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November 2nd, 2023

NDP: Conservatives blocking bill that would secure jobs for energy workers

OTTAWA – On Thursday, NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) stood with Labour leaders to demand the Conservatives stop blocking support for workers. This week, Conservatives spent seven hours at the Natural Resources Committee blocking progress on the Sustainable Jobs Act, legislation secured by New Democrats to ensure energy workers have good-paying union jobs as the world transitions to clean energy.

Angus says getting the Sustainable Jobs Act passed is essential to equip and support workers for the challenges they face due to the climate catastrophe. He says the Conservatives blocking the bill is more proof that under Pierre Poilievre, energy workers would be left behind and CEOs making record profits will continue to get a free ride.

“As Canadians faced historic, devastating wildfires this summer, it’s clear workers need a plan in the face of the climate emergency,” said Angus. “It’s shameful that instead of fighting for workers, the Conservatives are trying to block legislation that would help them. It’s clear they don’t care about working Canadians and want to protect the profits of Big Oil.”

Through the Supply and Confidence Agreement, New Democrats secured legislation to ensure energy workers have a seat at the table about their future. The Liberals have been slammed for years by various labour groups and the environment commissioner for having no plan for workers. Poilievre’s Conservatives filibuster of the committee to debate and get this legislation passed shows how little they care about the future of energy workers.

"Climate change is already affecting workers and communities across Canada, and it’s already affecting our economy and jobs," said Bruske. "Workers, whether they are in oil and gas, forestry, mining, services, manufacturing, health care, or public services, need their voices to be heard on this piece of legislation. I’m calling on Conservative MPs to stop preventing workers from having their voices heard on this bill."

“I don’t know how Poilievre’s Conservative can face any energy worker after what they’re doing to block this legislation,” said Angus. “It’s a slap in the face to people who want a long-term plan to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. The Conservatives need to stand on the side of workers, end their filibuster and get this legislation passed.”

Angus was joined by:

Canadian Labour Congress President, Bea Bruske

Alberta Federation of Labour President, Gil McGowan

National Director of United Steelworkers, Marty Warren

Canadian Regional Director for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Patrick Campbell

Canadian Director of Government Relations for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Matt Wayland