• What about Lloyd?

    December 7, 2017


    What about Lloyd?

    Yesterday the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure announced a new policy on license plate requirements for future provincial projects – specifically vehicles with Alberta plates will no longer be allowed on Ministry job sites.
    The SCA is firmly committed to free trade policies that allow Saskatchewan businesses to grow and compete in other markets, while being treated fairly at home. We also understand that the key to successful trade policy is reciprocity – the willingness of each partner to give and take.
    Every partner in a trade agreement like the New West Partnership has the right to be treated fairly and to trust that artificial barriers will not be imposed upon them or their business.
    After all, it is the fair opportunity to compete that brings us to trade negotiating tables in the first place – and we are all better for it.
    When it comes to the specifics of this policy direction, some concerns have been brought to the attention of the SCA, including: does this policy apply to personal vehicles?; does the policy apply only to Highways and Infrastructure work?; and who will bear the cost of the inspection regime and potential cost overruns associated with violations?
    These are some of the questions and concerns the SCA has about this policy and we will be seeking answers in the coming days, including in a meeting next week with Minister Marit.
    In the spirit of both reciprocity and competition, the SCA believes in evidence-based policy and action. There is anecdotal evidence of Saskatchewan contractors facing pushback on Alberta worksites. If thorough investigation demonstrates that such barriers are in place in Alberta and they will not remove them, then conditions like those introduced by the government of Saskatchewan are clearly justified. If however, Alberta is able to demonstrate that such barriers do not exist, we expect the government would revisit this decision at that time.
    It is also important to remember that although we may sometimes disagree with the government of Alberta and its policies, the people of Alberta are our friends, neighbours and often family. The businesses of Alberta are our partners, suppliers and customers. In many policy matters, Albertans are our closest allies.
    In many places and instances the distinction between Alberta and Saskatchewan melts away. Take Lloydminster for example: they have countless businesses that operate seamlessly between both provinces. Their construction association represents members from both sides of this policy dispute.
    None of us wish our friends or neighbours ill will, but we all expect fairness.

    Mark Cooper, MBA, PMP

    President and CEO
    Saskatchewan Construction Association