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)

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

Erin Haluschak visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Erin Haluschak talks missing persons on Vancouver Island, women in media

Podcast: Black Press reporter also talks about importance of women in the media

(File photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo to increase fees for disposal of mattresses

Current rate of $15 per unit not enough to cover recycling

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

This payphone sits just east of TD Bank in Parksville, on Harrison Avenue. (Emily Vance photo)
Last call approaches for Vancouver Island payphones?

Some payphones don’t get used for days as mobile phones diminishing need

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel bloom boom on Vancouver Island’

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Most Read