Canadian, U.S. members complete Oil Sands outage

The night shift crew shows its pride. L. to r., Denis Lafleur, L-146; Syncrude Coordinator Alwyn Reese; Mike Queen, L-128; Michael Shelton, L-263; Gary Joy, L-667; John Eagle, L-73; Anthony Carlton, L-128; Mike Bragg, L-667; Steve Myers, L-83; Ulysse Godin, L-73; Fred Davis, L-11; Bill Wallace, L-359; Jason Forman, L-105, Brent Bell, L-105; Brent Bernosky, L-359; Larry Brown, L-191; Diandra Tompkins, L-128; Ryan Woods, L-110; Allard Lanteine, L-73; John Allen, L-263; Darren Robicheau, L-73; Greg McCarthy, L-146; Robert Laursen, L-112, Nathan Janis, L-263; John Thurnbull, L-73; Jean Pierre Chiason, L-73; Doug Niemeyer, L-744; Seth Massey, L-263; Robert Godin, L-73; Jeremy Lamb, L-263; John Hess, L- 242; Joey Losier, L-73; Ryan MacDonald, L-146; Rusty Cronin, L-667; Tommy McIntosh, L-263; Christ Haller, L-455; David Chiason, L-146; Ryan Mink, L-263; Bruce Grissom, L-263; Roger Dwelsdorf; L-146; and Gabriel Landry, L-359. Missing from photo are Dwayne Poitras, L-146; Jean-Pierre Russell, L-73; Jean-Claude Moraie

Boilermakers from 15 lodges work together on major Syncrude job

THE SPRING 2012 Syncrude outage in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was significant for several reasons, according to L-146 (Edmonton) member Denis Lafleur. First, it was one of the largest outages in the Oil Sands region, involving work on Syncrude’s 37-1 plant that included two furnaces and a 256-ft. vacuum tower (one of the world’s largest). Second, the successful project brought together field construction Boilermakers from 15 locals on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.

“In all my years as a Boilermaker and being in the construction trades for over 20-something years, [I never saw] professional tradesman come together and work as a team” in the way they did on the Syncrude outage, Lafleur stated in a written submission to the Boilermaker Reporter.

“Everyone from first-year apprentices to journeymen/journeywomen with five, 10, or 15, years of experience and up — as well as some of our retired members with up to 40 years of experience — worked together, learned from one another, and performed with professionalism and respect.”

Lafleur added, “With all the upcoming work here in Canada, it would be great” for Boilermakers from both countries to work together again.

Approximately 300 U.S. Boilermakers were involved in Canadian projects in 2012, about 150 of them on the Syncrude outage, according to Jim Beauchamp, coordinator for the BCA/IBB Boilermaker Recruitment Initiative.

Beauchamp said he has received positive feedback from a number of U.S. members regarding the Syncrude shutdown, including one who commented, “I can’t tell you how many good guys I met and worked with up there. It was a fantastic experience. The work was good, also. All in all, it was one of the best jobs I have ever had in my 11 years as a Boilermaker.”

U.S. members wishing to secure work in Canada should register for a Canadian travel card at For additional information, contact Beauchamp at

See related story: Applying for work in Alberta gets easier for U.S. members