Communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan are gearing up to welcome Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement Program, and are excited about the economic spinoffs that are expected to come along with it.
“There is a significant amount of people coming who will be working throughout this area and . . . everyone will benefit,” said Ross Derdall, Mayor of Outlook, SK.
“We’re all in on this project,” added Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Executive Director Neil Sasakamoose. “The project is large in scope, has a lot of interest from different people in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, and we are trying to make sure as the project develops and construction begins that we don’t miss the opportunity.”
Derdall and Sasakamoose made their comments on Tuesday, June 20 during a construction open house in his town—one of three such events hosted this week by Enbridge in the region, as we begin mobilizing crews and equipment to kick off construction on the Canadian leg of the 1,694-km cross-border pipeline that runs from Hardisty, AB to Superior Wi.
In Hardisty alone, which will be a hub of activity, nearly 300 pieces of heavy equipment are assembled. Pre-construction activities have begun on the Line 3 Replacement Program, and Enbridge expects to make a final decision on construction timing this summer.
Construction will be phased over two years and has been organized into nine geographic areas, or “spreads.” Outlook will be among those communities in three spreads that see activity this year and will serve as a hub. It’s anticipated that construction on the remaining six spreads will be performed through 2018 and completed in 2019.
A number of Enbridge representatives were on hand at this week’s L3RP construction open houses—Monday, June 19 in Rosetown, SK, Tuesday in Outlook, and Wednesday, June 21 in Provost, AB—to talk about the project and connect with local residents and business owners interested in learning more about the potential positive economic impact construction will bring.
Hundreds of people turned out, excited at the opportunity to provide housing or services to those who will be spending the coming months living and working in their communities.
While the majority of business opportunities will be subcontracted through Enbridge’s primary construction contractors, those workers—crews numbering some 600 to 800 members—will live and work in the areas of construction during the next two years of phased work. That means people who’ll need groceries, places to lives, places to eat, laundry facilities, and a variety of other local services.
“We are absolutely committed to providing economic opportunities—from employment and training, to the procurement of goods and services—to qualified local and Indigenous businesses,” said Allen Sawatzky, L3RP Construction Manager.
For Indigenous groups like the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs, who’ve engaged with Enbridge for the past three years, construction means fulfilling a mandate to bring training and employment to its First Nations members.
“It would be a disaster if we missed this opportunity,” said Sasakamoose, who also works with the First Alliance Group of Companies. “We have so many people who are unemployed right now that are both skilled and unskilled . . . we wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t here with Enbridge trying to advocate for people who are looking for employment for the next 18 months to two years on this project.”