In partnership with Business in Vancouver, JWN looks at the potential business impacts of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.The federal approval of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and Line 3 Replacement Program will benefit a diverse group of Canadian service and supply companies, says the association that represents them.
The membership of the Edmonton-based Resource Industry Suppliers Association (RISA) experienced a “jump in optimism” last week as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion project could proceed, subject to 157 conditions as well as Enbridge’s $7.5-billion Line 3 project, subject to 89 conditions.
“The news was definitely a step in the right direction,” says RISA executive director Kerri McTaggart.
But she adds that RISA’s members, which include some of Canada’s largest resource companies, are aware that “there are still many steps to take” before Trans Mountain specifically becomes a reality.
RISA was launched in 1989 as an organization focused on Western Canada’s forestry sector, but broadened its scope 20 years later to include energy, mining and bio-products.
While most of its 250 members are from Western Canada, McTaggart says there are companies from all provinces and territories in Canada.
Members represent the entire supply chain of companies that contribute to the natural resources sector, she says.
For example, North Shore Environmental, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in the Edmonton area, which employees a diverse group of professionals including agrologists, biologists and air quality specialists.
Another member is Edmonton-based Stantec, which has 22,000 employees in over 400 offices across six continents. Stantec provides engineering, architectural, interior design, project management, environmental science, project design, and construction services for multiple sectors.
Another member is Finning Canada, a division of Finning International, the world’s largest Caterpillar equipment dealer.
RISA also has members from across Canada that are involved in fleet management, in the hotel sector, as well as government agencies.
McTaggart says a variety of RISA members would benefit from a commercial go ahead for Trans Mountain include engineering, procurement and construction management firms, crane and heavy haul service providers, environmental service companies, construction material providers, personal protection and safety equipment suppliers, camp providers and other members that represent virtually every sector of the Canadian economy.
She adds that several union organizations that are part of RISA would also benefit since they see the project providing opportunities directly and indirectly for their members.
But RISA is under no illusions regarding the opposition to Trans Mountain from some environmentalists, some aboriginals and mayors in coastal cities.
“We are very aware that there are people who do not align with our view,” McTaggart says.
Nevertheless, the group is prepared to arrange for presentations to all groups who want to discuss and become educated about the project.
“Education is important,” she says. “It’s important to talk about the opportunities this project provides, in allowing our producers to reach tidewater, as well as plans and initiatives around risk management.”