The Riding of Fort McMurray-Athabasca is home to a variety of different people, flora, fauna and environments. In our north, we have Fort Smith, Fitzgerald, and Fort Chipewyan, to name a few of our communities settled along the Slave Lake River flowing north from Lake Athabasca. These communities also border the famous Wood Buffalo National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and home to one of the largest free-roaming wild bison herds in the world.
Traveling south of Lake Athabasca and down the Athabasca River, we come to Fort McMurray and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Nestled in the boreal forest at the confluence of four rivers, Fort McMurray is a vibrant community rich in history and with unlimited potential for the future. Although Fort McMurray was a thriving community long before the oil industry came to town, its infrastructure now supports the Athabasca Oil Sands which are an important resource for all of Canada and the world, producing over 1 million barrels of crude oil per day. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, the population is expected to reach 100,000 in the next two years.
Continuing south down the Athabasca River, we come to the Town of Athabasca nestled in the picturesque Athabasca river valley, just 145 km north of Edmonton, and the County of Athabasca. The area features an abundance of lakes and rivers, along with many scenic hiking and cross-country ski trails. It also serves as an important agricultural region for Alberta and Canada.
East of Athabasca is Lakeland County and the Town of Lac La Biche. Situated just 225 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, the Lac La Biche Region is steeped in Canadian heritage and offers visitors the chance to explore some of Western Canada's oldest history built on generations of multicultural influence. In fact, nearby Plamondon is home to Alberta’s oldest Francophone community.
Traveling to the westernmost area of the riding, you will come upon many small towns, hamlets and villages including Slave Lake, High Prairie and the Municipal District of Big Lakes.
Characterized by many as “The Jewel of the North”, the Town of Slave Lake lies at the eastern end of Lesser Slave Lake 6 hours southwest of Fort McMurray. Slave Lake shows off white sandy beaches, and lush green forests. Cross-country skiing, ice fishing and backcountry sledding attract many to the area in the winter months.
The M.D. of Big Lakes is also an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Its boundaries stretch from south and east of the Town of Swan Hills to north and west of the Town of High Prairie. Hiking, hunting, birding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are just a few of the outdoor activities that abound in the District, but the hallmark of the municipality is its large lakes. As its largest town, the Town of High Prairie is a thriving community of about 3000 people who enjoy living in a modern urban community surrounded by golden prairie, lush forests and numerous lakes.
Our federal riding of Fort McMurray–Athabasca is as diverse as it is beautiful. It is a place immersed in natural wonders where land, sky and water meet to provide unparalleled possibilities. You can canoe the historic travel and trade routes followed by early trappers and explorers, explore the sand dunes, hike the trails, fish the Northern Albertan rivers, navigate the frozen waterways during the winter season or gaze in awe at the Aurora Borealis. It is a great place to live and a great part of Canada!
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