OFL denounces Parliament Hill mass arrests of those protesting XL Pipeline

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Furious over today's mass arrests on Parliament Hill, OFL President Sid Ryan is calling on Ontario unions to make opposition to the XL Pipeline a priority and to pressure their MPs to do the same in the House of Commons.

Opposition has been dramatically building in the U.S. and Canada but Prime Minister Harper continues to promote the Alberta Tarsands and the massive bitumen exports to the U.S.

CEP President Dave Coles, a leading national spokesperson on pipeline issues, was one of the first of approximately 200 to be arrested today for a peaceful act of conscience.

"Canadian jobs in upgrading and refining will literally go down the pipe to the U.S. with the 900,000 barrels of unrefined bitumen. Meanwhile, Canadian refineries are closing. We need an energy strategy in this country that deals with the issues of jobs, sustainability, and Canada's energy security," says Coles, noting that most of Eastern Canada relies on imported foreign oil.

Sponsors of today's actions include the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace and the Canada Indigenous Environmental Network all of which are warning the public of the potentially devastating consequences for First Nations communities and for the air, land, water.

"Today's actions on Parliament Hill should be a signal to Prime Minister Harper about the lengths Canadians will go to in order to preserve the integrity of the country and aspirations of its citizens. The labour movement applauds the CEP President's actions today as well as the many others who have demonstrated the urgency of the issue," says Ryan.

The 130,000-members CEP represents more than 35,000 workers in the oil, gas and chemical industry in Ontario, Alberta and several other provinces. The OFL represents one million workers and 54 unions.

SOURCE Ontario Federation of Labour

For further information:

Sid Ryan, OFL President, (416-209-0066 (mobile)
Lynn Simmons, OFL Communications, 416-668-7480 (mobile)
www.OFL.ca  www.Twitter.com/OntarioLabour  www.Facebook.com/OntarioFedLabour

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