As Canada’s economy faces the lowest oil prices in years, it is good to know that IBEW Local 424 members can find employment at the North West Redwater refinery. Situated northeast of Edmonton, the North West Redwater Sturgeon Refinery project is the first new refinery to be built in Alberta in 30 years. The ultra-low-sulfur diesel producing refinery will process western Canadian heavy oil into diesel. It presently employs around 2,000 of our members, with a projected completion date of September 2017. The refinery has the potential for 10 years of employment once the provincial government approves the second and third phases for construction.
Local 424 members continue to be affected by the major wildfire of May 2016. On May 1, a wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, home to 90,000 residents. The fire swept through the community destroying approximately 2,400 homes. During the evacuation, more than 400 members and their families had to rapidly leave the city, some with little more than the clothes on their back. Most were evacuated to Edmonton and other areas for the next five weeks as firefighters fought the wildfire, remembered as “The Beast.” Members were allowed to begin returning to their homes during June. More than 20 members lost their homes, and many others’ homes had extensive damage. Many had to take up temporary residence elsewhere, while waiting for insurance claims to be settled for rebuilding. Local 424 thanks everyone who made donations to the Red Cross to help those affected by the disaster. Rebuilding will be a long process, but the city and our members remain optimistic that they will get back to their normal lives once again.
Scott Crichton, P.S.