TransCanada Projects $3.5 Million in Annual Property Tax for Peace Region

Lynsey Kitching

Dave Kmet, Sr. Land Representative for TransCanada and Eric Mohun, Senior Advisor – A consultant on behalf of TransCanada Aboriginal Relations, stand with an example of the pipe which will be used for the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project. Lynsey Kitching photo.
Last Tuesday, TransCanada conducted an information session for their Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. The session was to inform the community about their project as well as gather information from the community about what they would like to see from TransCanada in terms of investing in the community. Investments could be in areas such as social services, i.e. health care and education, which Tumbler Ridge could greatly benefit.
Unfortunately, at the information session there was little response or questions from the community, because few attended. Well, two people attended, including the person who is writing this article. This was the total number of visitors as of seven pm. A few more could have popped by in the last hour, as the session ran from 4:30 until eight pm.
The Coastal Gaslink project will run about 40 km from town on the north to west side and about 15 km from the municipal boundary. As the pipeline will be running through the Peace Region, TransCanada is looking at how they can contribute to the community. Based on the current assessment of the capital costs for the project, TransCanada says the Peace Region will receive about $3.5 million in annual property tax. This money in theory is meant to go back into communities to support schools, hospitals and other social services.
The project, which will start construction (if all permitting goes as planned) in 2015, is also in talks with local training facilities to train workers for the project. The section around Tumbler Ridge will take about one year to complete and will need trades workers such as equipment operators, welders, mechanics, truck drivers and labourers. Eric Mohun, Senior Advisor — a consultant on Behalf of TransCanada Aboriginal Relations says, “Training is part of the overall community investment program and certainly we’d be working with the schools, across the entire province. We have been in conversations with Northern Lights College.”
Dave Kmet, Senior Land Representative says, “We are still in the really early stages of the project. It takes a little time to start gearing up training. We are hoping to have something on paper by Christmas time.”
The project representatives have also been in talks with Aboriginal communities since the project was announced in June of this year. Mohun says, “We’ve had long conversation and dialogue with communities to find out what is important to them. The ones we’ve been engaging with are most of the Treaty Eight bands. The reception has been good. TransCanada has a good reputation with the bands now. Going in, they know us and how we operate. We’ve had two or three official meetings with each of the bands and we continue to meet with them. They see it as an opportunity.”
The project is still in the process of conducting all of the geotechnical, environmental and archaeological surveys. Its target is to file its application to the Environmental assessment office in January of 2014. Kmet says, “Our conceptual corridor goes from two km to six or seven kms wide in some places. We have to narrow that down to the 100 feet we would need.”
The pipeline right-of-way would be about 30 metres or less in width when in operation and it will be about 36 inches in depth under the ground. The pipeline will run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. Kmet says, “Ultimately the natural gas is destined for Asian markets.”