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The Alberta provincial flag.
The Alberta provincial flag.
(JOHN LEHMANN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

TODD HIRSCH

Innovation vacuum imperils Alberta’s economic juggernaut

History is rife with stories of how the mighty can fall – and fall spectacularly. Achilles had his heel problems. Nixon was done in with audio tapes. Even the mighty Goliath was felled by a boy and a slingshot. The common element in all such stories is that they didn’t even see it coming.

Alberta’s economy is a powerhouse, but it’s also vulnerable. The resource sector alone cannot be counted on as a wealth generator forever. Concerned about the province’s long-term economic viability, a group of thinkers in Alberta are grappling with a serious question: Is Alberta competitive? The Alberta Economic Development Authority (AEDA) commissioned a multiyear study on the province’s competitiveness with an initial report in 2010. The updated snapshot of how the province stacks up will be released soon.