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Work camps build Canada’s pipelines. But at what cost?

Last Updated May 17, 2019 at 9:14 am EDT

A work camp in Chetwynd, British Columbia on Sunday, April 28, 2019. (Photograph by Amber Bracken)

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned the need for gender-based analysis of construction camps that dot remote areas of Canada’s west last year, he was met with a hail of criticism for casting all men who work at those camps as potential rapists. That, of course, isn’t the case—but what does the sudden influx of thousands of workers do to the communities who try to welcome them? It’s complicated.

These work camps provide an undeniable influx of cash to communities who often struggle economically. But they also flood social services built for much smaller populations, bring higher rates of crime and, yes, increased reports of sexual harassment and assault. So what’s being done on the ground to help victims or prevent future ones? How do the people who live with the “shadow population” see it? And what does the research say?

GUEST: Kyle Edwards, Maclean’s

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