The oil and gas industry has long been a mainstay for young people — especially men — looking for work in Alberta, and Dustin Taylor was one of them. Taylor was born in Nova Scotia, where his dad worked on an offshore oil rig. He moved to Alberta as a kid, and found himself in yet another province heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry.
“I left school before I graduated and pretty much started working right off the hop,” he said. “And, like most people in Alberta, I ended up working in the energy industry — working in oil and gas, making decent money.”
He started working in oil and gas when he was 16, without finishing high school. At his first job, he made $60,000 a year. In the years that followed, he made a lot of money. He partied. He didn’t vote. He didn’t care much about politics.
Something started to change for Taylor as the years went on in the oil patch. He remembers the 2010 BP oil spill as a pivotal moment in his thinking.