February 25, 2015 3:25 pm
Updated: February 25, 2015 6:31 pm

New Brunswickers worry about job security out west and in N.B.

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MONCTON – The falling price of oil has caused layoffs in Canada’a oil patch and now some of those Maritimers who went west are seeking jobs back home.

Neil Geldart is heading back to work driving a truck in Cold Lake, Alberta. He says the risk of getting laid off is constantly on his mind.

“I do have friends who are probably going to be home in the next month or two cause it’s just slowed down. They are in different sections of Alberta, the oil sands are bad, they are laying people off,” he said.

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So far, he believes his job is safe. That’s because Geldart works for a company that is busy taking wells out of service.

“We’re picking up more and more work,” he said. “They are shutting in a lot of wells because of the prices.”

With the current price of oil below $50 a barrel, Alberta’s Finance Minister Robin Campbell is predicting nearly 32,000 people will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

“I mean we have seen our oil revenues decreased by 50 per cent. So nothing is ticking along right now,” he said.

So some of the estimated 3,000 New Brunswickers who left the province to find work are already trickling back home.

Jodi Smith from Phillips Brothers Excavating says the company has already hired a few truck drivers laid off out west to work hauling snow in Moncton.

“It’s actually really good because it gives us a chance to have some new employees here and we may end up keeping them on in the summer months,” Smith said.

But she says there’s no guarantee for permanent work.

So Geldart will take his chances and head back to work in Cold Lake in order to support his family. He says being away is tough.

“I am just hoping stuff opens up back down here again in my field, the construction field, and I can get back home,” he said.

 

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