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ECONOMIC RECONCILIATION IS A PRIORITY AT ENBRIDGE

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ECONOMIC RECONCILIATION IS A PRIORITY AT ENBRIDGE

Building and maintaining relationships with Indigenous nations and groups over the lifecycle of our assets is essential to Enbridge’s continued success as a leading North American energy delivery company. An important part of how we do business is to work with Indigenous communities to help increase their capacity to participate economically in our projects and operations. Economic engagement ranges from providing training and employment opportunities that build transferrable skills, to the procurement of goods and services from Indigenous businesses. To tap into Indigenous communities’ growing capacity and desire to participate in contracting and employment opportunities, Enbridge has adopted a supply chain process that requires prospective contractors to include detailed Socio-Economic Plans that outline how they will include local Indigenous communities and businesses in their work for Enbridge’s projects and operations. This approach exemplifies our desire to build long-term relationships which create value for both Indigenous communities and our business.

Enbridge has long recognized that hiring Indigenous businesses supports local employment, gives us the opportunity to understand available services and talent, and helps build trust and relationships. We also appreciate the important contribution that Indigenous businesses make each year to the overall economy.

In 2019, we marked a major milestone, surpassing $1 billion in Indigenous spending since 2011 across our Liquids Pipelines and Gas Transmission businesses. This includes direct spend with Indigenous businesses as well as subcontracting opportunities for Indigenous businesses, suppliers and wages paid to Indigenous workers from our contractors.

Our Line 3 pipeline replacement project (L3RP) is an excellent example of how our supply chain is delivering on our commitment to maximize Indigenous participation. This supports our efforts to advance economic reconciliation in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #92.

At $5.3 billion for the Canadian segment alone, the L3RP was the largest capital project in Enbridge’s history. It also represented our largest and most successful community engagement effort – including more than 150 Indigenous communities from as far as 300 kilometres from the pipeline right of way.

As of late September 2019, Indigenous spending on the L3RP totaled approximately $440 million for contracting and wages, while more than 1,100 Indigenous men and women were employed on project construction, representing approximately 20% of the overall workforce.

Indigenous monitors provided environmental and cultural perspective to the project construction team.

“The economic benefits flowing to Indigenous communities from Line 3 pipeline construction are no accident or happy coincidence,” says Enbridge’s Dave Lawson, Vice President of Major Projects. “Rather, they are the direct result of our comprehensive and proactive engagement program and the joint commitments between Enbridge and numerous Indigenous communities and groups.”

The leaders of several First Nations located along the Line 3 route note that “this economic stimulus benefited more than just the workers, it benefited the families and the Nations we represent.” They worked with Enbridge and “found ways to ensure environmental protections, and ways to secure tangible economic benefits and career development commitments for the indigenous people we represent. Enbridge listened and we believe this project has been a success for our people.”

Another community benefitting from the L3RP was the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF). David Chartrand, President of the MMF says, “In order to work on a pipeline you have to have certification, so we got our people all ready and trained a year before the pipeline went in. We were ahead of the game.”

“I can honestly say,” he adds, “that this is one of the true success stories that we can probably talk about. Enbridge has got a blueprint for other companies if they want to use it.”

This focus on engagement and inclusion led to 58 cooperative project agreements with Enbridge, representing the participation of 95 Indigenous communities or groups.

“From the outset, we made a concerted effort to ensure Indigenous communities understood our project, specifically how they might participate and benefit economically,” explains Kim Brenneis, Director of Community and Indigenous Engagement. “I think the positive results we’ve seen speak to Enbridge’s strong commitment to inclusion as well as to building mutually-beneficial relationships with Indigenous nations.”

Beyond successful engagement, there are three major reasons for the strong Indigenous project participation and spending profile, explains Barry Horon, Director of Supply Chain Management for Projects.

“First, we worked with Indigenous communities to help create the capacity needed to participate in meaningful pipeline contracting and employment opportunities; second, Enbridge adopted a proactive supply chain process that, among other initiatives, required prospective contractors to include detailed Indigenous participation plans in their bids; and third, we implemented a labour strategy to enhance connections between Indigenous job seekers and our primary construction contractors through an online portal and the use of Indigenous labour brokers,” says Horon.

Indigenous men and women, such as Kara Pooyak of Sweetgrass First Nation, made up 20% of the Line 3 construction workforce.

Included in the Indigenous workforce were 27 construction monitor and nine liaison positions that provided both Indigenous perspectives and advice to the Line 3 project team. This helped to ensure that Enbridge’s environmental mitigation strategies – which were approved by the National Energy Board – were implemented during construction.

Another key component of the labour strategy was the now-completed Line 3 Pipeline 101 training-to-employment program. Over three years, more than 260 Indigenous men and women graduated from the program, many of whom have secured work on the L3RP.

Justin McKinney of Swan Lake First Nation is building a career in pipelining, thanks to training and mentorship he received during the Line 3 project.

Our experience with the L3RP led to an assessment of how Enbridge’s Indigenous engagement practices had evolved over the past few years. An outcome of this process was the introduction, in 2019, of our Indigenous Lifecycle Engagement Framework, which now guides our approach to building and sustaining long-term relationships across our business going forward, including for enhancing Indigenous economic participation in our projects and operation.

