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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP are requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
Kitimat RCMP requesting assistance locating missing woman

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

Maria Lewis president of the Prince Rupert Royal Canadian Legion accepts a $5,000 donation gifted via an artillery shell from Shawn MacDonald governor of the Prince Rupert Loyal Order of the Moose 1051 on Nov. 13.
Major donation overwhelms Prince Rupert Legion

Prince Rupert Moose Lodge 1051 donates $5,000 to local veterans organization

Air Canada /Jazz flight AC8280 on Nov. 16 from Vancouver to Prince Rupert had a confirmed case of COVID-19, said Air Canada on Nov. 20. (File photo)
Flight into city had confirmed case of COVID-19

Nov. 16 flight from Vancouver to Prince Rupert affected by coronavirus

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

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

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Most Read