What it's like to work on the Coastal GasLink project

Sep 21 2020, 9:10 am

Construction is well underway on the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink project, stretching from Groundbirch in northeastern BC near Chetwynd, to Kitimat, where it will connect to LNG Canada’s liquefaction facility.

Together with LNG Canada, this $40 billion megaproject marks the largest private sector investment in Canadian history and will connect Canada’s clean energy to the rest of the world. As work on the project continues, Coastal GasLink is actively employing British Columbians across a broad range of fields, industries, and professions.

Sophie Perodeau, a Field Administrator, is one of the many men and women who have stepped away from city life to be a part of the project.

Before moving to Smithers, BC, her work was focused on event planning and non-profit fundraising. Later, she worked in Indigenous economic participation and employment skills and training. This is why, she says, working with Coastal GasLink has brought her career full circle.

Perodeau spent time following employment trends in Northern BC and noticed that the Coastal GasLink project was generating a huge boom in opportunities in the region for administrators, labourers, medics, engineers, and chefs, among other professionals. When she saw an opportunity open up for her too, she knew she had to be a part of the project.

Today, the fast pace of Perodeau’s job, which involves construction management and logistics support for the Coastal GasLink team, means she gets to wear a different hat every day — whether it’s inside the office or outdoors among the lush forest and mountains.

“I get to work side by side with environment, with safety, with construction management,” she says. The Coastal GasLink team is represented by experts at the forefront of their professions from across Canada.

Perodeau admits that not having a lot of experience in construction was challenging at first and that there was much to learn. However, training and continuous support from her coworkers have helped her quickly adapt and thrive.

In terms of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, Perodeau says she has confidence in the extensive health and safety measures being implemented project-wide. Her team continues to wear masks and keep a safe distance at work. “We have a COVID coordinator who has been advising us the whole way through our protocols and procedures that are in place.”

Working on the pipeline project, Perodeau says, is the best decision she has ever made. She also feels it has allowed her to discover and appreciate the beauty of BC’s northern landscape.

Those working on the project have the option to stay at the on-site lodge and, like Perodeau, return home on the weekends to spend time with their families. Perodeau stays at the lodge from Monday through Friday, and she compares it to a hotel with amazing meals provided daily.  

Relocating to Northern BC for work is helping Perodeau plan for both her and her family’s future while enjoying a better quality of life. “I went from living paycheque to paycheque to buying a beautiful home by the lake,” she says. “Life is just a little less stressful.”

Perodeau says that Coastal GasLink’s relationship and collaboration with local communities is what sets the project apart.

“To work with Indigenous and local community members and to see the difference [the project is] making in their lives and in their communities is what makes me excited to go to work every day,” she explains. “I’m grateful to be a part of this moment in history.”

Construction on the project is playing a role in Canada’s economic recovery. To date, more than $1 billion has been committed to Indigenous and local businesses through employment and contracting opportunities resulting from the megaproject.

Coastal GasLink anticipates that by the end of the summer, more than 2,500 people will be in well-paying, family-supporting, and career-building employment across the project route in BC.

For more information about employment opportunities, including positions like Perodeau’s, visit CoastalGasLink.com/Employment.

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