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Alberta is located in western Canada and it had an estimated population of 3.7 million. Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, is located near the geographic center of the province and is the primary supply and service hub for Canada’s oil sands and other northern resource industries. Calgary is Alberta’s largest city and a major distribution and transportation hub. Alberta has a dry continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.

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Alberta’s economy is one of the strongest in Canada, supported by the burgeoning petroleum industry and to a lesser extent, agriculture and technology. The Calgary-Edmonton Corridor is the most urbanized region in the province and one of the densest in Canada. The Alberta tax system maintains a progressive flavor by allowing residents to earn $16,161 before becoming subject to provincial taxation in addition to a variety of tax deductions for persons with disabilities, students, and the aged. Alberta’s municipalities and school jurisdictions have their own governments which (usually) work in co- operation with the provincial government.

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A highly educated population and burgeoning economy have made Alberta a national leader in health education, research, and resources. Alberta Legislature has (almost) exclusive authority to make laws respecting education. There are forty-two public school jurisdictions in Alberta, and seventeen operating separate school jurisdictions. The University of Alberta is the largest and The University of Calgary is the second largest university in Alberta. Athabasca University, which focuses on distance learning, and the University of Lethbridge, both of which are located in their title cities. Mount Royal University is Calgary’s second public University and MacEwan University is Edmonton’s second public university.

There are 15 colleges that receive direct public funding, along with two technical institutes, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. There is also a large and active private sector of post-secondary institutions. Students may also receive government loans and grants while attending selected private institutions.

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