The AFL responded today to the announcement of a Multi-stakeholder Committee to examine oilsands development by questioning why labour is the only stakeholder group left off the 19-member committee.
"This group is going to make recommendations about the future pace and direction of oilsands development," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "It has business, environmental groups, local government, first nations and metis representative, but has completely shut out labour."
"Working people have as much stake in the direction of oilsands development as any other group in the province. Why are they ignoring the perspective of hundreds of thousands of Albertans?"
The Stakeholder Committee will lead public hearings and examine evidence to create recommendations for future steps on oilsands development. "Shutting out workers from this process is flabbergasting," says McGowan.
The AFL is writing a letter to the Ministers of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Resource Development urging the government to add labour representatives to the committee in time to fully participate in the discussions and deliberations.
"It is a basic issue of fairness," notes McGowan. "The oilsands are the most significant economic engine in Alberta at the present time, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Workers should have a say in what happens to that engine."
The AFL has advocated for a slowing down of oilsands development to allow government, industry, labour and local governments to better plan for long term prosperity. "The current pace of development is unsustainable. Our public infrastructure and the labour market cannot keep up to this reckless pace. We need better planning and a long term strategy for how to balance economic, social and environmental needs."
"We are hopeful the government will acknowledge their oversight and include the voice of working people on the committee," McGowan concludes.
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For more information contact:
Gil McGowan, AFL President @ 780-218-9888 (cell)