In January, Building Trades of Alberta sent a letter to Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson in a bid to get Teck’s Frontier oils sands project approved.
The project’s proposed location is north of Fort McKay and would be a boon for the economy, which was pointed out in the letter. Also mentioned are the industry-exceeding environmental provisions in place, and the vast amount of consulting and planning that has gone into the project.
“The construction of this mega project is expected to provide up to 7,000 jobs. When it’s complete, the day-to-day operations of Frontier will employ around 2,500 people within its 41-year life span,” explained Building Trades of Alberta executive director Terry Parker. “This has the potential to be an economic game changer for Alberta and the country, not only in employment, but in revenue generated for the provincial and federal governments.”
Current data states that about $70 billion in government revenues are expected from Frontier, with approximately $55 billion in provincial royalties and taxes, and an additional $12 billion in federal income and capital taxes.
Parker continued, “Moreover, consultations that have taken place for the past decade have ensured strict environmental standards and protections will be in place, and communities are engaged.”
Based on the recent agreements that now exist between Teck and 14 Indigenous communities around the project area, it is clear that Teck not only took their task of consulting seriously, but they were also clearly successful in their efforts.
“A report of the Joint Review Panel released last summer determined the project is in the public interest and now it’s up to Minister Wilkinson to approve the job-creating project,” said Parker at the time of the press release. He then added, “We’re hopeful he will do the right thing and move Frontier forward.”
In a boom and bust economy like Alberta, which has been in a drawn out, slow bust cycle, a major project of this nature has what the province needs to re-fire the oil and gas sector. The final decision on the project was slated for the first quarter of 2020.
Building Trades of Alberta represents 18 union locals and more than 60,000 skilled trades people in the residential, commercial and industrial construction, maintenance, and fabrication industries. The organization strives to promote a safe industry; influence legislation, regulation, and government sentiment toward organized labour; create and participate in alliances and partnerships with owners and contractors; participate in boards, associations, committees and other industry groups;
develop programs that support under-represented groups in the trades and develop programs that highlight the value of unionized labour in order to help create more work opportunities for its members.
Those interested in learning more about Building Trades of Alberta can visit bta.ca online, @BuildingTradesAlberta on Facebook, and @BuildingTradeAB on Twitter. The organization is also active on YouTube.