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Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Means Jobs for Skilled Trades Union Workers

Posted by on in Building Trades of Alberta
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Yesterday, July 22, 2018, the deadline passed to identify a new owner for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. As a result, the Canadian government is set to become the official owner of the pipeline.

The investment of $4.5 billion means that construction will move forward. What does it mean for the average Canadian?

For the skilled trades workers of the BTA’s affiliated unions, construction means high paying skilled trades jobs. For Canada, it means a new nation-building project that will generate important benefits across the country.

Building Trades of Alberta and the Canadian Building Trades Unions have long supported the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Here's what you can do to voice your support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and for jobs going to building trade union members.

  1. Know the benefits that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will mean for the Canadian job market and the economy.
  2. Take action to support this vital nation-building project.


Tell the federal government that you want the most qualified skilled trades workers to complete the Trans Mountain expansion, the skilled trades workers of the BTA.

Terry Parker, Executive Director, BTA

Proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Extension Route



1. Benefits of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

On top of the purchase price, Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will result in a $6.8 to $7.4 billion capital investment in Canada. It is a major nation-building project. It echoes previous nation-building undertakings, from the original construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 19th century to the Trans-Canada Pipeline and St. Lawrence Seaway in the 20th century.

New Jobs

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will:

  • generate 15,000 construction jobs, including thousands of well-paid skilled building trades jobs
  • increase demand for new apprentices
  • provide jobs and training for Aboriginal workers
  • create thousands of spin-off jobs (estimate - 37,000)
  • result in ongoing demand for skilled trades workers in maintenance, extraction facilities, refineries and other facilities, creating jobs that contribute to Canada's economic health.

Remember, according to the CBTU, "Every construction job produces 7 spinoff jobs in other sectors."

Economic Growth

Right now, Canada is losing some $15 billion per year due to low oil prices because the U.S. remains its only customer for oil exports. At a time when the US market is less certain, Trans Mountain becomes doubly important. By transporting raw bitumen to the West coast, the Trans Mountain expansion will

  • open up new markets and better prices for Alberta's shut-in oil
  • increase pipeline capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels
  • unlock new investment in the oil sands and result in $73.5 billion of new oil production over 20 years
  • create new business opportunities for Aboriginal businesses, sub-contractors, suppliers, and vendors.

Government Revenues

Trans Mountain expansion will generate an estimated

  • $46.7 billion in new federal and provincial government tax and royalty revenues
  • $922 million in new BC municipal tax revenues
  • $124 million in Alberta municipal tax revenues.

Environmental Protection

Pipelines are the least costly, most reliable, most secure way of transporting oil and gas while protecting our communities and environment. The expansion has been approved by the National Energy Board following an extensive environmental review. Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will adhere to strict environmental regulations to mitigate environmental impacts and protect

  • farm land
  • wetlands
  • ground water
  • traditional land uses and protected areas
  • air quality at the marine terminal.

2. Steps you can take to support the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Remember, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will create thousands of well paid, middle class jobs for Canadian families and skilled building trades union members. Take action to support this project today.

Did You Know?

The original 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain Pipeline was also built to get Alberta's shut-in oil to new global markets.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Timeline

  • May 2012 Kinder Morgan announces proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline
  • December 2013 - Kinder Morgan applies to the National Energy Board
  • May 19, 2016 National Energy Board recommends conditional approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project
  • November 2016 Ottawa approves the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project
  • January 2017 BC vows to restrict increases in bitumen shipments from Alberta.
  • April 8, 2018, Kinder Morgan stops all non-essential work and related spending due to BC government opposition to the project
  • May 29, 2018 Government of Canada agrees to purchase Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the expansion project for C$4.5 billion if no other buyer is identified by July 22, 2018.
  • Alberta government commits to invest $2 billion once the project makes a profit. In return, the Alberta government will receive equity in the assets or a share of profits.
  • July 22, 2018 - The deadline passes and the Government of Canada is poised to purchase the pipeline, pumping stations, rights of way, and marine terminal in Burnaby, BC.
  • What it means: 
    • Construction will proceed under the ownership of a Crown corporation.
    • 2018 Summer construction jobs are preserved.
    • Assets will later be sold to new owners.
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The Building Trades of Alberta coordinates and promotes the interests of 16 Alberta trade unions whose 75,000 members work in the residential, commercial and industrial construction, maintenance and fabrications industries.

Nationally, Building Trades of Alberta joins the other Provincial Councils that make up Canada's Building Trades Unions. Canada's Building Trades Unions, in turn, is a member of the Building and Construction Trades Department centred in Washington, D.C.


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