My city is in the midst of a boom. Hundreds of thousands have arrived over the last decade. Many of them are geologists and people otherwise affiliated with the oil industry, enjoying extremely luxurious lifestyles, and as a consequence, driving up housing and living costs for the rest of us. I'd estimate, though this is just a guess, that we've lost 10,000 or more apartment units in the last 3 or 4 years due to condominium conversion. 5 years ago a 450 square foot 1 bedroom suite would have cost $600 a month - now you'd be lucky to get one for $1000. Many of the marginalized people who've either come here seeking their fortunes, or were barely hanging on at the periphery of society before the great boom, are suffering severely. A few (mainly bikers and ethnically affiliated gangs) are taking advantage of the poverty by selling cocaine, and lots of it. As a result, street crime is on the rise, homeless people have set up a huge camp around the seedier areas of downtown, and you can find artifacts like this far more often than you'd like to. Now, obviously the ultimate responsibility for taking cocaine lies on the shoulders of the individual who does it - but many of these people are already in serious trouble before getting into the terrible drug. And those who exploit their poverty and the terrible lifestyles they lead are the worst sort of criminals I could imagine. Somebody is getting very very rich because of this drug. I sometimes wonder if the policing task is too difficult, or if somebody inside the police force is enjoying some of the benefits of the trade. I guess it's the "Alberta Advantage", as our provincial premier likes to say.