SAINT JOHN–The NB Building Trades Union (NBBTU) has thrown their support behind Energy East in a statement that comes a few days before the Energy East public hearings kick off Monday in Saint John.
The hearings, which will continue through December 2016, will allow the Canadian public to provide input on whether or not the pipeline project should proceed. Some New Brunswick residents, First Nations leaders, businesses and organizations are slated to speak at the hearings as intervenors.
NBBTU president Gary Ritchie says the Energy East pipeline project is about the future of NB construction workers.
“The economy has been slow over the last few years in NB,” Ritchie said in a release. “This has cause many of our workers to travel out of province for work and many of our apprentices to struggle to achieve their journey person status. Energy East will enable many New Brunswick workers to work at home in high salary jobs and foster the development the next generation of NB Skilled Trades workers.”
Ritchie says the province is experiencing a significant shift in its construction workforce due to retirements and ongoing out-migration caused by a lack industrial construction investment. He says Energy East is an opportunity to support the existing workforce in New Brunswick and train apprentices.
“Aside from the pipeline construction, many people probably do not realize that once these large scale infrastructure projects are built, they need annual maintenance,” Ritchie said.
“Maintenance projects keep many of our members employed … In addition to annual maintenance work, large scale infrastructure investment can attract other construction investment.”