- This is a complex question, but it is very difficult to argue that Kinder Morgan’s pipeline will actually lead to meaningful job creation in Canada. First, it’s undeniable that the Alberta economy has been geared towards oil sands development for some time now, and that the sector has greatly contributed to Canada’s economic development over the past 50 years. However, since the downturn in oil prices in recent years, the number of jobs in the oil sands has been shrinking. Today, roughly 3% of Canadians work in oil and gas extraction nationally, and only a subset of those are in oil sands jobs. (Source)
This pipeline and tanker project projects creating just 50 permanent jobs projected in BC and 40 in Alberta, according to the proponent’s documentation. Putting this in perspective, a single new Amazon.com Inc office recently announced in Vancouver will add 3,000 permanent, high-paying jobs.
- Construction jobs would be temporary and, according to Kinder Morgan, would mostly be filled by a non-local workforce. According to a report authored by the Goodman Group and Simon Fraser University, the project would generate (at most) 4,000 short-term jobs a year – less than 0.2% of total provincial employment. At the same time, the pipeline and tanker project threatens $9.7 billion in GDP and 98,000 jobs thar are supported by the BC coastline.
- This pipeline and tanker project projects creating just 50 permanent jobs projected in BC and 40 in Alberta, according to the proponent’s documentation. Putting this in perspective, a single new Amazon.com Inc office recently announced in Vancouver will add 3,000 permanent, high-paying jobs.
- In fact, some argue that net raw bitumen exports would actually cost jobs in Alberta. As noted in Policy Magazine, “The largest union in the oil sands, Unifor, intervened before the NEB. Unifor attempted to enter evidence that building Kinder Morgan would cost jobs; shipping out unprocessed solid bitumen to refineries in other countries ships out Canadian jobs at the same time and increases the carbon footprint of the product [...] Shipping solid bitumen diluted with toxic fossil fuel condensate for export bypasses the last remaining refinery in Burnaby. The refinery cannot process bitumen. It has already cut its workforce by 30 per cent and if Kinder Morgan goes ahead, it will likely close.”
- Regardless of whether this project goes ahead, Alberta oil sands jobs are unlikely to grow in the future. As one recent study points out: “Despite production growth, jobs in the extraction and distribution portions of the industry have been relatively flat since 2006 and declined in 2015 with the downturn in oil price.”
- Let’s also remember that since 2015 there have been more jobs in clean energy in Canada than oil sands jobs. Some of these jobs are at risk from a Kinder Morgan tanker spill. In fact, more people in Canada work in the beer economy than in the oil sands.
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