On June 5, 2019, the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan signed a memorandum of understanding to help remove provincial barriers to the movement of service rigs.

Since then, they have been urging the federal government to exempt service rigs from regulations under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act that prevent vehicles and equipment from moving efficiently between job sites in the two provinces.

“Striking down service rig regulations is part of the Alberta government’s plan to reduce red tape, improve labour mobility and grow our economy. In 2019 we fulfilled a platform commitment to end provincial barriers to the movement of service rigs and to scrap pointless regulation for these rigs that spend 90 per cent of their time drilling for oil and gas, not moving like typical heavy vehicles. Because the federal government regulates traffic between provinces, we have been pressing Ottawa for over two years to align their rules with our pro-growth approach. This federal exemption is another win for Alberta, allowing service rigs to move more freely and efficiently. Thanks to Premier Scott Moe of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors for all their work to secure this victory for our shared energy economy.”

Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta

“This is long overdue. Western Canadian Energy is not only among the most sustainable in the world, but also among the safest. We should be removing redundant red tape and barriers that impede opportunity to growth.”

Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan

“Today, common sense has prevailed. We are delighted to see this much-anticipated regulatory reform pass the finish line. It means that our workers can focus on what matters most, developing the world’s most responsible energy while at the same time meeting the highest standards in road safety.”

Mark A. Scholz, president & CEO, Canadian Association of Energy Contractors

Under the new Motor Vehicle Transport Act exemption, service rig convoys will not be required to complete daily logs or have a certified electronic logging device.

Service rigs will continue to have robust safety checks in place, such as the need to have valid permits, regular inspections and to comply with all occupational health and safety requirements.

Quick facts

  • Service rigs are large, heavy vehicles with mounted derricks that are used to service and maintain oil wells.
  • The two provinces brought forward a joint application to Transport Canada for a class exemption for interprovincial service rig carriers from provisions of the federal Motor Vehicle Transport Act in order to recognize the harmonized approach between Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • The exemption will apply in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.