Letter regarding Enbridge Gas Reduction in Shifts

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Wide view of two curved office towers and a dome that comprise Toronto City Hall with a fountain in the foreground

Her Worship Olivia Chow
Mayor, City of Toronto

Dear Mayor Chow,

Re: Enbridge Gas Reduction in Shifts (SM35669)

Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, is writing to express our concern regarding proposed cuts by Enbridge Gas that may negatively affect the safety and increase costs for residents of Toronto.

There are two issues affecting Toronto:

  1. Enbridge Gas in Toronto is planning to eliminate essential evening, night, and weekend shifts responsible for emergency response to gas leaks.
  2. Enbridge Gas intends to reduce compliance testing due to a lack of workers.

Unifor is concerned that these decisions undermine the integrity of their gas infrastructure and pose a risk to public safety.

Gas leaks and emergencies do not happen exclusively in the daytime, and a timely response from trained gas workers is crucial at all hours. Eliminating evening and overnight shifts will allow gas to blow uncontrolled or leak below ground for significantly longer periods of time, increasing the risk of explosions. The expected resulting slower response from qualified gas workers will put strain on the fire services who have to secure affected areas for much longer periods of time.

Unifor members at Enbridge Gas are the sole personnel trained to respond and fix emergency gas leaks. However, with increased contracting out at the company, there are not enough workers to cover shifts, including workers on call.

The absence of overnight shifts will necessitate increased reliance on emergency services, delaying critical intervention, increasing risk of gas incidents, putting the public at risk.

In addition, the reduction of compliance work will undoubtedly increase the risk of undetected faults and methane leaks. The decision to eliminate the afternoon and night shifts and reduction of compliance is in contrast with Enbridge’s public facing commitments to ensuring public safety.

Unifor’s gas members are committed to ensuring gas infrastructure is safe and reduces climate affecting methane leaks. To this end, our union will be launching a national campaign to stop methane leaks and ensure our utilities are providing safe and modern gas infrastructure for Canadians.

Unifor’s gas workers urge you to review any existing contracts between the City of Toronto and Enbridge Gas where it compliments provincial regulations related to maintaining a safe gas infrastructure.


Lana Payne
National President