Go west young woman, go west

Bay Roberts woman takes ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties in Al­berta

The Compass - - NEWS - BY ROBYN SEY­MOUR

Stephany Tut­tle is amongst thou­sands of New­found­lan­ders who have turned to the prairies for em­ploy­ment.

The 18-year-old Bay Roberts res­i­dent has been work­ing as a camp cleaner in Al­bian Sands, Al­berta, for al­most three months now and is en­joy­ing ev­ery minute of it.

“The peo­ple here are so nice and po­lite. Every­one al­ways holds the door for you, says please and thank-you and even of­fer you what­ever they can.”

Al­though she has only been work­ing on this job site for a few months, Tut­tle is no stranger to Al­berta. She has worked in other parts of the prov­ince and saw the oil sands as a per­fect op­por­tu­nity.

“The money here is so good right now and the oil sands are not go­ing to last for­ever. I thought I’d take the job my dad got me now while I still could.”

Money is not the only thing she has been mak­ing ei­ther.

“I’m so close to some peo­ple I’ve met here. It’s like I knew some of them my whole life. You al­ways come across a scat­tered per­son you’re not go­ing to get along with as well as you do the rest, but for every­one of those peo­ple here, there are 30 good ones. I hon­estly don’t think I’d be able to get through the work­day without the great peo­ple I work with. We all laugh through­out the day, mak­ing the day go by much quicker,” she ex­plains.

Tut­tle says al­though most peo­ple typ­i­cally stereo­type the camps as hor­rific and even jail-like, she kind-of likes it there.

“It’s not so bad, no mat­ter what some peo­ple may say. We have In­ter­net in our rooms, phones, flat screen TVs, a fair sized bed and we share a bath­room be­tween two peo­ple.”

Her camp even has their own store, a Tim Hor­tons and a large cafe­te­ria.

“You meet peo­ple you know from back home ev­ery day. It’s crazy be­cause some of the peo­ple you see here, you haven’t seen in years. Everyday you make a new buddy, or two or three,” she jokes, adding, “I love the money I make and get­ting a cheque ev­ery week is a lot bet­ter than get­ting one ev­ery two weeks.”

The only ma­jor thing she doesn’t like about Al­berta is the cold win­ters.

“Hon­estly, peo­ple don’t un­der­stand the cold un­til they come to Al­berta and walk out into -55, their nose hairs freez­ing and ev­ery­thing,” she says.

Ac­cord­ing to the Statis­tics Canada Labour Force Sur­vey for Au­gust, em­ploy­ment in­creased by 27,000.

Since em­ploy­ment peaked last Oc­to­ber, to­tal em­ploy­ment has fallen by 387,000 (2.3 per cent). The trend in em­ploy­ment, how­ever, has re­cently changed.

The study found over the last five months lead­ing up to Au­gust, em­ploy­ment has fallen by 31,000, a much smaller de­cline than the 357,000 ob­served dur­ing the five months fol­low­ing Oc­to­ber of last year.

In Au­gust, part-time em­ploy­ment rose by 31,000 and since last Oc­to­ber, full-time work has dropped by 486,000 (3.5 per cent), par­tially off­set by in­creases in part time of 99,000 (3.1 per cent).

In New­found­land and Labrador, em­ploy­ment rose by 2,900 and the un­em­ploy­ment rate fell to 15.6 per cent. Since Oc­to­ber, em­ploy­ment in the prov­ince has de­clined by 3,200 (1.5 per cent).

Ac­cord­ing to Stat­sCan, this past sum­mer’s labour mar­ket was one of the most chal­leng­ing for stu­dents be­tween the ages of 15 and 24. Their av­er­age un­em­ploy­ment rate reached 19.2 per cent over the sum­mer months, the sec­ond high­est rate since com­pa­ra­ble data be­came avail­able in 1977.

How­ever, the av­er­age hourly wages were up 3.3 per cent com-

HARD WORKER — Stephany Tut­tle is amongst thou­sands of other New­found­lan­ders who have turned to the prairies for em­ploy­ment. The 18-year-old Bay Roberts res­i­dent has been work­ing as a camp cleaner in Al­bian Sands, Al­berta, for al­most three months.

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