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Council to hear first reading of work camp ban bylaw

Last Updated Jun 10, 2019 at 7:54 am MST

PHOTO. RMWB Jubilee Centre. Sarah Anderson. REPORTER.

The bylaw that will restricts new and renewed work camps within 75 kilometres of the urban service area will be read for the first time on Tuesday, June 11.

A deadlocked vote by Mayor and council struck down a motion to rescind the bylaw on June 4, 2019..

During that meeting, the administration reported discussions with industry partners were positive.

Community leaders presented subcommittees dealing with housing, transportation, and community support services.

Nevertheless, the rescission motion failed.

The motion will go to a public hearing scheduled for July 9, 2019.

Municipal Development Plan

According to 2018 census data, 29.3 per cent of the industry’s workforce live in work camps.

The Municipal Development Plan (MDP) targets 85 per cent of the workforce to live in Fort McMurray by 2030.

It also forecasts 10 per cent to live in work camps and the last five per cent in neighbouring rural communities.

Oilsands Sands Community Alliance (OSCA) representative Karim Zariffa disagrees with the census data.

He said those numbers don’t consider things like turnaround or temporary staffing.

“We got to be mindful that there are 14 to 15 thousand that were here for turnaround. You’re now getting extremely close to that 20 per cent.”

Therefore, council made exceptions for certain project accommodations such as turnaround, exploration, maintenance, capital projects and those inaccessible by road.

A second motion also scheduled for first reading on Tuesday is for the Municipality to have more control over regulating work camps.

It proposes increasing the permit approval duration times from two to four years.

Furthermore, the amendments to the Land Use Bylaw suggested in the motion give greater control to any applications the Municipality receives.

Should this pass first reading, then the motion will go for a public hearing next month.

Council will also discuss the Weather Catcher, the bylaw concerning pet ownership, and the upcoming First Nations Métis Inuit (FNMI) Festival.