While many consider Fort McMurray a paragon of the contemporary ‘single industry’ (or company) town, an exclusive academic focus on ‘city-building’ has failed to acknowledge the increasing relevance of the company work camp in accommodating perpetual population increases. Indeed, statistical and demographic data – gathered by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – has revealed a trend prioritizing the deployment of company camps in lieu of permanent improvements to the existing urban construct.
Overwhelmingly, the camp has been characterized as the natural consequence of industrial expansion: as resource extraction operations advance farther into the Canadian hinterland, the centripetal urban model (i.e. Fort McMurray) is rendered increasingly obsolete. The expanding industrial footprint has necessitated an alternate extra-urban project. This assumption - that the camp is inevitable - has severely limited the ongoing public discourse surrounding contemporary working accommodations, and has contributed to a perception of the camp as ‘benign’ or ‘passive’ when – in fact – the opposite is true.
This thesis aims to assess the current scope and scale of camp deployment through a careful accounting of individual accommodations sites while simultaneously exploring the organizational prerogatives of camp deployment. The camp – as extra-urban paradigm – is linked to an explicit economic agenda which has successfully institutionalized a ‘nomadic,’ ‘transient,’ or otherwise ‘precarious’ working regime on what is arguably Canada’s most significant industrial project.
The examining committee is as follows:
Adrian Blackwell, University of Waterloo
Dr. Angela Carter, University of Waterloo
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Friday May 1, 2015
Architecture Room 2026
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4