british columbia

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Anyone who recently visited Alberta for the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede might have noticed something unusual about the province: not a single government liquor store.

Alberta does have a plethora of private stores, unlike say, Ontario, where I once drove around Cambridge for what seemed forever to find any shop, government or private, to buy wine for a dinner with relatives.

If you’re lucky, your politicians will one day imitate Alberta. To that end, here’s how Alberta’s private sector model came about.


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The 1990s was an economically dismal decade for British Columbia. The province effectively missed the prosperity party enjoyed by the rest of Canada due largely to poor economic policies. As a result, the province actually became a “have-not” province and a recipient of federal equalization payments.

We witnessed young, educated and skilled British Columbians leave the province for opportunities elsewhere and BC had the lowest per person GDP growth among the provinces between 1990 and 2000.