Garson Lake Road Delay May Be Tied To Labour Woes

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 15:28



A development official in northwest Saskatchewan believes the Alberta government isn’t very eager to construct a road from Fort McMurray to La Loche because it doesn’t want to lose workers.


Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Alberta government hadn’t put a time frame on when it would complete its portion of the Garson Lake road project.


When the project was announced three years ago, then-Alberta Premier Ralph Klein described its construction as a priority.


However, a spokeswoman for Alberta Transportation recently indicated the road isn’t even in the department’s three-year capital plan.


Buffalo Narrows economic development officer Bonnie Aubichon says she thinks the Alberta government may be worried about losing workers to Saskatchewan if the road gets built.


Aubichon notes many workers in Alberta’s oilsands used to live in this province.


She says if and when oil development begins in northwestern Saskatchewan, some workers may decide to move home.


As a result, she doesn’t expect the Alberta government is anxious to see the road completed — since Oilsands Quest has indicated the road would accelerate its development of Saskatchewan’s oilsands deposits.


Meantime, Aubichon says work will continue as the northwest prepares for the road’s eventual completion.


She says some slowdowns may be felt in the region, but she doesn’t expect any projects to be cancelled.


Aubichon says she knows support exists for the road in Fort McMurray, but she’s not sure how they’re responding to this latest news.