The Cost of Unemployment and Suicide in Alberta

Suicide vs. Unemployment AlbertaAlberta’s Medical Examiner warned that suicides are expected to jump 30% in 2015 reaching 654 suicides. Prior to 2015 suicides average about 500 to 550 per year. That’s far more deaths than car crash fatalities which average around 350-360 per year in Alberta. In the first six months of  2015 there were already 327 suicides.

Is this dramatic rise in suicides related to falling oil prices and a down-turn in Alberta’s economy?

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Why Forests Matter: The Indigenomics of Forests

Here are the notes from last evening’s (November 4, 2015) Nature Conservancy of Canada forum on Why Forests Matter. Other speakers included Brian DePrato, economist with TD Bank, talking about natural capital, poet Lorna Crozier, Andrea Lyall (Aboriginal forester), Dr. Phillip Miller (with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment), and Dan Krauss, a conservation scientist with Nature Conservancy.NCC imageNCC Why Forests Matter

Why Forests Matter: Indigenomics of Forests

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The real costs and benefits of ending poverty in Edmonton by paying a living wage

Net benefits of paying a $15 living wage in Edmonton
I have the pleasure of serving on the End Poverty Task Force for the Mayor of the City of Edmonton. I completed the following preliminary analysis to the key question: what are the real costs (and benefits) of ending poverty by paying a living wage to those employable Edmonton adults currently working or living below a $15.00 per hour living wage (now over $17 per hour according to new estimates for 2016 by the Edmonton Social Planning Council)

I ran some preliminary estimates of the estimated full societal net costs of eliminating poverty (if the goal of ‘elimination’ is measured by ‘having enough money to afford basic necessities of life (including shelter, food, transportation)’, which could be defined in terms of ensuring the estimated 100,870 Edmontonians living at or below LIM (Low Income Measure) plus the estimated 103,200 working adults (20 years+) who are earning less than a $15.00/hour living wage.

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What I would advise Premier Rachel Notley on Monday

If I were sitting with Premier-designate Rachel Notley this morning advising her on the economy and the next budget, I would first recommend that she base her decisions on historical evidence. But to accomplish this, she must start by gathering the facts.

Notley would have to first start with a comprehensive audit of the long-term sustainability of the provinces natural assets (oil, gas, minerals, timber, agricultural land). The audit would examine the reserves and the remaining years of production of oil, gas, coal and other minerals that remain in the ground.

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Albertans and Edmontonians could be happier: Alberta needs a New Economic Vision based on Well-being

This article was originally published on Troymedia.com April 26, 2015

It’s no fun being an Albertan: Alberta needs a New Economic Vision based on Well-being

According to Statistics Canada, Alberta ranks 7th overall in life satisfaction in 2013 with PEI and Saskatchewan ranking No. 1 and No. 2. Edmonton ranked 30th and Calgary 23rd amongst 33 Canadian cities in terms of life satisfaction, in the most recent survey of Canadians happiness. Continue reading

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