Shown is the route the Coastal GasLink project will take up to Kitimat. (File photo)

Shown is the route the Coastal GasLink project will take up to Kitimat. (File photo)

ALC rejects Coastal GasLink work camp behind Vanderhoof airport

Coastal GasLink said they are currently reviewing ALC’s decision to determine next steps

The work camp that was supposed to be built for the Coastal GasLink project behind the Vanderhoof airport has been rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission.

Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen said the council’s intentions are that the camp be built behind the airport and Coastal GasLink should appeal the decision.

READ MORE: Vanderhoof, Lejac to have Coastal GasLink work camps

The property where the 900-person work camp was to be located is within Agricultural Land Reserve.

Avtar Sundher, director of operations for the Agricultural Land Commission sent a document to The Omineca Express on Monday, Oct. 21, explaining the reasons behind rejecting the work camp at that location. All the information below has been taken from that document.

The district of Vanderhoof applied to the ALC to use 19.3 ha of the 61.7 ha property to build the temporary work camp that would house workers during the construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project. The duration of the proposed temporary use is up to 30 months.

Two issues the panel at ALC considered were whether the proposed camp should be located on the property within the ALR and secondly whether the proposal would impact the agricultural utility of the property.

Coastal GasLink told the ALC that the District offered the location to meet the needs of a large work camp. They also stated that the proposal would bring work and contractors to the area which will result in economic benefits for the district.

However, the panel deciding the fate of the work camp noted the Agricultural Land Commission Act no longer considers economic, social, cultural or regional and community planning objectives and that all decisions must be made through the lens of preserving agricultural land.

On the first issue, whether the proposal should be located on the property within the ALR — the Commission found that the proposal should not be located within the ALR if it can be reasonably located outside the ALR.

The Commission received public comments identifying an alternate site for the camp on land outside the ALR and within a few kilometres of the proposed site.

In response to these comments, Coastal GasLink confirmed the alternative site was considered, but was deemed secondary to the proposed location due to concerns with access through the ALR and wetness issues that would require earthworks.

“The panel did not attempt to determine the viability of the alternate location, noting that the feasibility of locating the camp outside of the ALR does not depend on the viability of just one alternate site. The panel finds that the Applicant has not demonstrated that the camp needs to be located on the Property.”

The second issue was whether the proposed camp would impact the agricultural utility of the property.

The ALC said the property is currently growing barley and is partially forested. Based on the agricultural capability ratings and current use, the panel found the property has secondary agricultural capability.

The proposed site is 19.3 ha out of which 7 ha is currently cleared and 12.3 ha is bush. The work camp would require the entire site to be cleared.

Moreover, Stantec submitted a report saying the proposed area would be reclaimed to an agricultural standard once the non-farm use has concluded. But the panel was concerned the introduction of large quantities of gravel, utilities and compaction necessary to construct the camp will significantly impact the land and create potential difficulties remediating the land.

Lastly, the panel considered public submissions and comments from Coastal GasLink and while they considered the economic benefits of the project, they found those economic considerations are not contributory to the decision. And the agricultural benefits stated by Coastal GasLink do not outweigh the negative impacts to agriculture both on property as well as to neighbouring properties.

So for the reasons mentioned above, the panel refused the proposal.

Suzanne Wilton, Coastal GasLink communications lead said the company is currently reviewing the ALC decision to determine the next steps.

The Coastal GasLink project spans 670 km from Groundbirch, B.C. to the proposed LNG Canada export facility near Kitimat, B.C. Another camp close to Vanderhoof is in Lejac.

READ MORE: National Energy Board rejects federal review of Coastal GasLink pipeline


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Mark Perry in concert at the old Driftwood School (Marty Clemens photo)
Mark Perry releases new single ahead of Northwest album.

“Golden Spruce” tells the story of a forester who cut down an old-growth Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Coho is one of many fish species that will benefit from a project to assess fish passage in the Falls River Watershed and offer options for improved connectivity and habitat restoration. The project will be delivered with funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program announced on June 8. (Photo: supplied by FWCP, istock, M.Haring)
More than $2.1 million for Northcoast fish and wildlife projects

Falls River Watershed SE of Prince Rupert to have fish passage and habitat study

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)
NDP motion calling for immediate reconciliation action passes

Skeena-Bulkley MP Taylor Bachrach addresses federal Parliament

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Most Read