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Nitpicking about construction jobs “not helpful”: Sask. on Obama

Saskatchewan’s energy minister says Obama calling into question the number of jobs the Keystone XL Pipeline would create is “not particularly helpful.". File / Global News

REGINA – Saskatchewan’s energy minister Tim McMillan says U.S. President Barack Obama calling into question the number of jobs the Keystone XL Pipeline would create is “not particularly helpful.”

In the New York Times on Saturday, Obama said there is no evidence the project would generate a lot of jobs. He estimated there would only be about 2,000 construction jobs for the controversial project and only 50 to 100 once completed.

TransCanada Corp. is standing by its projection of 20,000 jobs.

“I think the strength of the North American industry is what is truly at question and nitpicking about numbers of construction jobs, or the number of ongoing jobs is missing the point, that having a robust and strong energy sector in North America is good for all of North America,” said McMillan.

He said the comments were not what the province was hoping to hear, but at the same time are not definitive.

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Obama expects to make a decision about the future of the project later this year or early 2014.

If approved, the pipeline would carry crude oil from the Canadian oil sands and the Bakken shale in North Dakota to refineries on the U.S. gulf coast.

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