REGINA, Sask. – The Government of Saskatchewan has backtracked on a December announcement banning vehicles with Alberta license plates from government construction sites in its province.
The provincial government ended the policy Jan. 22, saying the move was in response to a free-trade issue regarding Alberta micro-brewers and tax and subsidy changes for Alberta’s craft brewers.
On Dec. 6, Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said the Alberta plate ban was due to a similar policy on Saskatchewan plates on Government of Alberta job sites.
“Saskatchewan operators feel forced to register their vehicles in Alberta if they want to do business there,” Marit said this past December. “Today’s announcement just levels the playing field.”
Ron Glen, CEO of the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association, said following the announcement that the policy would be problematic for the industry.
“It’s our understanding that there are already rules in place to require vehicles that are being used on a site to be re-registered after 30 days,” Glen said in a statement. “We are not aware of any complaints. The new Saskatchewan policy could be problematic for industry because it would force vehicles to be re-registered and require insurance changes for even short site visits or work.”
The Province of Alberta questioned Saskatchewan’s ban on Alberta plates on government construction sites, saying it violated free trade rules as stated in the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.