Canadian Manufacturing

Unifor says Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion will threaten fish stocks and refining jobs

The union says the project will cut supply to the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, potentially closing it

VANCOUVER—Amalgamated labour union Unifor has filed evidence with the National Energy Board (NEB) that demonstrates Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion poses serious risks to the economy and food security of British Columbia.

The union is especially critical of the threat to the commercial fishery and job losses in the refining industry.

“The Kinder Morgan expansion project is all risk and no gain for British Columbians,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Director. “We’re calling on the NEB to do its job and reject pipeline proposals that aren’t in the public interest.”

This week was the deadline for submissions to the NEB’s Kinder Morgan expansion review process, the objectivity of which has been questioned by many critics. Earlier in May, economist Robyn Allan dropped out of the public review process, calling it “rigged”.

Unifor provided its own evidence that expanding the existing pipeline will harm the supply of product to the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, potentially closing it. Unifor’s submission also warns that the pipeline’s proposed path near the Fraser River generates unacceptable risk of a spill that could be catastrophic to the commercial fishery.

“With the blessing of the NEB, Kinder Morgan made no attempt to explain the impact of the pipeline on Canada’s refining industry, which all evidence suggests will be a disaster for jobs in B.C.,” said Warnock. “No regulatory body acting in Canada’s best interest could approve the Kinder Morgan expansion.”

On May 26 the Tsleil-Waututh Nation declared opposition to the pipeline and published their own report on the dangers to their traditional territory, which includes the Burrard Inlet. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has declared that he would rather get arrested protesting the expansion than see it completed.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers.

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