The B.C. Interior portion of the federally-owned Trans Mountain project is finally underway, starting with a crew of up to 50 people to begin construction of the Kamloops portion of the twinned oil pipeline.
That workforce will grow to 600 by peak construction this summer and fall, the company said June 1, as work gets going on the B.C. Interior spread of the project from Black Pines, 40 km north of Kamloops, to the Coquihalla summit.
Ian Anderson, the Trans Mountain CEO kept on by the Justin Trudeau government after it bought the 60-year-old pipeline in 2018, said the COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for employment more acute.
“Trans Mountain knows that getting to work is important, but it must go hand in hand with a strong and unwavering commitment to the safety of our workforce and communities,” Anderson said June 1.
Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said he is satisfied with the COVID-19 measures put in place by Trans Mountain, with site and work vehicle restrictions. The city gets a $700,000 fund for community projects.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir welcomed the training, employment and contract opportunities from the mutual benefits agreement signed with the project.
Parts of the Trans Mountain twinning in Alberta were done a decade ago, including through Jasper National Park. The Jasper-Mount Robson and West Barriere sections are being reactivated. The project’s pipeline spreads, are Greater Edmonton, Yellowhead, North Thompson, B.C. Interior, Coquihalla-Hope, Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.