The construction of the new Coastal GasLink project is currently underway and expected to deliver significant economic benefits to families across British Columbia.
Families like Sophie Perodeau’s, one of many women and men from Vancouver and Lower Mainland accessing these benefits. She credits the transferrable skills gained working in events in downtown Vancouver for enabling her to take on the new role as a field administrator.
“There was [an] opportunity that was there. And that opportunity has helped me plan for my future and my family’s future. I used to do event planning where you wear multiple hats and those skills I’ve transferred into this job,” she says.
The project, a 670-kilometre pipeline that will safely deliver natural gas from northeastern BC to the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat, is in peak construction and will create 2,500 jobs before the end of summer.
As part of the province’s economic recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is safely putting people back to work with well-paying, family-supporting, and career-building employment opportunities for northern communities.
The massive project offers broad opportunities for Vancouverites like Sophie and is actively employing women and men from across the province and the rest of Canada in a multitude of fields, trades, and professions. This includes engineers, medics, labourers, mechanics, chefs, and many other diverse roles.
As the scope of construction continues to grow, so will the volume of the workforce. As such, the number and diversity of job opportunities available is expected to continue to grow and evolve.
Many are seizing it as an opportunity to jumpstart their careers or to gain meaningful experience. For project engineer Elise Chow-Stiefvater, it’s just that.
Describing her day-to-day, she remarks on how much she enjoys spending time outdoors and how fascinating she finds the project. “It’s so cool to think that we can get this huge pipeline under the ground and just cause such a minimal impact to the environment,” says Chow-Stiefvater.
Coastal GasLink has also committed $1 billion to Indigenous and local businesses in the form of employment and contracting opportunities.
Local Indigenous workers are being supported through skills development and certifications needed to take part in and benefit from the project. The objective is to set them up for long-term, meaningful careers in the heavy construction industry. One such program is the Pathways to Prosperity Program, which recently saw 12 trainees complete training that will enable them to gain employment either on the project or within the industry.
Making cleaner Canadian energy available around the globe, Coastal GasLink and LNG Canada together represent the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history, injecting $40 billion into the Canadian economy.
Post-project, Coastal GasLink wants the construction of the pipeline to have an enduring legacy. As such, they’ve prioritized collaborating with Indigenous and local communities to ensure the project has a positive impact.
This also includes positive environmental effects. Mat Seguin, a project coordinator onsite, believes that the project is setting a “new standard in terms of environmental impact.”
Speaking further on the subject, Seguin mentions the presence of environmental inspectors and members of Nak’azdli Whut’en construction monitors who are onsite daily.
“It’s really good to have that cooperation with everybody so that everyone’s on the same page so that we can come in here, do our job properly. Everybody works together. And then when we ship out, everybody’s happy [and] the environment is as it was when we leave,” says Seguin.
Safety in relation to the ongoing crisis, too, remains at the forefront as project-wide health and safety standards for all worksites are firmly in place in accordance with Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines.
To learn more about the large-scale project, visit CoastalGasLink.com.