CALGARY — It’s been a tough week for workers at Canada’s two biggest pipeline companies, with TransCanada the latest to hand out layoff notices.A TransCanada spokesman confirmed the cuts but declined to say how many jobs are being lost or what parts of the business are bearing the brunt.Mark Cooper says the company aims to be fair and respectful and won’t be making those details public until those affected have heard the news first from their leaders.He says the cuts aren’t related to any specific project or decision, but are rather meant to ensure the company stays competitive amid tough market conditions.TransCanada Corp pulls Keystone XL application in Nebraska after Obama rejectionSuncor to cut oilsands production next year, sets capital budgetU.S. President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s cross-border Keystone XL pipeline earlier this month and the company is now weighing its options.Earlier this week, fellow pipeline firm Enbridge announced it would be shedding 500 jobs and leaving 100 more vacant positions unfilled.The Enbridge cuts represent about five per cent of its workforce in the United States and Canada.According to its most recent annual report, TransCanada had 6,059 employees across North America.TransCanada eliminated 185 positions from its major projects division in June. In September, it trimmed about a fifth of its senior leadership positions at the vice-president level and above. A month later, it cut 30 positions one rung below at the director level.“These changes align with changes that we’re making to our structure to remain competitive and deliver shareholder value, as well as in response to falling oil prices and its effect on our customers,” said Cooper.“These two factors mean that we need to drive down costs and pursue our projects more efficiently and strategically. This includes having to make some difficult decisions that affect our workforce.”The Canadian Press
B.C. Premier Christy Clark speaks during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday May 30, 2017. Clark is warning the NDP that delaying work on the Site C hydroelectric dam in B.C. could cost taxpayers $600 million. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck by Laura Kane, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 6, 2017 1:57 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 6, 2017 at 5:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Premier warns NDP, Greens that delaying Site C dam in B.C. could cost $600M VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s political leaders exchanged duelling letters over the future of the Site C dam project on Tuesday, with Premier Christy Clark arguing that delays will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.NDP Leader John Horgan wrote to BC Hydro last week asking it to suspend the evictions of two homeowners and urging it not to sign any new contracts on the $8.8-billion hydroelectric dam until a new government has gained the confidence of the legislature.But Clark says in letters sent to Horgan and Green Leader Andrew Weaver that the evictions are necessary as part of a road and bridge construction project that are needed to divert a river in September 2019.Any delay could postpone the diversion by a year and cost taxpayers $600 million, she says.“With a project of this size and scale, keeping to a tight schedule is critical to delivering a completed project on time and on budget,” she says. “The requests contained in your letter are not without consequences to the construction schedule and ultimately have financial ramifications to ratepayers.”The premier has asked Horgan and Weaver to reply by Saturday on whether they still want to put the evictions on hold. She says a decision to proceed must be made by June 15 in order to maintain the river diversion schedule.She also asks whether they want the government to issue a “tools down” request to BC Hydro on other decisions that she says are essential to maintaining the budget and construction schedule.In his reply, Horgan writes he was surprised to receive the letter from Clark.“In it, you made unsupported claims about additional costs associated with asking BC Hydro not to sign major contracts until a new government takes office,” he says.“If you are truly concerned about this timeline, there is a simple solution: recall the legislature immediately and face a confidence vote so British Columbians can get the new government they voted for.”An agreement between the NDP and Green party was signed last week that would allow the New Democrats to form a minority government, ousting Clark’s Liberals.The agreement includes a promise to refer the Site C project to the B.C. Utilities Commission to determine its economic viability.But Clark says the project is likely to progress past the “point of no return” before a review can be completed.Clark didn’t define what she meant by “point of no return,” nor did she explain how she reached the $600-million figure in her letter. Her press secretary Stephen Smart referred questions to BC Hydro, which declined to answer them and instead sent an emailed statement.“BC Hydro is aware of the letters sent by Premier Clark to the leader of the B.C. NDP and the leader of the provincial Green party. We have no further comment at this time,” it said.Weaver issued his own letter that says before he can comment on Clark’s assertions he requires access to supporting evidence, including signed contracts, the project schedule and potential alternative project timelines.“Your government is turning a significant capital project that potentially poses massive economic risks to British Columbians into a political debate rather than one informed by evidence and supported by independent analysis.”The dam will be the third on the Peace River, flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley, and local First Nations, landowners and farmers have fiercely opposed the project.Construction began two years ago and the project employs more than 2,000 people.A report by University of British Columbia researchers in April argued it wasn’t too late to press pause on the project and that the electricity produced by Site C won’t be fully required for nearly a decade after it’s complete. It said cancelling the project as of June 30 would save between $500 million and $1.65 billion.