Enbridge cuts 5% of workforce, including 370 jobs in Canada

Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. is laying off roughly five per cent of its workforce — about 530 positions in Canada and the U.S., the company announced Wednesday.

Calgary-based company lays off 530 positions worldwide

Enbridge Inc. of Calgary is cutting its workforce by about five per cent, the company said on Wednesday. (CBC)

Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. is laying off about five per cent of its workforce, the company announced Wednesday. 

Canada's largest pipeline operator said Wednesday it has eliminated about 370 positions in Canada and about 160 in the U.S., making up roughly five per cent of its more than 11,000 staff.

"Throughout this process, Enbridge is committed to treating people fairly and with respect. We are providing support to those leaving the company, as well as those who remain," company spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton said in an email to CBC News.

The company began an organizational review in the first quarter of this year. 

"It is focused on what we need to do to achieve our strategy of growth and diversification, enhance our competitiveness, and allow us to capitalize on opportunities now and into the future," she said.

The company made a similar five per cent cut to staff in November 2015, saying the job cuts were needed to remain competitive and withstand difficult times in the industry.

Last month, the company announced plans to buy Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. for stock worth $37 billion.

The combination of the two pipeline companies would create a North American energy infrastructure giant, to be called Enbridge Inc. and headquartered in Calgary.

The combined company's natural gas pipelines business would be based in Houston and the liquids pipelines business would be based in Edmonton.

Northern Gateway stalled

The layoffs at Enbridge come as the company continues to vie for approval for its controversial pipeline project, Northern Gateway. The $7.9-billion pipeline would carry oilsands crude from northern Alberta to the B.C. coast.

The Harper government gave the go-ahead to the project after a National Energy Board joint review panel gave its approval subject to 209 conditions.

But in June 2016, the Federal Court found that Ottawa failed to properly consult First Nations affected by the proposal.

Northern Gateway president John Carruthers said the company will not appeal the ruling but remains committed to building "this critical Canadian infrastructure project," while protecting the environment and traditional way of life of Aboriginal groups along the proposed route. 

With files from The Canadian Press