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Can Alberta learn from Norway and Ireland?  Alberta’s economy has been growing about twice as fast as that of the rest of Canada, and if oil prices remain high it will continue to do so. The province is turning into a separate kingdom, with per capita income more than 50 per cent above the Canadian average. But what is the right strategy for managing a prosperity that stems from a finite endowment of oil and gas? One traditional Canadian answer has been to cut the tall poppy down to size. Pierre Trudeau tried to do this with his National Energy Program in the 1980s, and we do it on an ongoing basis through equalization. While there have been calls for a more generous equalization program, Ottawa will probably do no more than tinker with equalization in coming years, while Alberta continues to pull away from the rest of Canada. When we consider its future, we might do well to look at two other societies transformed by recent wealth: Norway and Ireland.

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