Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Here's a video of Calgary that I found on You Tube. It's a bit old but gives you a good intro to the oil capital of Canada. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Federal Elections and the Economy

As election campaigns are in full swing in both the U.S and Canada, the economy has become a hot button issue in both countries, specially when the North American markets keep tumbling downhill (Dow Jones down 128 points and the TSX down 186). Even Calgary, with it's hot job market is not immune. Gas prices have gone went up to $1.40/litre before stabilizing at $1.26/litre.

But why am I talking about this, when almost every media outlet is yapping about the economy and the credit disaster in the U.S? Because I'm pissed off! Pissed off at the incompetent government in Alberta which, even with it's overflowing coffers from oil royalty cash, is not doing enough to help thousands of people in this province raise their standards of living.

Calgary is one of the richest cities in North America, but there are over 3000 homeless people. Just today, I learned that the provincial government has given an Australian company the contract to build and maintain schools in Calgary and Edmonton. WHAT??!!

Why the heck are we giving away contracts to foreign companies when we have expertise in this THIS city to build them?? Why is the Alberta Heritage fund not investing in building our educational institutions?

Speaking of the heritage fund, Norway, which produces about the same quantity of oil as Alberta, has about US$200 billions in it's future fund. And how much does "Oilberta" have? a measly US$14 billion. UN-FREAKIN-BELIEVABLE!!!

We have rising crime in Calgary because of all the gangs moving here but the city can't afford to hire 200 police officers that it estimates it needs to fill the shortage. The government in Edmonton is indifferent at best. And the frikin politicians in Ottawa aren't any better.

Calgary being his hometown, Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to do more to ensure that the city's economy -- which is supporting the whole country -- does not crater. A lot of people from all over Canada and the United States moved to Calgary because of it's quality of life and it being a safe city, but that status is in danger. The folks in charge need to do get their act together and fix the problems here before this city turns into another Los Angeles or Chicago.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trip to Sylvan Lake, Alberta

Last week, I had to go to the town of Sylvan Lake for work (installing new equipment at a bank).

Sylvan Lake is a summer destination for millions of Canadians, specially wealthy Calgarians. I had time to kill during the software installation, so I went for a walk across town. It's not really a big place (took me about 15 minutes to walk from south end of the town to the north, where the lake is).

It was a chilly day and a weekday, so there weren't that many people at the lake. I had my camera with me, so I took some shots of the trendy places in Sylvan lake. I'm posting them here for the enjoyment of my readers.

Disclaimer: The photos were taken by a very lousy and amateur photographer (me), so if any one of you gets an upset stomach from the bad quality.......well, you have been warned.

Sylvan lake, with Jarvis bay in the distance

The marina and the village of Norglenwold

...unfortunately, there were no bikini babes at the beach

Smuggler's Inn; their seafood is WICKED!!

A very big and assuming lighthouse (NOT)...

beautiful, eh....!

Lakeside water-park

HIT ME! (insert joker sound-effect here...)

The House of Flags (flags of all Canadian provinces)

Sylvan lake's very own - all though a bit small - Clock Tower.