Statement by the Coalition of Building Trades Unions in Support of Line 5

The Coalition of Building Trades Unions in Support of Line 5 released the following statement after the Government of Canada invoked the 1977 Treaty (Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Transit Pipelines):

“The Coalition of Building Trades Unions in Support of Line 5 appreciate the action taken by the Government of Canada to protect good, middle-class jobs. By invoking the 1977 Treaty, the Government of Canada has created a way for the federal governments in Canada and the US to negotiation on this bilateral issue directly. 

This move shows a willingness to stand up for good jobs – jobs that are at risk should the easement on Line 5 get revoked.” 

Job Facts

  • Line 5, via Enbridge’s Line 9, is essential to maintaining the petrochemical industry in Montreal’s East End — which employs about 3,600 workers.
  • It is estimated that a Line 5 shutdown would result in 4,900 jobs lost at the Sarnia Petrochemical Manufacturing Complex. An additional, 23,500 jobs in the Sarnia region (one third of the jobs in the region) are indirectly threatened due to the possible shutdown of Line 5.
  • Toledo Refining Co. estimates that a permanent closure of the pipeline would shutter the refinery and its 550 jobs. There is also a potential loss of 1,000 northwest Ohio refinery jobs if Line 5 is shutdown.

Regional Quotes

“Canada’s Building Trades Unions are fully in support of the Government of Canada’s actions to ensure the safe and continued operation of Enbridge’s Line 5 to protect thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.” 

– Sean Strickland, Executive Director, Canada’s Building Trades Unions

“Shutting down Line 5 would impact every day Canadians from increases in consumer costs, to devastating job losses. We are proud to see the Canadian Government stand up for workers and do whatever it takes to save Line 5.” 

– Patrick Dillon, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

“Hundreds of good paying, union jobs will be at risk in Ohio if the easement for Line 5 in Michigan is revoked. We need the US and Canadian governments to work together to support workers and save Line 5.” 

– Mike Knisley, Secretary Treasurer of the Ohio State Building Trades Council

“Line 5 delivers fuel and energy to Michiganders, heating their homes and powering their vehicles, and supports thousands of good-paying jobs that families rely on within our state and beyond. We can’t let this vital project that we have relied on for nearly 70-years be shut down.” 

– Steve Claywell, President of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council

Media Contact

Kate Walsh  kwalsh@buildingtrades.ca 613.298.0652

About the Coalition

The Coalition of Building Trades Unions in Support of Line 5 include representatives from Canada’s Building Trades Unions, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades of Ontario, Quebec Building Trades, Ohio State Building, and Construction Trades Council and the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. Formed in response to the State of Michigan’s notice of termination of Line 5’s 1953 easement, the Coalition advocates for the safe, continued operation of Line 5 to protect good, middle-class jobs and energy and economic security on both sides of the border. 

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