Prince Albert looks to get back 'millions' spent during Husky oil spill

The City of Prince Albert is beginning to process to recover "millions of dollars" spent on dealing with the Husky Energy oil spill.

Compensation includes city worker salaries, contractors, material costs, and more

Contaminated water from the North Saskatchewan River following the Husky Energy oil spill on July 21. (Matthew Garand/CBC)

The City of Prince Albert is beginning to process to recover "millions of dollars" spent on dealing with the Husky Energy oil pipeline spill.

On Wednesday, the city said it was starting its claim process seeking financial remuneration from Husky. 

Following the oil spill on July 21, the city had to close its water treatment plant intake because of contamination in the North Saskatchewan River.

There are several expenditures the city is looking to be compensated for, including:

  • The salaries of city workers and contractors
  • Material costs in constructing two water pipelines
  • Wages for workers involved with running the city's Emergency Operations Centre
  • Wages for workers running the city's General Inquiry Centre 
  • Lost wages from outdoor workers at civic facilities who were temporarily laid off for nearly three weeks

The city said 35 full-time and part-time lifeguard workers were temporarily laid off. It has committed to paying those salaries, but will be "seeking compensation from Husky Energy on behalf of its staff."

In a news release, Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said the city sympathizes with those workers who were temporarily let go.

"The majority of the staff is students that rely on their wages earned during the summer to pay for tuition and living costs in the fall when they return to school," Dionne said. "The city is doing their part to make sure they are taken care of and we have no doubt that Husky will then reimburse us for the lost hours to our staff and facilities during the oil spill situation."

Deloitte has been hired to assist in the claims process. The city said so far preliminary talks with Husky have been positive and they expect any invoices submitted to be paid within 24 hours.