Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

Diverse Relations of People, Oil, and Place (2007-2009)



Professional in Oil Industry, Resident for Several Years, Immigrant from North Africa, 40s

“The increased demand for highly skilled people within oil business brought these companies to accept the fact that they don’t have a choice, they have to hire some people who already have oil experience but have never worked in Canada . . .I got to three years now, maybe another 7, 8 months I’m seeing what I can do.  I will find another opportunity within [the oil industry], another place. . .People like immigrants come to this town because there’s a job opportunity because that’s maybe their only chance.  If I’m Canadian educated person, I will not tolerate Fort McMurray, I will not accept a long time in Fort McMurray.”

“In the oil company, you work 10 hours, 4 days so I have Friday, Saturday, Sunday off. I work 10 hours, mentally I’m still involved somehow with the work. It’s not a job where you plug in, you go home, and then you are done. So this is another challenge. You don’t have time to have family time. Your own family, what about rest?  Relative or other friends to visit? What kind of community you have?”

“My life?  I’m taking bus. [On my map I have] a road from the place to this and we are in the bus for one hour, two hours every day. So a whole aspect of life it’s between this small house and small infrastructure. Small area.” 


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