Advertisement
Economy

Regina steelworkers feel ‘betrayed’ after Trans-Mountain expansion quashed

A sign warning of an underground petroleum pipeline is seen on a fence at Kinder Morgan's facility where work is being conducted in preparation for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday April 9, 2018. .
A sign warning of an underground petroleum pipeline is seen on a fence at Kinder Morgan's facility where work is being conducted in preparation for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday April 9, 2018. . The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

August has gone from bad to worse for steelworkers in Regina.

Evraz was slated to provide the bulk of the pipe needed for the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The Federal Court of Appeal overturned Ottawa’s approval of the project Thursday, stating the National Energy Board’s review of the proposal was flawed and the federal government failed to properly consult First Nations before giving the work the green light.

READ MORE: Federal court quashes Trans Mountain expansion; Ottawa forging ahead with purchase

“We weren’t even halfway done the thing,”United Steelworkers Local 5890 president Mike Day said.

Ottawa approved the Trans Mountain project in 2016, and earlier this year announced plans to buy the pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion after Kinder Morgan Canada halted work.

Shortly after the court ruling Thursday, company shareholders voted more than 99 per cent in favour of the sale.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline decision: Experts discuss what could happen next

Day says there were no concrete assurances of work when the Prime Minister visited Regina in July, but recalls Trudeau was firm that the pipeline would be built.

“(They feel) Betrayed, I would say. This would have given us work for 18 months with us doing 75 per cent of the line. Now we’re not even halfway complete that order.”

The Trans Mountain news compounds earlier fears of shutdown and layoffs after the United States hammered Canadian steel with additional anti-dumping duties of 24 per cent.

“People are worried,” Day added. “We’ve got everything going down to the states being tariffed and dutied. Everything going west isn’t happening right now. There’s a lot of worry with our jobs.”

READ MORE: Federal government must appeal Trans Mountain pipeline court ruling: Notley

The roughly 1100 local Steelworkers are watching Trans Mountain and NAFTA talks closely, hoping some positive news comes sooner rather than later.

A request for comment from Evraz was not immediately returned.