Vanderhoof Airport has three airstrips, one of which is paved, and no permanent buildings. It provides charter, medivac and private air service to the region. (District of Vanderhoof)

Gas pipeline work camp blocked from temporary northwest B.C. site

Farmland used for three years would improve land, Vanderhoof Airport

A northwest B.C. MLA is pushing for the NDP government’s strict new farmland regulations to allow a temporary workforce facility that would house 900 people building a pipeline for the LNG Canada project.

The private land site next to Vanderhoof Airport has been rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission, a decision Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad is attempting to have reversed. It’s proposed for temporary use as one of a series of camps and equipment sites to construct the Coastal GasLink pipeline from the Dawson Creek area to LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas export terminal at Kitimat.

The $40 billion terminal and pipeline is described by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the largest private sector investment in Canadian history. Construction is underway for most segments of the pipeline route, except for the section from northeast of Prince George to north of Vanderhoof, where one of a series of job fairs is scheduled for Nov. 13.

Rustad says the District of Vanderhoof wants the airport site because the project would include an office building that would be turned over to the airport to provide it with a permanent terminal building. And he says the camp construction would improve the agricultural productivity of the site.

RELATED: Regional district approves pipeline camp near Houston

RELATED: It’s OK to gravel your driveway, rural B.C. farmers told

“The private landowner is really excited, because the company is actually going to leave it in better shape for farming than what it currently is,” Rustad told Black Press in an interview. “It’s going to be out of production for three years, and the whole thing will be rehabilitated and a better state than they have it right now.”

Rustad raised the issue with Agriculture Minister Lana Popham this week, in one of a series of questions for the minister about the effects of getting rid of the rural farmland zone that relaxed secondary uses across most of the province.

Popham told the legislature there is an alternative site that would work for the pipeline camp, but Rustad says local knowledge of the other site does not support that conclusion.

“It’s right along Highway 16 across from the industrial area,” Rustad said. “There’s a storage area now where all the trailers are kept, but there would have to be significant upgrades to the highway in order for it to go there. There would have to be left-hand turning lanes and all kinds of stuff put in for that to go in there.”

Right-of-way clearing for the pipeline is continuing from Dawson Creek to Chetwynd, with the Sukunka workforce housing facility west of Chetwynd and the Lejac workforce camp near Burns Lake ready for occupancy.

Hundreds of Coastal Gaslink workers are living at Sitka Lodge, Hunter Creek and Main 9A workforce accommodation on the section from south of Hazelton to Kitimat, doing clearing, grading, erosion control and blasting to prepare the pipeline route.

Job fairs are being held along the route, a region where the mainstay forest industry is in significant decline.

Coastal GasLink is being built by TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, which operates a large network of oil and gas pipelines in B.C., Alberta, the U.S. and Mexico.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Boundary Métis Community Association celebrates Louis Riel in Grand Forks

The association’s next big event will be a Family Day fishing derby at Wilgress Lake in February

Curlers throw in Grand Forks bonspiel

Nearly 100 curlers took over the curling club last weekend for the tournament

Weekend losses for Border Bruins stretch losing streak to six games

The Bruins have been outscored 38-14 over their last six games

Alleged drunk driver survives Saturday Kettle River crash

The car, once removed from the river, will be impounded for 30 days

Fire destroys house in Greenwood on Saturday

Neighbours say the fire started around 11:30 a.m.

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

Little progress in preventing sudden infant deaths since last report: BC Coroner

Coroners panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

B.C. woman suing after laser hair removal leaves her with ‘severe’ burns, scarring

Nadeau felt ‘far more pain’ than usual during the treatment

$2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

The new owners saw most of their farm ruined just as they took possession

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

29 B.C. students in Hong Kong amid tense protests, university siege

Eight UVic and 21 UBC students still in Hong Kong

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Most Read