Since November 2018, the Coastal GasLink team has held 22 ‘economic summits’ in communities along the natural gas pipeline route, including 16 Indigenous communities. The largest of these meetings was held recently in Prince George.
These forums have been hugely successful in connecting local prospective employees and businesses to jobs and contracting opportunities. In fact, some people were hired on the spot, including Lisa Desjarlais, who travelled to Prince George from Fort St. John with her sister-in-law Judy Desjarlais, of the Blueberry River First Nation.
“It’s long-term employment, which is very rare to find in the industry, especially with the economy the way it has been,” said Lisa, who was hired on a Thursday with plans to start her new job the following Monday. “This is something that’s going to benefit me, my family, and it’s nice because it’s going to help Indigenous and First Nations,” she said.
Coastal GasLink has made a clear commitment that our contractors will prioritize qualified local and Indigenous people and businesses, and these economic summits are a key part of ensuring this commitment is fulfilled.
The project’s selected prime contractors and many sub-contractors — Surerus Murphy Joint Venture, SA Energy Group, Macro Spiecapag Joint Venture and Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction Inc. — were in attendance to provide information about the types of jobs and contracts needed to complete construction along the 670-kilometre project route.
To date, $620 million in contracts have been awarded to northern British Columbia Indigenous businesses for camps, clearing, medical, and security services. It’s anticipated that another $400 million in additional contract and employment opportunities for Indigenous and local B.C. communities will be awarded during pipeline construction.
Preliminary construction is underway along the project route, including near Kitimat and Chetwynd, with work commencing in the Prince George area in summer 2019. The focus for this year’s activities is on land clearing, roadwork and workforce accommodation preparation. Pipeline construction is expected to go into full swing in 2020.
Learn more about potential jobs and contracting opportunities.