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Alberta licence plates banned from Ministry of Highway projects
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 11:37AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, December 7, 2017 10:01AM CST
The Saskatchewan government has banned Alberta licence plates on all new Ministry of Highway and Infrastructure construction projects in the province.
According to the government, the ban will apply to new contracts for work on buildings and highways.
“Saskatchewan contractors tell us that vehicles with Saskatchewan plates are not welcome on Government of Alberta job sites,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said in a news release. “Saskatchewan operators feel forced to register their vehicles in Alberta if they want to do business there. (Wednesday’s) announcement just levels the playing field.”
However, Alberta’s Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said this ban does not exist.
“I can assure you that Alberta Transportation does not exclude vehicles with Saskatchewan licence plates from its job sites,” Mason said. “I’ve checked with the department, I’ve checked with the construction association, there is no such restriction.”
Jobs already in progress won’t be impacted.
“Saskatchewan heavy construction contractors have been one of the largest employers in the province in good years and in bad, creating major economic impacts and fiscal benefits for Saskatchewan,” said Shantel Lipp, Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association President. “Our members invest in people, and machinery to construct our network of roads, railways, pipelines, dams and, in the past century, build mines and cities. As local construction companies obtain a larger share of the Saskatchewan construction marketplace they develop the people, equipment and capacity to maximize their economies of scale.”
Deron Bilous, minister of economic development and trade in Alberta, said the ban is a violation of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.
“Brad Wall needs to smarten up,” Bilous said. “He has one week to kill this ridiculous restriction, or we’re taking him to court.”
Marit admitted to reporters on Wednesday that the he wasn’t sure if the ban would violate the trade agreement.
“I felt very strongly in protecting Saskatchewan companies,” he said.
The licence plate ban includes contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and workers. The government says it will be enforced through job site monitoring by ministry employees.
With files from CTV Regina's Colton Wiens, CTV Edmonton and The Canadian Press