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On eve of mediation, Unifor says Line 5 is critical infrastructure for Canada and the U.S.

Worker in overalls and hard hat standing outside of a refinery
April 15, 2021 - 12:00 AM

TORONTO—As the State of Michigan and Enbridge Inc. enter mediation about the Line 5 pipeline, Unifor argues that the pipeline is a safe and stable source of good jobs in Ontario and Québec.

“What the Governor of Michigan has proposed is reckless and irresponsible, for both sides of the border,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, referring to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's campaign promise to revoke Line 5’s easement. “If she thinks repairs are needed, that’s one thing. To boast that she’s going to shut off a pipeline that helps feed the energy needs of three states and four provinces is foolhardy.”

Enbridge estimates that closing Line 5 would result in a supply drop of 45% to the refineries serviced by the line, including those in Sarnia, Nanticoke, and Montreal. The Ontario Minister of Energy has stated that 4,900 jobs in Ontario are "at risk". The repercussions would be felt as far away as Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Governor Whitmer is stuck in yesterday’s all-or-nothing mentality of climate action. We welcome her to join the modern conversation about strict regulation of the energy sector and treating energy workers with respect rather than disdain,” said Dias.

The Canadian government has been steadfast in its support for Line 5.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).