N.B. Expats in Alberta Root for Pipeline2/11/2013
Among the countless New Brunswick expatriates working in the Fort McMurray oil patch is a member of the Alberta government rooting for western crude to flow east.
“When I tell people I’m from New Brunswick it has a lot of resonance out here because everybody is from the east,” said Fort McMurray-Conklin MLA Donald Scott.
“It’s a place where a lot of roads lead to and hopefully soon a lot of pipeline too.”
Scott greeted Premier David Alward when he arrived in Fort McMurray last week. The premier was on a tour of the massive oilsands developments of Wild Rose Country to advance a plan to send Alberta oil east.
Scott said his roots still remain in New Brunswick.
“I grew up in Fredericton,” he said. “My father is from Saint John and my mother is from just outside where the premier is from, out near Nackawic.
“I had an uncle who worked at the Nackawic pulp and paper mill, my grandparents had a farm near there. My best memories as a kid were out farming in New Brunswick on my grandparent’s farm and my uncle and aunt still have a farm there.”
He added: “My parents still live in Fredericton and I will be telling them that I met the Premier of New Brunswick and they’re going to be in heaven, they’re going to be ecstatic.”
Scott went to law school at University of New Brunswick.
He then worked for the New Brunswick Court of Appeal and went on to aid former New Brunswick Chief Justice William Hoyt in England on what is known as the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.
Established in 1998 by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, that inquiry was set up to determine a complete version of events that led to the shooting death of 13 unarmed civil-rights protesters by British soldiers in Northern Ireland – a day in January 1972 now infamously known as “Bloody Sunday.”
The inquiry took the form of a tribunal, calling in judges from New Brunswick and Australia.
“A lot of people have heard of that back east because of the connection,” Scott said.
Scott’s law career then eventually took him to Fort McMurray where he founded his own law firm in 2006, practicing in the areas of family, real estate and business law.
Elected in April 2012, Scott is also the associate minister of accountability, transparency and transformation within Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s government.
“I know the refinery back east, I know it well,” Scott said. “We need market access and New Brunswick has a world-class port, so this is an obvious and very sensible relationship.”
While in Alberta, Alward also met with Fort McMurray councillor Phil Meagher who moved west in 1983 after graduating from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in education.
Originally from Nackawic, Meagher is a chief deputy superintendent with the Fort McMurray school system. He also has his own unique ties to New Brunswick.
“I went to school with him,” Alward said, recalling Meagher as an accomplished runner. “It really just speaks to how connected New Brunswick and Alberta really are to each other.”