In response to this week’s announcement that the Government of Saskatchewan will not be allowing Alberta plated vehicles on any new Highways and Infrastructure work sites, the Government of Alberta has lashed out and threatened to sue claiming that the move creates inter-provincial trade barriers.
Both Premiere Wall and Minister Marit insist that the new requirement has been implemented to “level the playing field”.
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“Over the course of the last number of months, many Saskatchewan contractors have told me that vehicles with Saskatchewan plates are not welcome on Alberta highway construction sites. Saskatchewan companies have felt compelled to register their vehicles in Alberta in order to do business in that province. Furthermore contractors from Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba pay provincial sales tax on the value of their vehicles when they register them.” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Marit said in an official statement yesterday, “The new policy does not exclude Alberta contractors from doing business in Saskatchewan. Alberta companies have helped to build Saskatchewan’s road infrastructure for many years and done excellent work. We want that relationship to continue. This policy simply levels the playing field between Alberta contractors and contractors from Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and other provinces.”
Premiere Brad Wall was also available for statement yesterday confirming, “We won’t be backing off on it“, He believes this does not violate trade agreements because this is the treatment our contractor’s get when they work in Alberta, “they’re asked to permit, they’re asked to plate, we think it fair to ask the same of Alberta folks working here”
Premiere Wall added “It was the Alberta Government that began all this with the beer wars, stating they have actually lost a case under the agreement on internal trade and they are appealing it, so even though they’ve lost their case for their protectionist measures that have hurt Great Western and our province, they’re continuing on.”
“We’ll stand up for Saskatchewan’s interests and if we need to we’ll take our own actions.” Premiere Wall also pointed out that the Construction Association is supportive of what the Saskatchewan Government is doing.
Statement from Premiere Brad Wall