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

The City of Campbell River sits on the shore of Discovery Passage and is back by the mountains of central Vancouver Island and Strathcona Park.
Funding available for downtown Campbell River building safety changes

Funding is available for property owners and business operators interested in changing… Continue reading

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until at least Dec. 7 due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Klahoose First Nation’s COVID-19 response working

Community testing comes back negative after week of lock down

Campbell River’s emergency shelter is opening again on Dec. 4, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Campbell River Emergency shelter opens today

20 of 22 beds available due to COVID restrictions

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Not everyone can wear a mask, Campbell River woman wants community to keep in mind

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

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

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

Most Read