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Alberta

Tens of thousands of jobs set after Keystone XL makes deal with U.S. Unions

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From TC Energy

Keystone XL Announces Project Labor Agreement with Four U.S. Unions

Creates Multi-Million Dollar Training Program for Renewable Energy Sector

TC Energy Corporation (TSX, NYSE: TRP) (TC Energy) announced today that Keystone XL has reached a project labor agreement (PLA) with four leading U.S. labor unions that will inject hundreds of millions of dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy, while ensuring this pipeline will be built by the highest-skilled and highest-trained workforce.

TC Energy is also working with labor to establish a unique Green Jobs Training Program to help union members acquire the specific skills needed to work in the developing renewable energy sector. The company will contribute approximately $10 million, recognizing the 10 million-plus hours anticipated to be worked on Keystone XL by union workers, to establish new training courses for current and future union members in North America.

“We are proud to partner with these union trades and craft workers to ensure this pipeline will be built by qualified professionals with specialized skills to the highest safety and quality standards,” said Richard Prior, President of Keystone XL. “We are especially proud of the new Green Jobs Training Program, which is an investment in thousands of current and future union workers.”

The four unions that are part of the PLA include the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. Each union is respected throughout the energy industry for their commitment to safety and quality.

“We’re proud to reach today’s agreement with TC Energy that will put UA members to work on this project, bringing safe and efficient energy to American families,” said Mark McManus, General President of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA). “This project will bring good paying jobs to our members, all while keeping energy costs low and delivering a boost to local communities and their economies. We’re ready to get to work.”

Project construction will support the creation of 42,000 family-sustaining jobs in the U.S, including more than 10,000 high-paying construction jobs that will be filled primarily by union workers. Keystone XL pipeline construction will generate $2 billion in earnings for U.S. workers, according to the 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement done by the U.S. State Department.

“Unions working in the pipeline industry, like the Operating Engineers, pride themselves on achieving the highest level of technical training and safety to earn opportunities to build projects like Keystone XL,” said James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers. “When our members build and maintain pipelines, they are built right, built safe, and built to last. North America is in desperate need of more modern, safe and efficient energy infrastructure. Operating Engineers will continue to provide the most advanced training in the industry to ensure that these projects are built to the highest safety and environmental standards by the most skilled workforce possible.”

The agreement also underscores TC Energy’s commitment to hire as many local workers as possible, including Indigenous workers. Under the agreement, the unions will hire a tribal consultant to serve as a liaison, reaching out with job fairs and open houses to identify and support Indigenous members seeking to work on this project.

“The Keystone XL pipeline project will put thousands of Americans, including Teamsters, to work in good union jobs that will support working families,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “We believe in supporting projects which prioritize the creation of good jobs through much-needed infrastructure development.”

Keystone XL will create jobs and energy security in North America, by ensuring a reliable source of crude oil to the United States. Construction of Keystone XL will inject approximately $3.4 billion into the U.S. GDP. Once complete, Keystone XL will continue to contribute to the local economy, adding approximately $55 million in property taxes to local communities in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska during the first year of operation.

For additional information on the project, visit Keystone-XL.com

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Alberta

Alberta’s top health official says province isn’t in a second wave of COVID-19

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says the province is not in a second wave of COVID-19 despite increased daily case numbers in recent weeks.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says some provinces may have determined they’re in a second onslaught of the pandemic, but that’s not the case in Alberta where the numbers are ‘”relatively stable.”

She says there would have to be a huge spike in infections and the future at the moment remains in the hands of the public.

Hinshaw says the number of cases in five- to 19-year-olds peaked in April at the height of the pandemic, and since the current school year began infections in that group have been dropping on a weekly basis.

Alberta has recorded 158 more cases and one additional death, and  alerts or outbreaks have been reported in 97 schools.

Hinshaw isn’t calling on Albertans to cancel Thanksgiving, but adds gatherings shouldn’t exceed 15 people and those invited should be part of a family’s usual cohort.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta to review concerns of four mayors who oppose 911 EMS dispatch consolidation

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister says he will review the concerns of four mayors who say the government’s plan to consolidate 911 emergency medical service dispatch services will put lives at risk. 

Tyler Shandro met Thursday with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Red Deer’s Tara Veer, Lethbridge’s Chris Spearman and Mayor Don Scott of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.  

The mayors have been lobbying hard against the change, which the province says would save money and make the EMS dispatch service more efficient.  

Nenshi says 911 dispatch should be operated at the municipal level because local knowledge and integration with fire services can’t be overlooked if safety is the top priority.  

Veer, Spearman and Scott say the meeting shows Shandro is willing to seek out additional information from municipalities to understand the effect consolidation would have on local patients, and they hope the province will come to the conclusion that it does not make sense to change the system.  

Shandro says it was a good meeting and he will consider what the mayors have told him.  

“I think consolidating ambulance dispatch into AHS makes sense. It will make the system work better and save money that we’ll reinvest in the health system,” Shandro said Thursday in an email.  

“Most importantly, the evidence I’ve seen shows it won’t change response times or cause delays for ambulances or other first responders. But I respect the mayors’ concerns and the information they shared, and I committed to them that we’ll review their concerns and get back to them before the transition begins.”  

The fire chiefs of the four municipalities also attended the meeting.  

Alberta Health Services says it has three EMS dispatch centres in Calgary, Edmonton and Slave Lake that currently dispatch ambulances for 60 per cent of the province’s population and cover most of the province’s geographic area. The government announced the plan to consolidate the dispatch service last month.  

At the time, the four mayors said they were blindsided by the decision and said it would put the lives of their residents at risk.   

The mayors then asked for a meeting with Shandro and called on Premier Jason Kenney to reverse the decision.   

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020

The Canadian Press

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