Canadian Steel Plants Require More Orders from Governments

The disappointing cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline delivered another major blow for workers at Canadian steel plants who are already struggling with layoffs and very few orders on the books.

“Layoffs and plant closures seem to be the only orders on the books for many Canadian steel plants,” said Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director. “This comes at a time when you have major government infrastructure projects utilizing offshore pipe and rebar instead of using steel manufactured here at home.”

Governments at all levels are failing Canadian workers by allowing major public-sector and private-sector projects to import offshore steel and pre-fabricated parts, all at the expense of Canadian manufacturers and workers.

Procurement policies for major construction projects like the new Pattullo Bridge in Surrey, the Kitimat LNG project, replacement lines for SaskEnergy and the Northern Alberta TC Energy project do not prioritize the use of Canadian steel.

“I call on the Prime Minister and Premiers across the country to ‘Stand Up for Steel’ by implementing procurement policies to ‘Buy Canadian’ for all major infrastructure projects,” said Hunt. “We must do more to protect our manufacturing industries in Canada as we cannot afford more job losses and more good-paying Canadian jobs moved offshore.”

The USW represents over 11,000 members working in the steel industry across Canada. Stand Up for Steel is the USW’s national campaign to inject stability into the steel sector that includes a made-in-Canada policy. For more information on USW’s campaign to Stand Up for Steel, go to