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

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Sadie, a long-term care resident at Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat was among those who got the COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination clinic held Thursday (Jan. 21). Northern Health photo
Mountainview Lodge gets first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines

The first vaccination clinic was held Thursday (Jan. 21)

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Haisla Nation Council photo
COVID-19 vaccine supply delayed for Kitamaat Village

Supply could not be guaranteed for the Village with the current national Pfizer-BioNTech shortage

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read