The framework was shared with several Indigenous nations in Canada. We are now incorporating their feedback into our planning and we will continue to seek to seek their input to ensure that our approach remains in step with their interests and goals.

Thanks to Todayville for helping us bring our members’ stories of collaboration and innovation to the public.

Click to read a foreward from JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

JP Gladu, Chief Development and Relations Officer, Steel River Group; Former President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Click to read comments about this series from Jacob Irving, President of the Energy Council of Canada.

Jacob Irving, President of Energy Council of Canada

The Canadian Energy Compendium is an annual initiative by the Energy Council of Canada to provide an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration and discussion on current topics in Canada’s energy sector.  The 2020 Canadian Energy Compendium: Innovations in Energy Efficiency is due to be released November 2020.

 

Click below to read more stories from Energy Council of Canada’s Compendium series.

Read more on Todayville.

PETER SUTHERLAND SR GENERATING STATION POWERS NORTHEAST ONTARIO

COASTAL GASLINK PIPELINE PROJECT SETS NEW STANDARD WITH UNPRECEDENTED INDIGENOUS SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION

The Energy Council of Canada brings together a diverse body of members, including voices from all energy industries, associations, and levels of government within Canada. We foster dialogue, strategic thinking, collaboration, and action by bringing together senior energy executives from all industries in the public and private sectors to address national, continental, and international energy issues.

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Alberta

WestJet to reintroduce Boeing 737 Max today in flight from Calgary to Vancouver

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CALGARY — WestJet Airlines will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes.

Transport Canada lifted its grounding order for the Max on Wednesday after approving design changes to the plane and requiring pilots to undergo additional training.

WestJet executives will hold a press conference after the morning flight between Calgary and Vancouver.

The event is part of a campaign to reintroduce the Max to service while assuring the public that the plane’s safety issues have been addressed.

Air Canada is expected to follow suit on Feb. 1.

Air Canada has already said it will offer passengers booked on a Max the option of changing their flight at no extra charge.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

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Coal mining is already having an impact in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes.

“They’ve been very active up there,” said Kevin Van Tighem, who lives near one of the areas now heavily leased for coal exploration. 

The United Conservative government’s decision to revoke a policy that had protected the eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976 has convulsed the province. 

Petitions opposing the move have gathered more than 100,000 signatures. Popular Alberta entertainment figures have come out against it and area ranchers and First Nations are trying to force a judicial review of the decision. 

Documents from the Alberta Energy Regulator show that permission has already been granted for hundreds of drill sites and kilometres of roads threading through critical wildlife habitat and land previously untouched by mining. 

“The day after the coal policy was rescinded we started seeing applications for exploration,” said Katie Morrison of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

“Before we’ve done any real assessments of the impacts, we’re seeing these companies have some potential pretty big impacts on that land.”

Documents filed with the regulator give some sense of what’s already been permitted.

Cabin Ridge Coal, operating 50 kilometres north of Coleman, Alta., is putting in 197 drill sites on land once protected by the coal policy. 

It plans 15 new access roads and 19 “reactivated” roads — abandoned for decades and now being refurbished. The exploration plans require nine new stream crossings.

Elan Coal, north of Blairmore, Alta., has been permitted for 456 drill sites that include 66 kilometres of new roads and 29 kilometres of reactivated roads. 

Montem Resources, active south of Coleman, has the OK for 71 drill sites with an unspecified length of “new and existing access.”

Almost all of the drill sites are on grizzly bear range. Mountain goat and sheep habitat will be affected. 

Company plans detail how environmental impacts are to be reduced by careful construction and timing work for when it will cause the least disruption. They suggest the amount of land directly disturbed will be small — less than 100 hectares for Cabin Ridge.

That’s not the whole story, said Van Tighem, a former chief superintendent of Banff National Park.

Wildlife steer clear of active roads and drill sites by up to 500 metres, he said. Roads cut into hillsides — no matter how well built — are “erosion traps” and roads that run uphill are “sluiceways” for run-off that would normally feed streams, he said. 

Mitigation measures aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, he added.

“They’re not ever as good as (companies) promise and not as consistently applied as the government would lead us to believe.”

Morrison points out that at least twice since the coal policy was revoked, companies have asked for exemptions to rules that prevented them from operating during sensitive times for wildlife. 

“Both exemptions were applied for, granted and work started within a day or two,” she said. “That doesn’t scream rigour to me as far as decreasing impact.”

Peter Brodsky, spokesman for Energy Minister Sonya Savage, said the government takes public concern seriously. This week, it paused all lease sales on formerly protected land and cancelled a small number of them, refunding $80,000.

“The department will be working with Alberta Environment to determine next steps to best address the concerns that have been raised,” he said in an email.

“We will not choose between protecting the land for future generations and providing economic opportunities. We need to — and will — do both, in a measured and environmentally responsible way.”

Area rancher Gordon Cartwright looks up into the hills on his neighbour’s land and recalls what a geologist told him last summer about what his neck of the foothills looks like.

“He said, with the intensity of the operations and the drilling, it looked more like mining preparation than exploration,” Cartwright said.

“That activity’s pretty damaging. A lot of these soils are highly susceptible to erosion and are hard to revegetate.

“You would have thought consultation would have happened before you start opening up the country and creating that kind of disturbance.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021.

— Follow @row1960 on Twitter

Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

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