Northern Gateway to drain Alberta refineries of oil, jobs

Enbridge’s figures show dramatic drop in Western Canada refinery activity: AFL

EDMONTON – Western Canada’s refineries will lose tens of thousands of barrels of oil per day when the Northern Gateway pipeline is constructed, according to a new analysis released by the Alberta Federation of Labour.

The AFL is before the Joint Review Panel on the Northern Gateway pipeline in Edmonton. AFL President Gil McGowan says Western Canadian refineries – most of which are in Alberta – are in for a massive drop in throughput due to the Northern Gateway pipeline.

“The drop in refinery activity will mean thousands of jobs lost,” says Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour, which represents 150,000 working Albertans, including 25,000 in the energy sector and energy-related construction.

“This pipeline will ship our raw resources to refineries in China. It will raise the price of bitumen and permanently undermine our ability to refine oil sands in Canada,” says McGowan. “It will hollow out our refining industry and impose higher costs on our refineries, and ultimately, Canadian consumers.”

The AFL report examined Enbridge’s predictions for refinery throughput, as contained in their evidence before the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel.  Most of the losses in refinery throughput are likely to be in Western Canada. Western Canada is forecast, by Enbridge, to shed 46,000 barrels per day in refinery throughput. 

Job loss estimates were modeled using a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada. A 5 per cent reduction in refinery throughput results in approximately 8,000 jobs lost.

The full AFL report, released as the Edmonton hearings on the economic impact of the Northern Gateway pipeline, can be found here.



Gil McGowan, President Alberta Federation of Labour at 780-218-9888 (cell) or 780-483-3021 (office)

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