Go west young woman, go west
Bay Roberts woman takes advantage of opportunities in Alberta
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.