OTTAWA, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - Canada's major oil sector union has called for the resignation of Conservative Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis over his remarks promoting Canadian bitumen exports to US businessmen because it will creates hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans.
"Mr. Paradis clearly fails to understand his responsibility to Canadians and Quebecois. His job is to ensure that our natural resources create jobs for Canadians, not Americans," says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
"The Conservative government has ignored our arguments for five years that the export of raw bitumen also exported thousands of jobs to the United States, and now we find that Conservative ministers were in the United States making the same argument to get American support for the XL pipeline.
"All this was taking place at the same time as Shell was closing its Montreal refinery in order to import gasoline from Europe. The La Presse report reveals the spectacle of a Quebec minister telling Americans that our resources will create jobs for them, while refineries are closing in Quebec and Quebecers are forced to rely on imported gasoline.
"Mr. Paradis has no credibility as Natural Resources minister. He should resign."
Coles was reacting to a La Presse report based on freedom of information disclosures that Paradis told Illinois businessmen last summer that the XL bitumen pipeline would create 342,000 jobs in the United States.
CEP has opposed raw bitumen exports and has consistently called on the Canadian government to require oil sands producers to upgrade bitumen in Canada.
CEP has also argued that the closure of Shell's Montreal refinery is a result of the failure of the Canadian government to require that Alberta bitumen and synthetic oil be made available to Eastern Canada for upgrading and refining.
For further information: For further information:
Dave Coles, 613 299-5628