YPAC’s Transformation into a Pipeline Advocacy Powerhouse

Authored By Tran Mah-Paulson

The Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) was formed in 2012 as an independent non-profit led by Young Pipeliners, generally those who are under 35 years old or have less than 10 years of experience either working or interested in the pipeline industry. The organization has been supported by pipeline industry veterans globally and has a vision of ensuring the sustainable future of the pipeline industry. Since inception, YPAC has transformed into a Pipeline Advocacy Powerhouse.

YPAC’s inaugural event was focused on fundraising through the development of a golf tournament, spearheaded by Peter Tanchak, and then subsequently integrated itself into the industry’s most distinguished conference on pipelines, the International Pipeline Conference. The primary focus was to build momentum within the pipeline industry to develop a young pipeliner community and a brand that everyone within the Canadian pipeline industry would know and understand. The brand turned into an identity amongst the young pipeiner community, so much that many Senior Pipeliners have gotten jealous that there isn’t a mid- or experienced-pipeliner organization (personal experience).

Eventually a strong Young Pipeliner ‘YPAC’ name was established, which included efforts by young professionals to build strong relationships with pipeline industry non-profit organizations: Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Canadian Standards Association, Canadian Gas Association, and Pipeline Research Council International. After developing the YPAC Pipeline Conference, with its inauguration in 2015, and Chris Bloomer’s appointment as the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association President and CEO, YPAC was mentioned during a 2016 Senate Committee hearing with Chris Bloomer as a witness. Afterwards, YPAC was requested by the committee to prepare a witness presentation regarding a strategy to facilitate the transport of crude oil to eastern Canadian refineries and to ports on the East and West coasts of Canada. Those representing YPAC were Kevin Tsang and Peter Tanchak, both co-founders of YPAC and Peter serving as interim YPAC President and CEO from 2014 to 2015, and Tran Mah-Paulson, who served as YPAC President and CEO from 2016 to 2018.

In early 2018, after Sarah Vandaiyar accepted a position as YPAC CEO, YPAC had released a statement regarding TransMountain pipeline calling on federal and provincial leaders (at the time) to work together to resolve the impasse with the TransMountain Expansion project. Young Pipeliners across Canada have supported the project and were (and still are) very concerned with the future of the pipeline industry, including quality of life, future job prospects and maintaining a global view with respect to energy development projects. At the end of November 2018, several YPAC members felt something had to be done regarding pipelines, and therefore sent four executives to take on Parliament Hill, speaking to members of parliament in Ottawa from the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals and the NDPs.

Very recently, there have been two appearances with the Senate of Canada, Sarah Vandaiyar, current YPAC President and CEO, who spoke regarding Bill C-69, and Nancy Manchak, Edmonton Operations Lead, who spoke regarding Bill C-48. Both outlined concerns young pipeliners across Canada have with respect to each Bill. It is important for a diversity of young pipeliners to continue to communicate to politicians and the broader public on the importance of the energy pipeline industry to the economy, our quality of life and sustainability. As a Pipeline Advocacy Powerhouse, YPAC will continue to communicate to anyone and everyone with respect to young pipeliners in the pipeline industry.

Biography: Tran Mah-Paulson served as President and CEO of the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada from 2016 to 2018, and currently serves as a Board Advisor. He works full time as a Senior Engineer with T.D. Williamson, a global maintenance and inspection pipeline services company, and is a co-founder of TKP Associates, a company that focuses on management systems, technical journalism, strategic event reporting and community development. Tran is a Professional Engineer registered with APEGA, is working towards a Cornell and Queens MBA, and sits on several industry boards, including ASME, CSA and PRCI.