The task of increasing Industry’s use of a locally based workforce will continue to require significant effort from many sectors in the region. For this to occur, all parties cannot afford to let this effort slide. While the RMWB will continue to lead this effort and dedicate resources to continue this work, Industry, contractors and the camp providers cannot afford to ignore this issue.
It is recommended that Council direct Administration in accordance with the below:
THAT Administration be directed to:
a) Pursue commitments made by Industry signatories arising from the existing signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs).
b) Continue to request signed memoranda from active oil sands producers.
c) Work with Industry, contractors, camp providers and other partners to identify priority transportation infrastructure projects that would help improve highway safety and decrease the commute time from regional communities to oil sands projects. This would include retaining experts as required, in partnership with Industry. Once identified, all parties to work collaboratively to encourage provincial and federal funding.
d) Work with Industry to conduct “Park and Ride” pilot projects that will support Industry projects north and south of Fort McMurray. This includes the expenditure of municipal funds to prepare sites for projects of this scale, once obtaining agreements for usage from Industry partners.
e) Encourage Industry to:
i. increase its use of Fort McMurray as a hub for its camp-based operations workforce
ii. incent its workforce to live in Fort McMurray while off-shift
iii. support travel to the job site via a “Park and Ride” or flights from the Fort McMurray International Airport and return home to Fort McMurray or other residential centres in the region at the end of their shift rotation.
f) Continue and expand the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo community engagement initiatives related to rotational workforce.
g) Implement MDP Policies R.1, 1.1, 1.3 and 1.4 by amending Land Use Bylaw 99/059 (the “LUB”) to divide the definition of “Project Accommodation” into categories recognizing the distinction between “operational Project Accommodation” and “construction/turnaround activity Project Accommodation” and defining how a 75 km “moratorium distance” (or equivalency) may reasonably be implemented with respect to “operational Project Accommodation(s)”.
h) Encourage that all new discretionary use Project Accommodation (camp) applications be located within the “Consolidated Work Camp Area(s)” in proximity to Fort McKay and Conklin areas, as identified on the MDP’s “Regional Growth Concept” map.
i) Further explore opportunities for the Municipality to encourage increased local employment via grants or other non-tax related incentives.*
j) Explore opportunities for the Municipality to provide financial incentives for Seniors to continue to stay, or relocate to, the region.
k) Along with Industry and other stakeholders, determine the baseline for reporting back to Council the progress of these initiatives to Council no later than December 10, 2019.
*Administration has received a legal opinion that the Municipal Government Act (MGA) has restrictions related to tax subsidies/exemptions/reductions that limit our ability to specifically incent oil sands workers to move to the RMWB.