When Coastal GasLink announced the pipeline project, one of the things they mentioned was more employment opportunities for locals and so far, they claim to have majority of locals and local contracts out for their project.
“In June, there were approximately 185 people working in Section 6 and 7 which are the areas nearest to Burns Lake and Houston. The majority of these folks were housed in workforce accommodations at the 7 Mile Lodge. About 80 per cent of those folks were local and/or indigenous, either to the area or from B.C.,” said Wilton adding that there weren’t any further breakdowns on local hires available. She also said that there would be as many as 450 more jobs available soon as the work moves towards mainline construction.
There are four prime contractors working for CGL to build the pipeline. The pipeline route which is 670 kilometres, is divided in to eight sections for constructions. Each contractor is responsible for two sections and PAPC has Sections 6 and 7 under its jurisdiction. Section 6 ranges from south of Burns Lake to South of Houston and Section 7 ranges from South of Houston to North of Morice Lake.
According to CGL’s Socio-economic Management Plan (SEEMP) report, the workforce peak for 9A Lodge is expected to hit in the months of May 2021 with the company expecting at least 526 workers during that time period. However, currently neither the 9A Lodge, nor the Huckleberry Lodge — both of which would service the area — are in operation. The numbers at the 7 Mile Lodge that services Burns Lake area and south of Houston, are already on the rise with Summit Camps starting their hiring for several positions including chefs, bakers, sandwich makers, helpers, supervisors, janitors, housekeepers.
George Hemeon, who is a senior manager with CGL for Indigenous and local contracting and employment, said that the upcoming period is going to be crucial for employment as the project is soon entering the mainline construction phase.
“There will be opportunities to support construction like equipment operators, helpers, welders, welders’ helpers, and those kind of things. There will be major hiring that will be happening in the coming weeks and months so those interested local workers should keep their eyes open and should start applying,” said Hemeon.
As of now, Section 7 is still in pre-construction phase and the Huckleberry Lodge that would ideally accomodate the workers for that section, is still in its civil works.
“The workforce there is still completing fieldwork there to start actual construction but as of now the only actual work is the restablishment of the lodge,” said Wilton, adding that because the work hadn’t actually started there, there weren’t a lot of people working that section and any numbers that CGL would have at this point would only be anecdotal and not actual.