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Unifor Says Pipeline Expansion Is Short-Sighted

TORONTO, May 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor is disappointed with the National Energy Board's (NEB) short-sighted decision to support the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, one that poses risks for the economy, Canadian jobs, and food security.

"The Kinder Morgan expansion project is all risk and no gain for the public or our environment," said Joie Warnock, Unifor's Western Director. "Despite applying conditions for approval, in the absence of any realistic, enforceable regulations, the NEB failed to consider the very serious risks a project of this magnitude has for residents and our economy."

Over the past year, Unifor called on the NEB to reject the Kinder Morgan expansion project expansion citing it was not in the public's interest. Unifor supports regulated, sustainable development of the oil sands. "This expansion is about foreign companies dictating over our future and Canadian jobs; it's a classic case of foreign profits winning over our jobs and the public's interest," said Warnock.

The National Energy Board released its decision on Kinder Morgan's plan to triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline. Unifor provided its own evidence last May to indicate that the expansion of the existing pipeline will only serve to harm the ability of securing domestic energy supply by favouring exports. Further, Unifor is concerned about the pipeline's proposed path near the Fraser River which generates unacceptable risk of a spill that could be catastrophic to the commercial fishery.

Unifor contends that a well-managed petroleum industry can provide good, stable jobs and create wealth for producing communities and all Canadians. This is a key concern especially given the recent fire in Fort McMurray and the need for non-renewable resources to translate into overall employment and income as soon as possible. In the absence of any realistic, enforceable regulations Unifor indicated that the NEB failed to consider the very serious risks a project of this magnitude has for residents and our economy. "The NEB should have put our community, and the environment first, instead this is a helter skelter approach to expansion and with only exacerbate problems that have already been created that risk the kind of sustainable future, jobs and type of economy we want and need in Canada," said Warnock.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.