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Weekly News Update: 7/30-8/3

AUGUST 06, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

Kinder Morgan President Says Pipeline Will Be in The Ground in Early 2019
“This project has been in a suspended mode for a good number of months,” said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. “We’re ready to commence construction activity.” Construction on the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will move ahead next month as the route is prepared, says Anderson, adding pipe will be in the ground in early 2019.

Labour Board Finding Increase in Employers Obstructing Efforts to Organize 
Both Premiers’ are strongly against the implementation of carbon tax, believing that carbon pricing is costly and ineffective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This position flies against the conclusions and recommendations of climate economists, leading climate policy organizations and a growing number of major corporations.

Progressive Conservations Moves Closer to Carbon Tax 
The Progressive Conservative government has released a discussion paper that eyes a price of $25 per tonne on industrial facilities with annual emissions of at least 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The government wants to set targets for each emitter and charge the tax only on emissions that exceed that amount. Companies that produce less than their target would get credits that they could trade.

Teck closes sale of Waneta Dam interest to BC Hydro for C$1.2B
Teck Resources Ltd. said July 26 that it closed the sale of its two-thirds interest in the Waneta Dam in British Columbia to BC Hydro and Power Authority for C$1.2 billion cash.

U.S. & International:

Alaska Is Offering Entrepreneurs a Huge Renewable Energy Opportunity 
Alaska, known in the lower 48 for its oil pipeline, would now be promoting alternative energy.

Colorado developer plans new hotel in KC’s Garment District
A Colorado developer plans to build a 13-story hotel in Kansas City’s Garment District.
Boulder-based Pedersen Development will construct a 153-room Hyatt House at the southwest corner of Ninth Street and Broadway. Owner Scott Pedersen is familiar with the area where the hotel is planned; he owns the Google Fiber building next door and other area properties.

Tower developer buys downtown Bellevue site for office high-rise 
Executive Vice President Murphy McCullough said Skanska wants to move fast on its latest development project, which will have about 500,000 square feet of commercial space and street-level retail.

Portland General Electric ‘bullish’ on electric vehicles 
The Portland, Ore., area could be in for a dramatic shift in the number of electric vehicles on the road over the next five years, Portland General Electric Co. President and CEO Maria Pope said.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

TransCanada active in the Peace Region
TransCanada Pipelines says it has ‘quite a bit of activity’ going on in the Peace Region. The company is making $7.2 billion expansion to its Nova Gas Transmission system.

Big investment for local railway
On July 31, Kildonan-St. Paul MP MaryAnn Mihychuk announced $5.6 million in federal funding for improvements to the Central Manitoba Railway’s Pine Falls subdivision. The line, which is owned by Cando Rail Services, runs approximately 14 kilometres between Canadian National’s Symington Yard and the Imperial Oil terminal at Birds Hill.

U.S. & International:
US Supreme Court ruling in union dues impacts case in Oregon
An Oregon state employee and a labour union have reached a settlement over her lawsuit seeking payback of obligatory union fees, marking the first refund of forced fees since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that government workers can’t be required to contribute to labour groups, the employee’s lawyers said Monday.

Clean energy advocates come out against deregulation in Nevada
The groups have moved to oppose Question 3 after NV Energy announced plans to procure 1 GW of renewable energy.

U.S. Department of Labor offering grants to help get more women into apprenticeships
The U.S. Department of Labor is offering grants to recruit and retain more women into apprenticeship programs for the skilled trades and other industry sectors. The goal is to help women get into careers in industries such as manufacturing, construction and cybersecurity where they are underrepresented.

Oregon worker gets money back from forced union dues in right-to-work victory
In another key victory for the right-to-work movement following the Janus vs. AFSCME Supreme Court case, an Oregon woman who was forced to pay public-sector union dues received a $3,000 refund in a settlement.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Feds easing proposed carbon tax for big emitters
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is defending the federal government’s move to relax its proposed carbon tax limits on large emitters, giving industry more room before companies start paying.

Aecon, Mikisew Cree joint venture awarded Fort Hills master services agreement 
Suncor Energy and its partners in the new Fort Hills oilsands mine have awarded a master services agreement to a joint venture of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and Aecon Group.

Manitoba not tracking labour complaints for short-term casual workers
As a proposed class-action lawsuit aims to challenge labour laws that separate employees from independent contractors, a provincial spokesperson says the Employment Standards branch doesn’t keep a tally on how many Manitobans share similar concerns.

TransCanada ordered to inspect part of Keystone pipeline 
TransCanada Corp. is digging up a portion of the Keystone oil pipeline in South Dakota after an inspection identified potential issues with the pipeline’s coating.

U.S. & International:
Republicans propose to change Clean Water Act to help pipelines, energy projects
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and other Republican senators introduced an amendment that would limit the scope of state reviews for Clean Water Act permits for natural gas pipelines and other energy infrastructure projects after several New York actions against pipeline projects.

High-flying Amazon brings slew of Utah jobs, but most wages will hover in the basement
While has opened the gates on hiring some 1,500 to staff its sprawling new Salt Lake distribution center, a closer look at those openings reveal most new employees will barely earn a living wage from the online giant.

US Supreme Court ruling on union dues impacts case in Oregon
An Oregon state employee and a labor union have reached a settlement over her lawsuit seeking payback of obligatory union fees, marking the first refund of forced fees since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in late June that government workers can’t be required to contribute to labor groups, the employee’s lawyers said Monday.

U.S. Construction Jobs Growth Widespread, Canada’s Narrowly Focused
June 2018’s figure on total employment in construction in the U.S., as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was +4.1% compared with June 2017. The comparable number for north of the border from Statistics Canada was a percentage point lower at +3.1%. But +3.1% wa sa commedable climb nonetheless.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Government of Canada invests $20.7 million to improve rail safety
With over 40,000 kilometres of track, the rail system connects Canadians by moving people and goods across the country every day. That’s why the Government of Canada supports projects that improve safety, the economy, and the movement of goods and people.

LNG Canada preps for possible sanction with summer site work
LNG Canada is proceeding with site preparation work to get ready for a positive go ahead decision on the $40-billion project later this year. The company says that the work will put the LNG export terminal in Kitimat, B.C. “in the best place possible” should the decision occur.

Canada dilutes carbon tax after industry pushback
Canada pedaled back a federal carbon tax policy set to roll out in January 2019.

U.S. & International:
UPDATE: Trump calls for increase to 25% tariff on $200B in Chinese imports
President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to consider raising proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from the previously recommended 10%, two senior administration officials told reporters Aug. 1.

Friday, August 3, 2018


U.S. & International:
Young people don’t want construction jobs and that’s a problem 
Job and census figures show fewer young workers appear interested in construction work. And that’s causing a labor shortage for home builders nationwide.