Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

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



Professional in Oil Industry, Resident for More than a Decade, Grew Up In The Region, English Canadian, 40s

“My family moved here in 1970 from central Alberta.  My dad moved here to make .70 cents an hour more.  And it was a five-year plan. Fort McMurray starts as a boomtown but it ends up your hometown.  There wasn’t a lot of permanent roots at all…I think at one time we had the largest influx of mobile homes in Canada, maybe North America.”

“Well my concern as a resident, I would like to see fewer commuters and more residents. . .There’s people that have been commuting for five, six, eight years, coming up Monday to Thursday, and driving on that death trap of a highway that we have.  They might buy two tanks of gas while they’re here: one when they get to town and one when they leave, that’s it.  If they get hurt at work or sick, they’re going to use the same hospital that me and my family have to wait in line to use.  Fort McMurray is not their future. [And at the same time] we’re having to chase our youth out.  Sure they can get a great job here and maybe make $70,000-100,000 their first year out of school but where are they going to live?  How do we tell a kid their first home is going to be $500,000 plus, or your rent is going to be $1500 a month for a one-bedroom apartment?”



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