Alberta Federation of Labour letter compels Gateway Review Panel to consider Michigan oil spill documents

Joint Review Panel acts in response to AFL letter filed August 9

Edmonton – The Alberta Federation of Labour is applauding the Joint Review Panel’s (JRP) decision to compel Enbridge to put the review of the company’s response to the Michigan oil spill before the Northern Gateway hearings.

The JRP asked Enbridge to provide the documents in response to a request made by the Alberta Federation of Labour.

On August 9, 2012 the AFL filed a letter of request for the documents in support of a July 30, 2012 notice of motion by the Haisla Nation. The letter reads in part:

The AFL submits that there can be no credible decision regarding the Canadian public interest in this pipeline without a thoughtful consideration by the JRP of the overall safety record of Enbridge. The Kalamazoo spill became an environmental disaster and it is critical that the JRP understand why that happened so that it can properly evaluate the effectiveness of the steps taken by Enbridge, if any, to ensure that their pipeline operation and in particular the operation of Northern Gateway will be safe going forward.”

 “The AFL submits that it is important that this proceeding occur in a fair manner that accords natural justice to all participants, or there is a substantial risk that it will be open to successful judicial review. We ask that the JRP make the necessary orders to protect the integrity of these proceedings and to ensure that the information is provided without further delay.”

The AFL remains concerned that background analysis and documentation may be still missing from the documents requested by the JRP. In particular, Enbridge’s own internal analysis of the spill, written testimony of individual Enbridge employees, and background technical studies remain absent from the public record.

The Alberta Federation of Labour is participating in the Joint Review Panel of the Northern Gateway Pipeline project as a full intervener on behalf of 150,000 working Albertans, including 25,000 in the energy and energy-related construction sectors.

The Federation opposes the project on the grounds that a pipeline shipping raw bitumen to Asia exports tens of thousands of value-added jobs in upgraders, refineries, petrochemicals, and other value-added products.  According to the AFL’s analysis, the Northern Gateway pipeline will result in a dramatic and permanent reduction in value-added jobs in Alberta and Canada.

The AFL has prepared an extensive amount of evidence for the Panel’s review and will be appearing at the hearings in Edmonton in September. In September and October, Alberta’s largest labour organization will participate in cross-examination on the economic case for the pipeline and its socio-economic effects.

A full directory of the Alberta Federation of Labour’s documents filed with the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel can be found here.

The August 9th letter sent by the Alberta Federation of Labour requesting that the National Transportation Safety Board reports on the Kalamazoo oil spill be entered as evidence before the JRP is here.

The JRP’s request to Enbridge to file the documents, in response to the AFL request, can be found here.


For further information contact:

Shannon Phillips, Director, Policy Analysis at         403.330.9878

Alberta Federation of Labour

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