employed in agriculture-food industries. It is the largest cattle producing province however and does most of the nation’s beef-processing.

So what’s good?

Banff and Jasper are two national parks located on the western edge of the province by the Rocky Mountains – they are truly beautiful and worth checking out. A road trip in some of the more scenic areas of the province could be fun.

I guess I’ll end it here. I’m not sure why anyone would move there unless they have an extremely well paid job lined up. It’s not a place with great weather, or full of tradition and soul. It’s slightly better than the prairies and cheaper than B.C. (Maybe that can be their new slogan!)

Final verdict: not the best, not the worst … just not much at all.

O Canada!