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Alberta feels the pain

Home to the marginal barrel, Canada’s energy patch is hurting from the price collapse. But oil sands output is still rising and resistance is building

Canada’s former prime minister Stephen Harper once boasted that his country would become a “global energy superpower” by 2020. Buoyed by $100-a-barrel crude and endowed with abundant resources of oil sands and natural gas, his country seemed on pace to become the world’s fourth-largest energy producer, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US. Now, just a few months after Harper was turfed from office in Canada’s federal elections, those aspirations have been indefinitely put on hold, if not dashed. Alberta’s oil patch has been through as many busts as booms, but rarely have downturns been as bad as this one. Canada’s dependence on petroleum exports means its economy has fared worse than mos

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