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Lloydminster is a Canadian city which has the unusual geographic distinction of straddling a provincial border. According to the 2001 census, the total population of the city was 20,988, of which 7,840 (37.4%) lived in Saskatchewan while 13,148 (62.6%) resided in Alberta. From 1996 to 2001, the population rose 16.2% on the Alberta side while the Saskatchewan side rose by 2.7%.
The provincial border runs north to south, falling directly on 50th Avenue (Meridian Avenue) in the centre of Lloydminster. Addresses east of 50th Avenue are considered to be in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and addresses west of 50th Avenue are considered to be in Lloydminster, Alberta.
Intended to be an exclusively British Utopian settlement centered around the idea of sobriety, the town was founded in 1903 by the Barr Colonists , who came directly from the British Isles. At a time when the area was still part of the Northwest Territories, the town was located astride the Fourth Meridian of the Dominion Land Survey, or 110° west longitude.
The town was named for Anglican Bishop George Exton Lloyd , a strong opponent of non-British immigration to Canada. He had deposed the Barr Colony's leader and namesake Isaac Montgomery Barr during the colonists' journey to the eventual townsite.
When the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created in 1905, the Fourth Meridian was selected as the border, bisecting the town. For the next quarter century, Lloydminster remained two separate towns with two separate municipal administrations, but in 1930 the provincial governments agreed to amalgamate the towns into a single town under shared jurisdiction. The provinces, again jointly, reincorporated Lloydminster as a city in 1958.
Although the majority of Lloydminster's population used to live in Saskatchewan, that ratio has long since been reversed. With the bulk of the city's recent growth taking place on the Alberta side of the border, it has become known to most Canadians as Lloydminster, Alberta. In 2000, the city hall and municipal offices were re-located from Saskatchewan to Alberta.
Economy and Taxation
As of 2004, the local economy was performing relatively well, with the city's growth continuing to be driven primarily by the petroleum industry. Many new projects including an expansion to the Husky Upgrader are planned for the near future. Agriculture remains an important economic activity, although many farmers in the area have been sustained financially by lease payments resulting from oil wells drilled on their land.
Lloydminster's bi-provincial status has resulted in special provisions regarding provincial taxation within the city limits. Perhaps most significant is that the Saskatchewan side is exempt from that province's sales tax. This allows businesses in that province to compete on a more equal footing with businesses in Alberta, which has no PST.
These exemptions do not apply to provincial income tax, which is based entirely on the taxpayer's province of residence. The fact that Alberta's income tax rates are substantially lower than those in Saskatchewan (even after Alberta's health care premiums are taken into account) is usually cited as a key reason for the city's recent growth being almost entirely on the Alberta side.
There are substantial demographic differences between the populations on each side of the border, with the population on the Saskatchewan side being substantially younger. This is likely due to the fact that for most young adults and especially for males under 25 years of age, the savings in provincial income tax would be negated by the significantly higher automobile insurance premiums demanded by Alberta's private insurance providers. (SGI does not charge higher premiums on account of a driver's age.)
Lloydminster's unique situation is reflected in other legal matters, including its time zone. Alberta has a law requiring the use of daylight saving time throughout the province; Saskatchewan has a law prohibiting the same. However, Lloydminster's charter allows it to use daylight saving time on both sides of the provincial border; this places the city in the Mountain Standard Time Zone and synchronizes clocks with those of Alberta. However, Lloydminster will not be exempt from a strict new anti-smoking law passed by the Saskatchewan legislature. Lloydminster schools all use Saskatchewan's curriculum.
Due to Lloydminster's beginnings as an anti-alcohol Utopian society, alcohol was not available in the city until the early 20th century. The early Utopianists believed that drink was the single most destructive factor in society, leading to such things as abuse of children and women.
Lloydminster is not the only city that straddles a Canadian provincial border. The city of Flin Flon, Manitoba has a small section that is actually located within Saskatchewan.
See also: Twin cities
|West: Vegreville||Lloydminster||East: The Battlefords|
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