With it's diverse landscape and people, booming economy and fantastic quality of life, Alberta is a wonderful province in which to live and work.
Alberta offers a mix of cosmopolitan cities and rural towns and villages. The province's landscapes range from gentle to majestic – open prairies, massive forests and dramatic mountain regions give the province an interesting and distinctive character. Alberta has stunning scenery, friendly, safe communities, clean air and water. Some centres are known for arts and culture, others for recreational opportunities or sports facilities. Wherever you decide to live, Alberta's cities, towns and rural communities have unique qualities.
A four-season playground, Alberta offers a range of outdoor activities in some of the most breath-taking settings in the world. There are 275 golf courses, 6 mountain ski resorts, 66 regional ski hills and some of the best trout fishing in the world.
Alberta is Canada's fourth largest province by area - approximately 661,000 square kilometres. There are now over approximately 3.3 million Albertans with about 1 million people living in each of the two major cities, Edmonton and Calgary. The population is relatively young, with an average age of 35.
Albertans enjoy a very high quality of life. They enjoy the lowest overall taxes in Canada with among the highest level of services. They have the highest disposable incomes in Canada and the lowest unemployment rate in Canada.
For almost a decade, Alberta has had the fastest-growing economy in Canada. Value-added goods and services are exported to more than 175 countries around the world. The strong economy translates into a healthy job market (new job creation in the province in 2005 reached 26,900). Alberta's average unemployment rate was 3.9% in 2005, significantly below the national average of 6.8%.
Alberta has an abundance of natural resources. The province's oil reserves are estimated to be an astounding 177 billion barrels of oil – and more than 80 per cent of these reserves are still to be developed.
Alberta's strong diversified economy includes innovative resource development industries, agriculture and agri-foods organisations, environmental products and services, engineering, telecommunications, biotechnology, value-added manufacturing industries and forest products.
Alberta is ranked as one of the top ten research centres in North America, due to a strong commitment to research and development. More than $1.5 billion in government endowment funds is dedicated to medical, engineering and agricultural research. Canada's new National institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) was established in 2001.
Economic forecasters expect the economy to remain among the healthiest in Canada and employment growth is expected to remain strong. More than $85 billion in major projects have been announced or are underway in the province over the next decade and Alberta looks forward to long-term economic prosperity.
As diverse as their lives are, Albertans share a common sense of initiative, a spirit of innovation and a powerful entrepreneurial character.
Alberta's government is committed to free enterprise and economic development and is by far the most free economy in Canada. To attract investment and encourage private sector job growth, regulations and 'red tape' have been minimised.
Alberta has one of the most competitive business tax environments in North America and the lowest overall tax burden in Canada. There's no provincial sales tax – it's the only province in Canada without one – and no general capital or payroll taxes. Alberta major cities have also been labeled some of the most affordable in the world for establishing and operating a business.
There's excellent infrastructure – both traditional highways and state-of-the-art information highways. More than 70 per cent of the province is wired for internet use and is constantly increasing. Faster high-speed broadband connections have also increased rapidly over the years.
Alberta has largely no net-debt – it owns more than it owes. It's the only jurisdiction in Canada in this position and it's on track to be completely debt free by 2016. Balanced budgets are the law in Alberta. This fiscal responsibility contributes to solid business growth. The province consistently attracts the highest per capita investment in Canada – with over double the national average.