The Saskatchewan government’s move to ban vehicles with Alberta licence plates on provincial highway construction sites is a hurdle for some contractors whose business is on the provincial border.
“It just seems like it’s another hurdle and it’s just thrown at the employers to figure out,” Cody Bexson, the owner of Lloydminster’s Bexson Construction, said.
“It’s going to cost money. There’s no doubt about it.”
On Wednesday, the province announced vehicles working on any new Ministry of Highway and Infrastructure construction projects must have registered Saskatchewan plates.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said the ban was imposed because Alberta has similar rules for Saskatchewan contractors.
“This is the treatment that our contractors get when they’re working in Alberta. They’re asked to permit. They’re asked to plate. We think it’s fair to ask the same of Alberta folks working here,” Wall said.
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason disagrees with Wall. He said no ban on Saskatchewan plates in Alberta work sites exists.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley joked about Wall’s proposed ban on Thursday afternoon in a pro-pipeline speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
“If any of you drove here and have a Saskatchewan licence plate, we are towing,” Notley joked.
On a more serious note, Notley told media the Saskatchewan rule violates free trade rules and warrants a lawsuit.
“It is not in compliance with the trade agreement and so the first place to go is to court,” Notley said.
Wall said his government is not stepping down on the rule.
There’s no word on what kind of penalty an Alberta driver could face if caught parked on Saskatchewan highways job sites.