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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grinch steals Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society’s safe

Theft happened early Tuesday morning at organization’s Albion fairground office

Fire at supportive housing on Royal Crescent

Firefighters find chair on fire, building being evacuated

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

Meadus chosen to run for BC Liberals in Maple Ridge-Mission

Party chose not to have nomination meeting, due to snap election call

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read