Another step to find a middle ground for work camps is being developed by the municipality and industry representatives.
Wood Buffalo council met on Tuesday where they discussed general regulations for project accommodations.
A few changes were brought forward including limiting permits to a maximum of four years, companies needing to provide a business case outlining the details of their project, and removing work camps from multiple land use boundaries.
Speaking to reporters, Mayor Don Scott says it’s a possibility this could be what’s needed to help reduce fly-in-fly-out numbers in a way both sides can agree on.
“I want more people living in this region and that’s the bottom line, so whatever that’s going to take I’m going to be a champion of it.”
Concerns were raised by multple oil companies, such as Canadian Natural Resources and Imperial Oil, as well as other industry representatives including the Oil Sands Community Alliance.
Some of the issues included what needs to be a part of a company’s business case, whether a grace period for decommissioning projects should be included, and just overall clarity regarding certain regulations.
Executive Director of OSCA Karim Zariffa believes if these changes are followed then more companies will get behind this motion.
“It is a way for the RMWB administration to issue development permits and have some sort of control mechanisms in place, so we certainly appreciate that, but we’re trying to eliminate a burden on administration as well as my members.”
In the end, council voted on deferring this motion until after the summer recess to allow more time for the municipality and industry representatives to consult.
“I want everyone to make sure they had a time to make their case with the municipality and we heard even the administration say they needed more time to work with industry and others,” added Scott.
Council will meet again in September.