In November, the International Union of Operating Engineers issued a press release, objecting to a New Democratic Party Opposition Day motion on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher, who is an IUOE International vice president, and IUOE general president James T. Callahan were disappointed with the NDP’s motion.
IUOE Canadian regional director James Murphy also sent a strongly worded letter to NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
The NDP motion stated that:
“In the opinion of the House, the Keystone XL pipeline would intensify the export of unprocessed raw bitumen and would export more than 40,000 well-paying Canadian jobs, and is therefore not in Canada’s best interest.”
Business manager Gallagher noted in the press release that he is disappointed that the NDP chose to completely ignore the benefit of pipeline construction to working Canadians such as members of the Operating Engineers’ union and other construction trades.
“The Keystone XL project would be a net benefit to workers across Canada who depend on the resource sector and construction for their livelihoods,” he stated. “This hasty action by the NDP without consulting major stakeholders will jeopardize our economic recovery and jobs we had been hoping for.”
General president Callahan said thousands of skilled construction jobs – jobs that feed families, pay mortgages and send kids to university – will be generated from building Keystone XL.
“If you are on the side of working people, then you should be for this project.”
In his letter to Mulcair, Canadian regional director Murphy said that Canada does not have the refining capacity to deal with the amounts of raw bitumen that are being developed in Canada’s oil sands, therefore the product must be exported.
He stated that the union supports Keystone XL because Canada must look at expanding and diversifying its markets.
He noted that Keystone XL will allow Canadian oil companies to expand the reach of their product, which will only benefit Canada’s economy.
“Operating Engineers are among the most highly trained and skilled pipeline workers in the world,” he stated in the letter. “Our expertise will ensure that Keystone is built right, built safe and built to last.”

Redshaw Scholarship Winners Announced

Winners of the Jack Redshaw Scholarship have been announced.
A total of 12 scholarships of $2,000 each were awarded. The Crane Rental Association of Ontario donated funds for two of the awards.
Local 793 president Joe Redshaw said in a statement that he would like to thank the Crane Rental Association for making the donation.
The scholarship winners were:

  • Stefanie Bogaert – Sarnia area
  • Devon Coles – Hamilton area
  • Ryan Coulson – Toronto area
  • Mitchell Fedorchuk – St. Catherine’s area
  • Robyn Hansen – Hamilton area
  • Sarah Kazak – Ottawa area
  • Lindsay Kuiack – Cambridge area
  • Darquise Mantha – Sudbury area
  • Alexandra Scandolo – Toronto area
  • Benjamin Schwarz – Toronto area
  • Nicole Selman – Sarnia area
  • Irena Sziler – Windsor area

The criteria for the scholarships is as follows:

  • The awards are available to the sons, daughters and grandchildren of members who are in good standing at the time of selection of the awards.
  • The scholarship recipient must be entering the first or subsequent year of a full-time course of study (at least two years in length) leading to a diploma, certificate or degree from any recognized public Canadian college or university.

Applications must be supported by transcripts of high school achievement and accompanied by a detailed letter of recommendation from an individual with personal academic knowledge of the candidate, outlining reasons why the scholarship should be awarded.
In addition, applicants must submit a 1,000-word essay on the reason(s) why the scholarship will be of assistance and the impact that being a dependent or grandchild of a Local 793 union member has had on the applicant’s life.
Once the recipients have been selected, they will be notified and asked to provide further proof from the Office of the Registrar that they are currently attending full-time studies in their selected program.
Eligible persons are able to apply more than once, however, once they have received a bursary, they are no longer eligible to receive another award.
The deadline for receipt of the application shall be the first Friday in the month of September.
Application forms are available on Local 793’s website or from area offices.

Union Supports Fund-raiser for Anishinabek Nation Charity

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher, president Joe Redshaw and a number of other union representatives attended a fund-raiser Oct. 17 for the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity.
The event, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, provided an opportunity for corporate and government partners to meet and network with leaders of First Nations communities across Ontario.
More than 200 people attended the event. A business networking reception was followed by a panel discussion on issues of importance to the people of the Anishinabek Nation.
Funds raised from the event will go to scholarships and bursaries and to support education, healthcare and other under-funded services in the 39 Anishinabek communities. The Charity has raised $600,000 since 1999.
Dignitaries attending the event included: Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee; former Prime Minister Paul Martin; Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine; Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer; and John Tory, former PC Party leader and host of Live Drive on Newstalk 1010.
Local 793 was the only union that had representatives at the event. Grand Council Chief Madahbee sat at the table with Local 793 representatives.
Business manager Gallagher said it was important for Local 793 representatives to be at the event because the union is working to get more people from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities into training programs at the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO).
“We are working closely with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities and reaching out to the Aboriginal population to get more youth into our apprenticeship programs and good paying jobs in the construction trades,” he said. “By attending this event we are demonstrating our commitment to work with these communities and Aboriginal leaders.”
During the panel discussion, dignitaries addressed a number of issues, including education and the importance of having a skilled workforce available to fill key positions.
Former Prime Minister Martin complimented the work being done by Local 793 during his remarks.
Martin spoke about some of the things unions like the Operating Engineers are doing and how they are an important part of the fabric of Canada.
Premier Wynne shared her vision on enhancing student success in First Nation communities in Ontario.
Grand Council Chief Madahbee told the audience that First Nations communities support development but only with community control and benefits.
“We have to empower our people … to take control of our lives” and “put in place our way of thinking, our world view,” he said in a story published in Anishinabek “We don’t need somebody dictating what we can do and cannot do. We know how to do the job.”
Meanwhile, former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Fontaine said the single most important issue to face Canada is First Nations poverty and how to eradicate it.
“We have to move quickly and … persuasively,” he said in Anishinabek “Partnerships are our best option to create a better future for Canada and Aboriginal people.”
The Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity is the official charitable fundraising arm of the Anishinabek Nation. The Charity is committed to improving the quality of life of Anishinabek Nation citizens by providing support where no other funding exists.