Alberta roadbuilders respond to Sask ban on plates

EDMONTON, AB – The Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association is cautioning against Saskatchewan’s new regulation prohibiting construction vehicles from having Alberta license plates on new highway construction sites.

The regulations cover only new constructions projects awarded by the government and will include contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, and workers. Enforcement from ministry staff will happen through work-site inspections.

The group says the regulations are an unnecessary burden because it will force vehicles to be re-registered with Saskatchewan plates and insurance even for short site visits.

The association says the changes were unnecessary because vehicles on a site for more than 30 days are already required to re-register with the province.

The Government of Saskatchewan says it’s targeting Alberta plates as a quid-pro-quo for the treatment of Saskatchewan workers.

Saskatchewan Minister of Highways and Infrastructure David Marit said workers from his province are forced to re-register their vehicles to work on a Government of Alberta job site, and calls the move a way to level the playing field.

Marit says Saskatchewan companies have been complaining the Alberta regulation makes it difficult for them to do business in the neighboring province.

The association says it is unaware of any complaints, and says the new regulations are contrary to the spirit of New West Partnership Trade Agreement, restrain free trade, and make it hard for tax payers to get the best deal through a competitive bidding process on government construction projects.

CEO of the association Ron Glen says he hopes the two governments can come to an arrangement before the start of the next construction season.

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