TransCanada – TCPL the 1980s – inside story

TransCanada. [http://www.energyeastpipeline.com/home/pipeline-101/ ] Parent company of  TransCanada Pipelines Limited (TCPL), a company operating during the 1980s among others with an oil related division = hence the name TCPL Resources. Calgary 1983. Following the take over of the former Maligne Resources oil company and all of their employees. Initially all, but soon transferring many managers to other outside companies and/or somewhat related companies. Big shuffle. At that time I was one of the employees, and had been part of the systems and computer department, as a senior systems analyst and developer. Also project leader for a number of big computer re-design projects, both hardware and software and complete re-writes. Lots of work. Difficult work, because one of the vices common inside those companies was “the permission to chain smoke” on the job and inside the open floors, thus forcing all innocent bystanders (non-smokers) to inhale those deadly fumes. At the same time expecting them to perform their heavy quota of workload.

Apart from that, it started out nice when TCPL Management came on board. But wait a minute: after couple of years the tables turned in a terrifying and tasteless way. Not only was everybody by that time sick of that cigarette smoking, but also TCPL sent down from their headquarters in Toronto, an “Enforcer”. Tasked with identifying, how many people were supposed to get laid off, kicked out or otherwise harassed on a daily basis, until they knew no better, than to leave anyways.

That’s not what you do with professionals, ‘Mr. Enforcer and Prosecutor’. That is not how you treat human beings, unless you don’t care to be openly perceived as a racist and human rights violator. By 1986 numbers of professionals had been kicked out into the street with a couple bucks remuneration. Our (computer) department, starting first with females and single mothers. But how it was done by the Enforcer was tastelessly unprofessional: Assembling large documents with hundreds of pages of all sorts of lies on some employee (who was supposed to read that ?), and sign some silly legalized (bullshit) document? Which nobody of course did. We just left, in the middle of the (oil industry) recession, trying to find some other job. In Alberta at that time almost impossible. I lost my home, my family got ripped apart and I had to go to Ontario. One thing I got, though, is a number of excellent reference letters from the highest level of Management, testifying to the specifics and the quality of all the projects I had done for this company.

End of story. And now they want to go with their big new Eastern pipeline. Trans Canada. Is this legal ? Of course, it is. As is their treatment of experienced and qualified professionals who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time  (meaning “being employed by the wrong kind of company”).

On May 15, 2003, TransCanada Corporation received regulatory approvals to establish it as the parent company of TransCanada PipeLines Limited. Shareholders voted in favour of the change to the corporate structure of the company at the Annual and Special Meeting on April 25.

For background on this issue, please see the letter to shareholders and Q&As from Board of Directors’ chairman, Dick Haskayne and chief executive officer, Hal Kvisle, as well as information included in the Management Proxy Circular.

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