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Falling oil prices create worry over jobs out west

Falling oil prices could be good news for many Nova Scotians, but some are worried it will jeopardize their jobs out west.

Since mid-summer, oil prices have dropped more than 35 per cent.

Adam Spinney, a veteran lobster fisherman in Yarmouth County, started a second job in Alberta 18 months ago to ensure his family could pay the bills.

"I decided I had to go out west [because] I got two kids to feed," said Spinney.

He works at the tar ponds in the oil fields of Fort McMurray for part of the year. Spinney's contracts depend on a higher price for oil and when that price drops, there's less work available.

"If it continues the next few years, the price keeps dropping, it'll get bad out there," he said. "I know a lot of guys who came home already."

His wife, Jade Malone, feels the stress too.

"As a fisherman's wife, we're kind of used to not having a lot of security in his job because there's so much price variation for lobsters and that type of thing," said Malone.

"The Alberta work seems — or feels — more secure. To have that kind of threatened, our future kind of threatened that way, it's concerning because you don't have anything to fall back on here in Nova Scotia."

Spinney will remain in Yarmouth County until mid-January, when he will return to Fort McMurray to finish his current contract.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen after that, if we're going to be brought back in next spring," said Spinney

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