Some say the US is becoming a police state, but not many are aware of the one in northern Alberta.


CNRL, Suncor, Syncrude, and other companies operating in the tarsands, have their workers live in camps that are like cities, each holding thousands of people. At full capacity, the camps in northern Alberta have an estimated combined population of sixty thousand. Many of these are directly modeled after high-security American prisons.

At CNRL’s camps, for example, guards in a security station watch over a row of electronic turnstiles at the entrance. You have a card key that keeps track of when you enter, leave, or eat. Security personnel oversee these activities, and monitor the hallways and other areas with surveillance cameras. A flatscreen TV in the dining area loops a video of the correct way to go through the electronic turnstiles.

In every camp, security guards watch your every move, dogs search your room. The residents of the camps have essentially no freedom, everyone has been urine-tested (no thanks to the useless “Alberta Human Rights Commission”), and if you blog about camp conditions or wave a Canadian flag at a public demonstration, you can be fired or blacklisted.

You might be wondering why, with so many people involved, the “Landlord and Tenant Act” wouldn’t apply, why the camp residents shouldn’t have the same freedoms as elsewhere, or why the government permits multinational corporations to force sixty thousand citizens to sign all of their rights away.We invite you to contact your MLA and find out!