OTTAWA, Dec. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's Building Trades Unions (CBTU) are both pleased and relieved that the lengthy review process surrounding the Northern Gateway Project (NGP) has successfully concluded.
Speaking on behalf of CBTU, Canadian Director Robert Blakely said: "We are very supportive of the Report of the Joint Review Panel, and we urge that the Governor in Council grant the necessary certificates to allow for construction of the lines. This project is about much more than just a few short-term jobs over a few pipeline seasons; it is about creating another major customer for Canadian oil for the long haul."
In CBTU's view, the NGP and similar pipeline projects are essential to Canada's prosperity on many fronts. They connect high-paying, highly-skilled jobs on the extraction end to equally high-quality jobs on the processing end, including construction and ongoing maintenance. These are sustainable jobs that last the life of the pipeline.
"The conditions set out by the Joint Review Panel are sensible and achievable," said John Telford, Director of Canadian Affairs for the United Association, the union that represents pipefitters, pipewelders and other skilled trades that construct these facilities. "We know that the NGP can be built safely, because we work on these jobs. Our contractors achieve absolutely world-class results in terms of quality and safety."
In addressing the environmental issues, James Murphy, Canadian Director of the International Union of Operating Engineers—the tradespersons who operate the heavy equipment on the pipeline right-of-way—stated: "The Joint Review Panel got it right, by laying out a pathway to protect the environment while strengthening the Canadian economy at the same time. We build the pipelines in Canada, with highly-skilled and trained tradespeople—safety and environmental considerations always come first. When we pass through an area to install the pipe, we are respectful of the landscape and communities along the way. When the line becomes operational, our members maintain and upgrade it over its life to prevent accidents. Canadians can be rest assured that that the Northern Gateway Pipeline will be built to the highest safety and environmental standards."
Mr. Blakely concluded, "We are glad that this hurdle is now crossed. We will continue to express our support for NGP, Keystone XL, Energy East and similar projects that will allow Western Canadian oil to flow to new markets, reduce Canadian dependence on foreign oil, and create long-term skilled trades jobs across our nation."
Canada's Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 building and construction unions that represent a membership of more than 500,000 skilled tradespeople across Canada.
SOURCE: Canada's Building Trades Unions (CBTU)
For further information:
Robert R. Blakely, Canadian Director, CBTU, at (613) 236-0653 or at [email protected]