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A large excavator loads a truck with oil sands at the Suncor mine near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta.
Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post · Apr. 9, 2011 | Last Updated: Apr. 9, 2011 11:12 AM ET
In British Columbia, Rich Coleman, the newly appointed Energy Minister, wants to know one thing about oil and gas activity in his province: How does he get more?
After less than a month on the job in Canada's most environmentally aware province, Mr. Coleman, one of the key appointments by new B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark, has already caught up with key oil executives in Calgary to find out if the province needs to improve terms to promote natural gas investment and dismissed concerns that fracking technology, hugely controversial in the rest of the continent but successfully employed in the province's northeast corner, is bad for the environment.
Across the border in Alberta, the oil patch is on the rebound, but without the hubris of the pre-financial crisis days. Even with oil prices above US$100 a barrel, the mood is cautious due to concerns about the U.S. economy, stubborn controversies over pipelines to open new markets and soft natural gas prices.
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan is relishing its resourcesfuelled boom. Blessed with a lot of low-cost conventional oil, the province is expected to lead the country in economic growth this year. Employment and population are at record highs and average weekly earnings are at a new high.
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