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Canada’s Building Trades Support Pipeline Reversal

By ReNew Canada 12:50PM August 09, 2012

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Canada’s Building Trades Unions are supporting the Government of Canada‘s decision to allow the reversal of Enbridge Line 9 between Hamilton and Sarnia. According to a recent press release issued by the Building & Construction Trades Department, allowing the reversal to proceed will help to strengthen Canada’s national energy security framework, while protecting well-paying Canadian jobs.

“This is yet another positive step on the path towards securing Canada’s energy security and independence, while working to protect and create good jobs for Canadian workers,” said Robert Blakely, director of Canadian affairs. “Keeping our natural resources moving securely within Canada means more jobs for Canadian workers and better security for those who are already employed.”

“Building Trades unions operate in the private sector and we have realized for some time that Canada’s natural resources, and the energy jobs they create, are a powerful anchor in the Canadian economy.  We work with our employers and clients – the producers of energy – on a daily basis to ensure that Canada’s energy projects achieve all of their potential.  It is refreshing to have a federal government that also grasps this economic reality,” Blakely said.  “With measures like an improved regulatory process, their commitment to apprenticeship and now this – the Harper Government is demonstrating its knowledge of, and commitment to, our industry.  The reversal of Line 9 is an important step which could allow for the flow of Oil Sands crude to Eastern Canadian refineries who now depend on the volatile Brent Crude market for supply,” Blakely continued.

Blakely added that “the energy resources of Western Canada are best refined here in Canada.  It goes beyond simple economics – it’s nation building.  Not only do measures such as this continue to stabilize and enhance the Canadian economy, they demonstrate the Government’s commitment to all Canadians from coast to coast.”

However, Canada’s Building Trades Unions voiced that they are very concerned about the unintended, negative consequences of Bill C-377, which endangers the ability of Canadian workers to participate in large-scale nation building energy and resource projects. They noted that Bill C-377 actually duplicates processes that are already in place to provide accountability, and transparency for workers and would create an expanded, expensive, and redundant bureaucracy.

“A delicate balance has been reached in labour relations in the private sector, especially as it relates to the construction or large energy projects.  Unions, contractors and energy producers have already found solutions to problems which plague many other sectors – and the cost implications created by Bill 377 will upset that balance,” Blakely said.

“We are private sector unions. Unlike charities and political parties, we receive no public subsidies or public monies,” said Blakely, “The Harper government is taking many right steps to help create and protect jobs for Canadian workers. Bill C-377 will undermine all of the positive results that the Harper government is delivering for Canadian workers.”  He added, “it would be a shame to take steps backwards, when what we need is every foot forward.”

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