Unifor welcomes Canada’s intervention on eve of line 5 closure

May 11, 2021

CALGARY— Unifor is relieved the federal Minister of Natural Resources is intervening on the eve of tomorrow’s deadline for Enbridge to shut down a key artery in the energy infrastructure between Canada and the U.S., providing vital energy needs for four provinces and four states.

“The Governor of Michigan is recklessly messing with a critical piece of infrastructure that puts thousands of jobs at risk,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We are in full support of the Canadian government filing a brief to try to continue mediation between Enbridge and the State of Michigan.”

Today Canada filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to support continued mediation between Enbridge and the State of Michigan.

Last fall Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave Enbridge a May 12, 2021 deadline to shut down a section pipeline that has been moving crude safely for 67 years.

“Line 5 is a critical energy and economic link between Canada and the United States, and coveys Canada’s belief that the U.S. federal court is the proper jurisdiction to hear the case between Michigan and Enbridge,” said the federal government’s news release.

“Energy security, economic prosperity, and supporting energy workers are top priorities for the Government of Canada,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan.

“Closing Line 5 would be disastrous for our energy security across the region, resulting in a supply drop of 45% to the refineries serviced by the line, including refineries in Sarnia, Nanticoke, and Montreal and putting at least 4,900 jobs in Ontario are ‘at risk’.  The repercussions would be felt as far away as Alberta and Saskatchewan, said Dias.

Dias points out that Enbridge’s Great Lakes Tunnel Project, approved in 2018, will reroute Line 5 underneath the lakebed of Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, virtually eliminating the threat of a pipeline incident.