Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

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



Driver, Resident for Several Years, Interprovincial Move, English Canadian, 30s

“I used to own a nightclub and then I did a project in Calgary, didn’t work out too well. I decided to move to Montreal. Met someone and it didn’t work out, so I ended up broke and had to make some quick cash.  So I was watching the news that people were lined up to Tim Horton’s for miles and miles so I made the foolish decision just to hop on a plane and get to Fort McMurray. I had $5 in my pocket… When you get here there are no social programs, there’s nowhere to stay, there’s no cheap hotel, there’s no hostels.  It didn’t take me too long to make money at the casino job and I paid my rent. Now I work for an oil company driving truck and you’re 14 hours a day and you come home, you’re tired. When you finally get time off you don’t want to be there. . .Nobody’s ever going to want to stay there unless they make it a better community. Fort McMurray is temporary, the whole town is temporary.”

“I want to save money for the nightclub and then I want to buy a couple properties but at the same time I haven’t saved as much money as I should because I’ll go to Mexico or I’ll go and party, you know what I mean, because you get so– You’ve got to be very disciplined.”


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