May 27, 2015, the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) publicly endorsed the Energy East Pipeline Project. Why? Because of the job opportunities this ambitious energy transport infrastructure project will create in a province where continued out migration of its young people is a major concern.
UMNB, which represents 60 municipalities from all parts of the province, joins a group of 17 individual New Brunswick municipalities that have already passed resolutions in support of Energy East, and former Saint John Mayor Mel Norton who has backed the project since its announcement in 2013.
“Our organization must look at the whole picture when it comes to economic development, keeping in mind the positive implications which can occur for our members while ensuring that the project is done in a safe, reliable, environmentally sustainable manner,” UMNB President Arthur Slipp, the mayor of Woodstock, a town of 5,000 people located 100 km west of Fredericton.
The Energy East Pipeline project is expected to support more than 3,771 full-time direct and spin-off jobs during its development and construction phase. We are already working on the ground with labour unions to help develop a pool of skilled workers who will be shovel-ready when the project obtains regulatory approval.
TransCanada has donated sections of 42-inch-diametre pipe – the same that will be used to build Energy East – to union Locals in Miramichi and Saint John so they can train skilled journeymen in various pipeline trades such as welding, coating, sandblasting, hoisting or cribbing. This will help hard-working men and women find jobs locally rather than leave their homes to seek opportunities out West.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The project will have a trickle-down effect on the local economy. TransCanada has already invested more than $42 million with local businesses in New Brunswick on the project such as engineering, geotechnical analysis, surveying and translation. Energy East will spur activity for truck companies, hotels, restaurant, clothes stores, banks, IT service suppliers, to name just a few, and of course the Port of Saint John where we will be building a marine terminal with our partner Irving Oil Limited.
“We believe it’s important that we rally together as a province, and make the argument that this is a project our province needs and wants in order to thrive,” said Chairman Peter Gaulton and CEO Jim Quinn from Port of Saint John, one of the biggest employers in the city. “At Port Saint John, the main benefit will be seen once construction is complete, with increased shipping activity to and from our facilities.”
TransCanada welcomes this support and the trust that so many of the local residents, elected officials, landowners and First Nations representatives we have met across the province have expressed that we could deliver a world-class project that will transport the energy we all need, and do it safely.
Premier Brian Gallant pointed out, in a recent open letter to the Moncton Times & Transcript, that New Brunswick was built on developing natural resources and energy projects in a responsible way.
A majority of business owners and decision-makers across the province want this industry to continue to fuel local economic development. This week, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and Ignite Fredericton, a not-for-profit community economic development organization, announced the creation of a task force to search and attract natural resources projects to New Brunswick.
At TransCanada, we want to be part of this success story for New Brunswick. If you do too and want the Energy East Pipeline Project to move forward, let your voice be heard and join our Energy East Action Network.