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Environmental coalition in Manitoba opposes Energy East pipeline – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 8, 2014 22:47

WINNIPEG _ A coalition of environmentalists say it’s a myth that there are more jobs in the oilsands than in clean energy.

The Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition held a news conference Monday to express opposition to the Energy East pipeline, a TransCanada project up for review by the National Energy Board.

Coalition spokesman Alex Paterson says Clean Energy Canada’s 2014 report found there were 23,700 direct clean-energy sector jobs in 2012 compared with 22,340 direct oilsands jobs.

TransCanada’s website says about 14,000 full-time jobs will be created during the construction of the Energy East project.

It would see the conversion of natural gas lines so oil can be shipped from the west to eastern refineries.

TransCanada says after construction is complete, the pipeline will sustain nearly 900 full-time jobs per year directly related to the pipeline’s operations.

“This all comes down to a political decision,” Paterson said. “It represents the interests of the oil industry taking precedent over rational and compassionate planning of our future by the human community in Manitoba.”

“We acknowledge that renewable energy is part of the mix,” said TransCanada spokesman Tim Duboyce. “But you can’t just end the use of oil, it serves a lot of purposes like our iPhones, winter jackets and parts in your car.”

TransCanada also noted it will increase aboriginal hiring _ both training individual aboriginal employees and giving aboriginal companies the opportunity to construct new facilities and maintain existing ones.

“It’s critical,” Duboyce said of hiring aboriginal peoples and companies. “It’s a commitment we’ve made to have conversations with First Nations and Metis leadership about that. If the pipeline is going across sacred land we need to take that into consideration.”

“We’ve seen propaganda about jobs for First Nations people,” said First Nations women’s activist Chickadee Richards. “The Indian Act has been compliant and kept us in a fear state. So when they put jobs out there and say, `this is a job for you people,’ those things don’t last.”

(Winnipeg Free Press)


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