Local business organizations develop long-term socio-economic plan for region

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Local business organizations develop long-term socio-economic plan for region

A trio of business organizations in Fort McMurray are putting their pitch to the province on the best ways to tackle the socio-economic issues of the region.

The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, Fort McMurray Real Estate Board, and Urban Development Institute Wood Buffalo have collaborated on a report called "Protecting the Investment in Our Future," and presented it in Edmonton today.

It's a follow up to the Radke Report, which was issued by then-Premier Ed Stelmach in 2006, offering reccommendations on how to address the needs of a booming oilsands region.

The newly released report outlines three conditions for the oilsands to prosper:

One - that the cost of oil sands production in Alberta must be globally competitive;

Two- that the oil sands work force remain stable after the transition from construction to operations in 2017, and;

Three - that quality-of-life in Wood Buffalo be imrpoved through responsible development.

As well, one of the report's nearly 70 recommendations originally came from the Radke Report, and is to re-start a government body called the Oil Sands Secretariat.

The Secretariat is designed to be a one-stop shop across various ministries, with the goal of responsibly developing the region.

The report cites billions of dollars of investment between 2006 and 2011, but says progress has stalled since then.

It says that while former Premier Stelmach devised a plan to address short-term fixes, a plan identifying long-term goals over the coming decades isn't in place.

The report's recommendations outline plans on how to deal with issues including transportation, land release, and flood mitigation.

For a link to the full report, click here.
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