Joseph Maloney is international vice-president for Canada of the Boilermakers Union.
Enough with the guilt trip. I’m proud to represent people who work in the oilsands. They’re proud of the jobs they do. And they should be.
As a union leader, I represent thousands of oilsands workers. These people are extremely skilled at keeping our oil plants and refineries operating. And guess what? They care just as much about the environment and global warming as the people who want to shut the industry down.
It might not be popular to say so, but the people who work in our oilsands are crucial to our way of life. Nearly 200,000 Canadians depend directly on the oil and gas industry for their jobs, almost three-quarters of them in Alberta. Hundreds of thousands more in just about every industry in Canada couldn’t work without refined oil products.
Our lives depend on Alberta oil — and I’m not just talking about the oil and gas that lubricate and power our vehicles. Even if we could electrify every car in Canada overnight, we’d still need oil, and lots of it.
Most people don’t realize how much oil is used to make the asphalt and cement in our roads and buildings. They forget that plastic is a petroleum product. They don’t even think about industrial lubricants, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer, refrigerant, food preservatives and dozens of other commodities. Without oil, modern life would be unsustainable.
For the rest of this article: https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-its-time-to-end-oilsands-shaming