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Newspaper and sectorial accounts highlight workers travelling to RMWB as selecting the best financial option for their family (Freeman 2015; Construction Sector Council 2005).
Looking to some of the other literature on the RMWB and long-distance commuters can help provide a context for why local workers would be given preference in these collective agreements.
The RMWB has focused on encouraging people to set up a permanent residence in the area.
Because of the scale of immigration from both other parts of Canada and from around the world to Fort McMurray, romantic Alberta regionalism must give way to a RMWB cosmopolitanism.
On my first trip to Fort McMurray in 2007, I was fortunate to meet informally with Mayor Melissa Blake, to introduce my interests in studying Newfoundland community in RMWB and to discuss with her some of the issues facing the city.
Based on my limited fieldwork in RMWB, my understanding of regionalism and of folkloristics, I am confident in the following:
Like other boomtowns the region has a high "shadow population" of mobile workers in industrial and other sectors that by most estimates make up a quarter of the population of the RMWB.
The contributions to this issue generate new questions because they approach Fort McMurray and the RMWB as a particular but deeply interconnected node of globalized and historical activity.
Third, their physical location in work camps enhances separation from life in the RMWB. This paper explores some of the ways in which temporary foreign worker policy and practice contradict key assumptions of policy makers and scholars about what makes a cohesive community (cf.
Temporary foreign workers possess a unique legal status in Canada that distinguishes them from other mobile workers who come to the RMWB for oil sands jobs and is relevant to their experiences in Canada described below.
The health and environmental implications of such proposals are likely to be significant, even when compared to the more widely known mining and tailings pond infrastructure seen in the Athabasca deposit that lies mostly within the RMWB. Indeed, hunters and trappers throughout the region note damage to fish, berries, wildlife, and other resources wherever oil sands developments have occurred.
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