The license plate debate continues between Saskatchewan and Alberta, which is not taking kindly to the provincial government’s decision to ban Alberta plates on highway construction sites.
The Alberta Government has announced it has taken this issue to the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.
Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade, made the announcement Thursday afternoon at a press conference.
He says it’s unfair to Alberta contractor companies.
Steven Bonk, Saskatchewan’s Economy Minister told reporters Wednesday afternoon he is taken aback by Alberta’s threats after recent conversations between the two governments went well.
“Just two days ago we had a very productive meeting I thought, where we agreed to meet in January to discuss all issues, including the beer issue, license plate issue, and we were looking forward to having all those issues on the table and meeting with our counterparts in Alberta,” Bonk said.
Bonk, minister of the economy, says the Saskatchewan contractors did the right thing in reporting their incident.
“Put yourself in the position of a Saskatchewan contractor; they’re hoping to do more business in Alberta, but they’re worried about being discriminated against if they were to bring their concerns forward,” Bonk says. “They did what I think is the right thing, and to contact the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association, who brought their concerns forward to government. We take their concerns very seriously.”
Bonk says Alberta contract companies don’t have to pay PST, which allows the company to pay less for insurance, giving companies an unfair advantage.