Keystone XL delay a major victory for workers, environmentalists
OTTAWA – The president of Canada’s largest energy workers’ union said he is proud and very relieved at today’s announcement by President Obama that a decision on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would be delayed until after the U.S. election.
“We have stepped back from the abyss,” says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, which has lobbied in federal court, at the National Energy Board and on Parliament Hill for several years to stop the ‘jobs-killer’ pipeline.
“Good for Obama for not caving in to the big business interests,” says Coles. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper should take a page from his book, he adds, noting that while the the U.S. debate and regulatory process over XL dealt with jobs and environment, neither were given any serious attention by Canada's federal government or the NEB. The development model was flawed from the outset and given approval without due diligence.
“This now gives us time to rethink this model of development because the ‘Keystone approach’ to developing Canada’s bitumen sands at such a rapid pace was and is completely unsustainable.”
Coles also said he is very proud of Canada’s environmentalist, First Nations’ and other labour groups that have worked with CEP, such as the Alberta Federation of Labour. They are all to be congratulated for keeping up the pressure against this pipeline.