Mapping Life in Fort McMurray

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



Professional in the Public Sector, Resident for Less than a Year, Intraprovincial Move, Asian Canadian, 30s

“Our son came along and no longer was it feasible for me to keep coming home at 8:30 at night completely exhausted. . . I’m physically going downhill, okay, and he’s only like half a year old, right?  So [my job in Calgary] didn’t work anymore.  So what actually happened was we were looking for a different job.  And my wife goes, ‘hey you could do this [government] job in Fort McMurray.’”

“I think work in Fort McMurray is an experiment, a temporary thing that’s got a lot of people over here to try to make a better life . . .I see the dates that people had their credentials issued – the credentials that they’re working over here on.  So I see people who have been certified tradesmen since the ’70s, ’80s. But I also see people coming over from Atlantic Canada whose credentials are only like half a year old.  I was checking one out today.  He was issued like two months ago.  So basically their tax system supported him through is education, and you know, he probably already had the offer and, you know, two months after he got his credentials issue, he’s over here. Whether any of that money really goes back home and investment, like, if he buys property or whatever, I don’t know.  But right now what I know is that he’s over here, right? So, his tax dollars are coming here right now.”

“We’re not here because of sport fishing, right?  It’s all about oil, isn’t it? The whole thing is fragile because it’s completely dependent on this.  If this wasn’t here, we wouldn’t be here right now.  We wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”



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