Saskatchewan drops licence plate ban

By Source Staff

January 24, 2018 1:03 PM

The Government of Saskatchewan has dropped the ban on Alberta-registered vehicles being used at Saskatchewan job sites.
The rescinding of the ban was confirmed on Monday as a press conference was held by Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous.
“Well, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Brad Wall waited until the eleventh hour to do the right thing that hurt Alberta businesses on both sides of the border. He played football with the livelihoods of Alberta workers and companies, and that’s why we fought back against this ban,” said Minister Bilous via conference call.
“Saskatchewan backed down because they know they’re wrong, and they waited until today. As of 11:59 p.m. Monday night, this would have gone on to binding arbitration, which means there would be monetary penalties (which could total $5 million).
“This has had an impact on Alberta workers and Alberta businesses. We’ve heard directly from the companies that have not been bidding on Saskatchewan tenders. Now, although this is good news that Saskatchewan has walked this back, this could have been avoided right from the get go.”
Bilous also attributed the backing off to the fact the ban was affecting Saskatchewan workers, and how Wall, or his predecessor, would have to explain to the people of Saskatchewan why they wasted $5 million on a policy they knew was off side.
What was initially announced as a way for Saskatchewan to stand up for their contractors soon appeared to be a shell game of what’s best for everyone.
“What happened to the contractors? What happened to the gravel? What happened to the PST argument? There were four reasons Saskatchewan gave, I think within a 12-hour period, so to us and to me, that sounds a lot like they were grasping at straws to come up with a reason to bring this policy forward other than to change the channel from the bad-for-business-budget Brad Wall brought into Saskatchewan,” said Bilous.
“You have a premier who takes actions who knows he is off side with a trade agreement, drives ahead regardless, waits until the eleventh hour, then tries to merge two different issues (the other issue being the pending ruling on whether tax changes and subsidies for Alberta craft beer violate interprovincial free-trade rules).

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