The Alberta government has banned remote work from the province’s oil sands and gas sector, but that won’t stop employers from exploiting workers.
Read moreThe government says workers at its remote service sites will be required to wear the same type of equipment that’s used by oil and coal workers.
But some say it could end up creating a class of workers who are too remote to get work, while others say it will only make oil sands workers even more vulnerable.
The NDP has called for the ban on remote work, and for a review of the industry to see how much it could affect Alberta’s economy.
But Alberta Energy Regulator Bill Spence said the industry’s use of remote workers is just one way to make money.
It’s just another example of the fact that the way we are doing business in Alberta is not competitive with other jurisdictions, he said.
I think we’ve got to be fair and balanced in terms of what we do in the industry, he added.
The industry is doing what we’re doing and we have to be accountable for that.
The ban on oil sands jobs came in the wake of an investigation into the employment practices of a contractor working on a pipeline project.
The contractors name has not been released.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said in a news release the new policy will ensure that workers in the oil sands are “well-trained, paid and protected from harassment and discrimination.”
In a written statement, the Alberta Oil Sands Authority said that it has no record of any allegations of discrimination.
The Alberta government says that in the coming months, it will be working with the Alberta Energy Resources Board and other government agencies to establish a “safe and respectful workplace” for remote workers.
The agency says it will also ensure that the Alberta oilsands continue to be considered a “high-quality energy source” that has been “recognized for its environmental sustainability and quality.”
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