Coastal GasLink’s 2014 Application to the BC Environmental Assessment Office describes a range of potential economic benefits from the project, including skills enhancement, business development, community investment initiatives and annual tax revenue, all of which will support community infrastructure and services.
With regard to skills enhancement, Coastal GasLink is committed to supporting local and Aboriginal training and education opportunities in communities across the project area, from the Peace River region to the B.C. Northwest.
The Coastal GasLink training and education plan has been informed by discussions with post-secondary organizations and training providers, engagement with local and Aboriginal communities and a socio-economic assessment.
The plan has two main components.
1. The Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program
This program focuses on skills that are relevant to pipeline construction, but potentially transferable to other industries. Examples may include equipment operation or industrial work preparedness.
Coastal GasLink recognizes the importance of providing training near local communities, and will support public post-secondary institutions within the project corridor. As of summer 2014, Coastal GasLink was in discussion with the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, Northwest Community College and the University of Northern British Columbia on initiatives that would enhance the colleges’ training programs.
The project team was also in discussion with colleges to develop bursary or scholarship programs to support students in skilled trades related to pipeline construction and operations.
As a first step, Coastal GasLink finalized a gift of $15,000 in May 2014 to the University of Northern British Columbia. This contribution will provide support to eligible students from Carrier Sekani Tribal Council communities.
Coastal GasLink is also working directly with Aboriginal training organizations. In summer 2014, the project team concluded a two-year agreement with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Training Association (PGNAETA). Coastal GasLink funding will assist PGNAETA as it offers 16-week industrial employment preparedness programs for eligible Aboriginal trainees.
2. Education Legacy Program
This program will provide support for the development of community capacity at the high school and elementary school level, and in education initiatives that support long-term community development.
In the spring of 2014, Coastal GasLink made a $2,500 contribution to an appeal from the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce to support industrial safety training in Dawson Creek high schools.
A larger initiative under the Education Legacy Program is a project (in partnership with TransCanada and Breakfast Club Canada) to provide healthy breakfasts to elementary school children in three selected communities (Vanderhoof, Terrace, and Prince George). The launch of this project is scheduled for the fall of 2014.
Through engagement activities with local and Aboriginal communities, Coastal GasLink is considering additional options for further implementation of this program.