Federal Minister of Natural Resources Talks Teck, Supporting Region During Wood Buffalo Visit

The Federal Minister of Natural Resources paid a visit to Wood Buffalo on Wednesday.

Seamus O’Regan met with members of Wood Buffalo council where they discussed the needs of the region moving forward.

His visit comes on the heels of Teck Resources’ decision to withdraw its application for its Frontier project which would have been north of Fort McMurray.

Speaking on Fort McMurray Matters, Mayor Don Scott says he doesn’t think O’Regan’s visit is specifically because of Teck but believes it is connected.

“They were really interested in finding out what they can do better, I think they recognize that things have to change and I came away from this discussion feeling very optimistic.”

Teck’s decision was a topic of discussion, however, it wasn’t the main focus.

Scott says O’Regan is committed to ensuring they work on helping the region succeed.

“We talked a lot about focusing on sending the right signals out internationally, we spoke about infrastructure needs for this region.”

The municipality is now preparing a list of recommendations to the Minister’s Office.

It includes getting the East Clearwater Highway up and running, concerns around a federal dock in Fort Chipewyan being addressed, and promoting the oilsands in a positive light across Canada and internationally.

Scott adds their biggest point is the need to have a better presence from the federal government across the RMWB.

“There is a sense, and I think it’s a reality, that the federal government is not seen as an ally of this region at this time. I think Minister O’Regan is an ally, he was really positive about the oilsands and gave me all the right messages.”

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