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