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Page added on February 27, 2009

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The Canadian Oil Boom

Scraping Bottom:
Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta’s oil sands is now a gamble worth billions.


One day in 1963, when Jim Boucher was seven, he was out working the trap

In Boucher’s memory, though, the change begins that day in 1963, on the long trail his grandfather used to set his traps, near a place called Mildred Lake. Generations of his ancestors had worked that trapline. “These trails had been here thousands of years,” Boucher said one day last summer, sitting in his spacious and tasteful corner office in Fort McKay. His golf putter stood in one corner; Mozart played softly on the stereo. “And that day, all of a sudden, we came upon this clearing. A huge clearing. There had been no notice. In the 1970s they went in and tore down my grandfather’s cabin



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