Canada’s Building Trades Unions call on Federal Government to Support Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

Sep 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on considerable challenges to the Canadian economy. One of the areas that needs urgent support, is the oil and gas industry, specifically the offshore oil and gas industry.

“Many of our members work directly and indirectly in this sector; a sector that not only meets Canada’s growing energy needs but provides an economic base for our Atlantic provinces,” said Sean Strickland, Executive Director, Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “Large scale projects, like energy projects, employ the greatest number of tradespeople from a variety of disciplines in the construction sector, providing an avenue for workers within the trades to utilize and further develop their skills and training. These larger projects allow for the training of apprentices and improvements to communities through direct and indirect benefits. The boost that local communities receive from large scale projects helps them to become resilient and less vulnerable to crises, in the present and in the future. Investing in the oil and gas industry will have a positive, widespread impact not only on Atlantic Canada but across the country.”

Many countries, including Norway and Britain, have provided incentives to offshore oil and gas, putting the Canadian industry at a competitive disadvantage. We recognize the role this industry plays in not only employing our members, but supporting the Canadian economy.
Husky Energy’s recent decision to review the West White Rose project and its role in Canada’s offshore underscores the need for urgent action. A direct equity investment by government in the project should be seriously considered. This investment would immediately put more than 1500 of our members back to work, preserve existing jobs and spinoffs, create new jobs, and generate billions in government revenues.

It also supports government and industry ambitions to achieve net zero by 2050 by developing low carbon intensity oil. The West White Rose project has the potential to be Canada’s first net zero platform, largely through optimization of the SeaRose FPSO production vessel.

“On behalf of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, we are requesting and urge the Government of Canada to take action to support the oil and gas sector through incentives and direct investment for offshore exploration and development projects to keep the industry globally competitive; support that must be tied to local benefits, helping thousands of people get back to work,” stated Strickland.