(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives photo)

(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives photo)

Oil and gas workers missing from pipeline debate: Canadian study

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says no opinions from workers and labour groups leaves a gap

Oil and gas workers are being left out of the debate on Canadian pipelines, a new study suggests.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report Wednesday that examined 300 recent media stories about Canadian pipeline projects, including the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline between B.C. and Alberta.

According to the findings, mainstream news organizations gave noticeably more attention to pro-pipeline arguments – centred on jobs and other economic benefits – while alternative news outlets focused more on Indigenous and environmental groups’ dissent.

And both groups missed the voiced of workers employed in the energy sector, according to lead author Robert Hacket.

“The exclusion of energy workers’ voices from the fossil fuel debate makes it more difficult to meaningfully, effectively include those workers in conversations about the transition we must make to a low-carbon economy,” Hacket said in a news release.

PHOTOS: Rival protests highlight B.C.’s divide over pipeline project

The study suggests oil and gas workers are not uniform in their views on pipelines, the fossil fuel industry, or climate change.

Hacket also points to Canada’s largest private-sector union, Unifor, which supports action on climate change and has called for a fair transition to sustainable development for workers.

“If we are to build a greener future — as we must do to stave off catastrophic climate change — we must make plans with fossil fuel industry workers to ensure secure, sustainable jobs are within their reach,” Hacket said.


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