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The Progressive Economics Forum

Empty Conservative Rhetoric on Pipelines

Letter to the editor in today’s Regina Leader–Post (page A10):

A Tory Stunt

The Oct. 9 photo accompanying the story “Tory candidates laud pipeline industry” showed pipe produced at Evraz stored outside the fence of another company, where this Conservative campaign stunt was held.

The story did not mention that the company concerned uses pipe imported from China, which does not support employment at Evraz in Regina. The story did correctly report, “The candidates did not make any new announcements in regards to new projects or investments.”

Certainly, the Conservative government has not done anything to prevent Chinese steel producers from exploiting unfair competitive advantages by undercutting internationally recognized labour and environmental standards. The new Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by the Conservatives in secret during the election campaign will facilitate importing pipe from Japan and Korea, as opposed to manufacturing pipe in Canada.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair has consistently supported a west-east pipeline, subject to a proper environmental review process. Unlike proposals running west or south from the Alberta oilsands, a pipeline going east would have the capacity to transport Saskatchewan oil and keep refining jobs in our country.

The Conservatives offer nothing but photo ops and empty rhetoric about pipe manufacturing jobs. By contrast, the NDP’s fair trade policies would limit the dumping of steel from offshore into the Canadian market, encouraging the use of pipe produced in Regina.

The NDP has better policies to support good Canadian jobs and is the only party that can replace Conservatives in Regina.

– Ken Neumann is Canadian national director, United Steelworkers

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