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Trades NL wants province, feds to keep talking with Husky, Cenovus

West White Rose project supports families and communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, organization says

An organization representing Newfoundland and Labrador’s skilled-trades workers is dismayed by news that construction work on Husky Energy’s West White Rose project won’t go ahead in 2021.

In a news release issued early Monday evening, Trades NL said thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be out of work. Last year, constructions jobs related to the concrete gravity structure peaked at more than 2,700 workers, according to the release.

“(Monday’s) news confirming cancellation of construction on the West White Rose project is further devastating news for skilled trade workers in our province,” Trades NL executive director Darin King said in the release. “Nearly 2,000 women and men of the trades were hoping for that project to resume construction as it would have created jobs for them to support their families and communities.”

The cancellation of construction work for 2021 coincides with the announcement of Cenovus Energy’s impending all-stock purchase of Husky. That transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Construction work at sites in Argentia and Marystown was initially suspended in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the oil and gas sector in a tough spot globally, Trades NL said it’s concerned the project could be abandoned altogether.

“On behalf of our membership, we continue to encourage both the federal and provincial governments to engage with Husky Energy and their new owners, Cenovus Energy, in an effort to resume construction,” King said. “We understand from Husky Energy that they are engaged with the provincial government and are determining whether some scopes of work can proceed and help position the project for restart when commodity prices recover.

“Not only are construction jobs at stake here, there are hundreds of other jobs directly impacted, spin-off jobs and future royalties to the provincial treasury at stake. The industry is in a crisis and it will take some bold and creative leadership to find solutions and get people back to work.”

Source: The Telegram | This text was excerpted from the media outlet cited on October 27, 2020 and is provided to Noia members for information purposes only. Any opinion expressed therein is neither attributable to nor endorsed by Noia.