Keystone XL Pipeline delay means certain negative job impacts in Canada
OTTAWA, Nov. 17, 2011 /CNW/ - Speaking on behalf of Canada's 14 construction unions and its nearly half a million members Robert Blakely said "we unreservedly and wholeheartedly support TransCanada Pipeline and its Keystone XL Project. This project does more then merely create some short term pipeline construction jobs."
The Canadian Building Trades clearly understands that Keystone XL will create longer term employment in both Canada and the United States in refinery conversion projects, operations and maintenance. Moreover these jobs will keep an enormous amount of money circulating within North America. Energy security for North America comes from developing the oilsands and other Canadian energy projects.
Joseph Maloney, Chairman, Canadian Executive Board, and International Vice President for the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers remarked "jobs in Canada's oilsands are vital to North America. They support our standard of living and to be blunt, what is better for the North American economy, to support the United States and Canada or to support unfriendly foreign regimes??"
The Canadian Building Trades supports the development of the oilsands and sees Keystone as integral to future growth. The delays in Keystone puts into question this future growth; the oil that goes into Keystone needs to be produced and such production needs to move to a ready market. You can not simply stockpile it and wait for tomorrow.
Blakely stated "we, the Building Trades, are concerned about jobs today but we, as Canadians, need to be concerned about getting young people into Canada's skilled trades. Uncertainty about energy jobs means uncertainty in work force planning and significant downturns in apprenticeship opportunities. We have been there before and it has cost both the taxpayer and the ultimate purchasers of the goods that are produced in the plants we built dearly when a skilled workforce has not been available. You can not produce a workforce, in the numbers required, unless you have certainty of employment.
The Canadian Building Trades are the largest private trainers in Canada maintaining a coast to coast to coast training infrastructure worth more than $650 million dollars and spending about $200 million dollars on industry training annually. The opportunities to be trained in Canada's skilled trades, for the energy sector, ought not to be lost.
For further information:
Robert R. Blakely
Director of Canadian Affairs