Not everyone is completely satisfied with the work being done by the Livability Task Force.
On Tuesday, Wood Buffalo council voted unanimously to continue work with the Oil Sands Community Alliance and the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation via the Task Force.
Work done with OSCA will be to better understand how Fly-In-Fly-Out is utilized – while work with WBEDC will investigate ways to increase the RMWB’s population.
Mayor Don Scott tells Mix News they want to change the narrative to encourage more people to live and work in the region.
“There is always more work to be done and I will never truly be satisfied until everyone lives here but that’s a ways off. I’m glad to see that everyone is working toward the same goal. I felt positive about the news, I know there’s more work to come but I am appreciative of all the efforts being made.”
The goal ultimately is to improve the region’s livability and encourage more people to live and work here.
A pair of delegates voiced their concerns following presentations, noting their personal difficulty in finding work with industry while living in the region.
Keith Boyd moved from Red Deer to work for CEDA, but upon arrival, found he was making less money as a local then he was previously as a commuter.
Another individual, Rob Kelley, claimed he used to work for Syncrude and has experience as an engineer but has been unable to find employment for four years.
Scott says while it’s disappointing to hear some residents feeling this way – it’s encouraging to hear them speak out.
“I want to hear the reality; I hear it in the community all the time and it was a great opportunity to hear what people had to say. There were real challenges presented by these people tonight. People looking for jobs, talking about not having everything they’d like to see in this community.”
Scott adds through the task force, they want to be able to demonstrate that anyone and everyone is welcome here.
“We encouraged each of them and it was a good opportunity for them to talk to people from industry who were actually present, so it was great for that to happen. There needs to be a lot more work done; we want to encourage people to live here but we also want the frank discussions.”
Administration will report back to council bi-annually, to see the progress being made by the task force.
Council is off for the holidays but will return on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
They’ll also have a temporary new residence at the Syncrude Athletic Park, as the council chambers will be undergoing renovations.