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Jun
2014
23

Canadian Gov’t Approves Northern Gateway Pipeline, Well-Paying Union Jobs On the Way

A photograph of a mock-up model of the Enbridge Northern Gateway (by Canadian Press)

A photograph of a mock-up model of the Enbridge Northern Gateway (by Canadian Press)


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Last week, the Canadian government approved the Northern Gateway project, which will create a pipeline to transport tar sands oil from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.  Among those welcoming the news were Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU), an umbrella organization which in April agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Northern Gateway ensuring union members will take on a significant portion of the workload.  Despite protests from environmentalists and some procedural hurdles, the project is now poised to be a major boon to the region’s economy.  CBTU Chief Operation Officer Bob Blakely described the project’s benefits:

“The Northern Gateway Pipeline will generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue for the Canadian economy,” said Blakely.   “Our members take enormous pride in their work and have the skills to build Northern Gateway to the high environmental and safety standards all Canadians expect.”

In signing the MOU the CBTU guaranteed well-paying jobs will go to Canadian workers.  Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) stemming from the MOU will mandate safety standards and environmental protections, and generate training and apprenticeship opportunities for aboriginal Canadians.

“Working Canadians want a strong economy with good jobs and good paychecks and a clean environment to leave to their kids,” said Blakely. “Northern Gateway meets that high standard.  It has been through the most rigorous environmental review of its kind in Canadian history and it will provide the kind of good jobs that keep communities strong. We live here and we aren’t going to ruin the environment for the sake of a couple of pay cheques!!”

“That’s why Canada’s Building Trades welcome the federal government’s decision and are proud to support Northern Gateway.  It’s good for working people.  It’s good for communities, but most of all it is good for Canada.”

The Northern Gateway pipeline is slated to ship roughly 500,000 barrels of oil per day.  By comparison, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would ship 700,000.

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