The Alberta Construction Association has responded to the Saskatchewan government’s announcement that vehicles with Alberta licence plates will be banned from all future highway and infrastructure projects in the province.
Executive Director Ken Gibson says they’ve never had this issue brought to their attention and the move is concerning to their membership.
“We expect Saskatchewan contractors to be treated as Alberta contractors are. If in fact their are new barriers being put up, we are opposed to those; they add cost and harm the industry. The irony is they will harm Saskatchewan workers as well.”
Gibson adds that even when an Alberta contractor wins a job contract in Saskatchewan a large portion of people working on the site are Saskatchewan tradespeople. He says the move may also result in a “lot of confusion” for Lloydminster, which straddles the provincial border.
“I imagine in a border city people are probably able to move their vehicles on a daily basis onto whatever side of the border, but that kind of silliness shouldn’t be required. The two governments need to sit down and speedily resolve this so people can focus their attention on providing great quality projects for the people of Saskatchewan and Alberta.”
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has responded saying the measure is standing up for Saskatchewan first.
“Well we won’t be backing off on it. First of all we think it doesn’t necessarily violate trade agreements because this is the treatment that our contractors get in Alberta. They’re asked to permit, they’re asked to plate. We think it’s fair to ask the same thing of Alberta.”
Alberta Trade Minister Deron Bilous has said the matter could be taken to court if not resolved.
Written by Dan Soul, 106.1 The Goat