EDMONTON, Alta. – The Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association (ARHCA) says Saskatchewan’s new license plate rule change for Alberta vehicles will be problematic for industry.
The Government of Saskatchewan recently announced that all Alberta contractors working on government highway and building projects in the province will be immediately required to get a local license plate, a rule that applies only to Albertans, as all other provinces have to pay a provincial sales tax.
“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,” Ron Glen, CEO of the ARHCA, 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.”
Glen added that it was encouraging to see the Alberta government addressing the issue, as the new rule imposed in Saskatchewan “is contrary to the spirit of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement,” a free trade agreement between the four western Canadian provinces.
“It’s important to keep in mind that rules that restrain free trade make it hard to get the best value for taxpayers through competitive bidding,” said Glen. “This change applies to new projects. There are not a lot of those being started at this time of year. Hopefully this issue can be worked out well before the next construction season begins.”