CBTU responds to Teck’s decision to withdraw from Alberta Frontier Project
By Kavita Sabharwal-Chomiuk
According to the statement, “despite the company’s significant investment in the project the combination of changing market conditions, uncertainty in Canada’s investment environment and public safety concerns have unfortunately impacted the viability of the project.”
If continued, the Frontier Project would have created upwards of 7,000 high-paying, full-time construction jobs over the course of construction, with 2,500 jobs retained during ongoing operations, according to the statement. CBTU says the project presented a fantastic opportunity for young people starting a career in the trades, to help them develop their skills in the industry.
“Local communities across Alberta, including First Nations and Métis communities, would have seen significant new economic opportunities become available with the employment of local people from their communities,” said Lionel Railton, executive board member, Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “This would have had a huge, positive impact on Alberta at a time when the province has been struggling to find employment for its people and struggling to return to the economic prosperity it had prior to the start of its economic recession six years ago.”
The Frontier Project had already undergone extensive review by federal and provincial regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous communities. Teck had reached agreements with all 14 Indigenous communities in the project area, which CBTU says set out a framework for cooperation with environmental stewardship and economic opportunities. In addition, the company was committed to environmental responsibility, aiming to make the Frontier Project Canada’s lowest greenhouse gas-intense oil sands operation by using leading technologies and best practices.
However, despite the effort put forth by Teck, CBTU says “the project has ultimately faced too many hurdles for the company to consider it viable. While it may not be possible to control all economic variables involved, the Government of Canada can control and has a duty to ensure that the investment environment for major projects is positive.”
CBTU went on to add, “the Federal Government must show its support for our natural resources sector clearly and decisively. We believe the Federal Government should and must continue to have a role in approving major projects, such as this one, and must show companies and workers in the natural resources sector that it supports them.”