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Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Special Edition: The Northern Report

Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


What’s Inside 2013 Sinopec joins LNG rush..........................................A4


Ottawa to examine four LNG projects....................A4

On the cover

Province thrilled at NEB ruling................................A4 TransCanada proposing two projects...............A5 Initiatives Prince George sees growth.....................A6


Premier pitches LNG in Asia............................. A7 What’s the rush on LNG?: Chiefs ..................... A9 LNG is the new LSD ........................................... A10


Leading standards for liquefied natural gas ......... A11 Northern B.C. development - in a nutshell .......... A12 Eyford report talks First Nations involvement ....... A13


Spectrum – An environment of innovation.....A15 Ottawa vows world-class spill protection ............. B1

Artist’s rendering of proposed liquefied natural gas plant near Kitimat.

Study looks at agricultural land use........................B3 Premier in Prince George for forum ...................... B4


Hydro poll finds support for Site C .................. B5 Economic impact of pipelines.................................B6 Trials and tribulations of work camps......................B7

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Sinopec joins LNG rush in B.C. Tom Fletcher Black Press Chinese petrochemical giant Sinopec, another Japanese player and an unidentified Indian company are joining the international move to explore liquefied natural gas exports from northern B.C., says Rich Coleman, B.C.’s minister for natural gas development. Sinopec, ranked the fifth largest global company in 2011, is looking for LNG imports equivalent to the output of the world’s second largest LNG terminal, Coleman told reporters as Premier Christy Clark began a trade trip to Asia.

Another new player is Idemitsu Kosan Co., the second-largest petroleum refiner in Japan, which is applying for a federal export permit in a partnership with Calgary-based AltaGas called Triton LNG. China National Overseas Oil Company and its new subsidiary Nexen has put up a non-refundable deposit of $12 million toward purchase of provincial land on the north side of Grassy Point near Prince Rupert, Coleman said. Another unidentified company has shown interest in the south side of Grassy Point. The new proposals add to a lineup of international investment proposed by Petronas, Chevron, Shell, British Gas and others, which are expected to make final invest-

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ment decisions in 2014. Coleman said the tax rate for LNG producers is to be presented to companies

by the end of November, but it may not be public until the B.C. government tables its budget in February.

Federal cabinet to examine four LNG licence applications following NEB ruling Ottawa is going to take a look at four applications for licences to export liquefied natural gas, following the National Energy Board’s decision. The applicants are Pacific NorthWest LNG, Prince Rupert LNG, WCC LNG and Woodfibre LNG. “Following the National Energy Board’s decisions on four applications for licences to export liquefied natural gas, the federal government will now review the NEB’s decisions,” said Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. “Subject to regulatory approval, the Harper government supports energy projects that will create jobs and generate economic growth in Canada for future generations. “Our government will only allow energy projects to proceed if they are found to be safe for Canadians after an independent, science-based environmental and regulatory review. “With our plan for Responsible Resource Development, we have increased the protection of the environment, streamlined regulatory reviews and are aggressively working to reach new markets for Canadian natural resources. Federal cabinet approval is required before the licences can be issued by the National Energy Board.”

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Province thrilled at LNG approvals The province is certainly enthused about the National Energy Board approval of four LNG projects in British Columbia. “These export approvals mark a major milestone in our efforts to create jobs and grow our economy by leveraging our abundant supply of natural gas,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman, in a press release. “Now that the NEB has approved the applications, we look forward to a timely decision from the federal government so that we can ensure these companies are positioned to make final investment decisions as quickly as possible.” The four applications approved by the National Energy Board were: • Prince Rupert LNG Exports Ltd., proposed by the BG Group. • Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd., proposed by PETRONAS/Progress Energy. • WCC LNG Ltd., representing Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. • Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd., proposed by Woodfibre Natural Gas Limited. These four submissions will now be reviewed by the Government of Canada and remain subject to approval by the Governor

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in Council. The NEB is an independent federal regulator of Canada’s energy industry. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest. According to the province: • Prior to these approvals, the NEB has issued export licences to three other LNG proponents: • A 20-year export licence was approved in February 2012 for the Douglas Channel Energy project (Texas company/Haisla Nation/Golar LNG and an investor to be named later). • A 20-year licence was granted in October 2011 to Kitimat LNG (Apache Corp. and Chevron Canada). • LNG Canada (Shell and co-venture partners) received an export licence in February 2013. • If five LNG facilities move forward, the cumulative gross domestic product benefit to British Columbia could total $1 trillion by 2046, according to the province. • LNG export operations in B.C. could create over 100,000 new jobs in British Columbia and new revenues for government.

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


TransCanada looks globally Bill Phillips Northern Report Beijing is ringed by eight or nine coalfired power plants. It’s part of the reason the city has such smog issues. China also has a burgeoning middle class. John Dunn, vice-president Trans– Canada Pipeline, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission who was on the premier’s November trade mission to Asia, said they were told that about 350 million Chinese (roughly the population of the United States) will move to cities in that country by 2025 and 150,000 more Chinese will enter the middle class. And, as elsewhere in the world, the middle class puts demands on government. “There is an increasing appetite in Asia for clean-burning natural gas,” Dunn said at a North Central Local Government Association lunch in Prince George December 13. “There are strong demands that China wean itself off of coal.” In other words, the provincial rush to get into the liquefied natural gas business is not a pipe dream. Asia’s thirst for natural gas is only going to increase. “The LNG business is truly a global business,” he said. “It’s not just a big business, but it is a global business. The companies that are involved are not just big energy companies, they are the biggest companies in the world.” TransCanada Pipeline’s role in all that is just a small portion of the global business. But in terms of British Columbia, and the North in particular, it’s pretty big. TransCanada operates more natural gas pipeline than anyone else in North America with about 68,000 kilometres of high-pressure gas transmission lines. The company is proposing to build another 1,600 kilometres in two pipelines across northern B.C. “When it comes to natural gas transmission, we would argue that no one does it better,” he said. TransCanada, which has been operating in B.C. for more than 50 years, is also Canada’s largest private generator of power, cranking out about the same amount of power as BC Hydro. “One-third of that is generated from renewables,” he said. Currently, LNG from British Columbia and Alberta is distributed specifically to the North American market, which is about to change. “Moving gas to the coast and then put-

Teresa MALLAM/Free Press John Dunn, vice-president TransCanada Pipeline, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission speaks at a North Central Local Government Association luncheon in Prince George.

ting it into LNG vessels and taking it into the global market, is very much a natural evolution of what TransCanada has been doing, for years,” he said. TransCanada is proposing two projects designed specifically to enter that global market. The Coastal Gaslink project will pipe natural gas from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat. It will, when in full operation, deliver 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day. The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project will ship natural gas from Hudson’s Hope to Port Edward near Prince Rupert. It will supply Petronas’ facility and will also be 3.6 billion cubic feet per day. “These are very, very substantive lines,” he said. Between the two … about $12 billion investment in the North.


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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

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Prince George will see the growth Ashley MacDonald-Venis Northern Report Prince George is on track for major economic expansion in the next five to 10 years, according to Initiatives Prince George. The city’s economic development corporation, which aims to diversify the economic resources of Prince George to help create resiliency and growth over time, is eyeing growth in all the region’s industrial supply sectors due to the $70-plus billion of resource and resource related projects planned and underway in the north. “We are the largest city [in the north] and one of the fastest growing regions in the country. All of the drivers of our economy remain the resource sectors and our supply chain within those areas … the people that supply and service the industrial and resource industries are going to continue to see growth,” said Heather Oland, CEO of IPG. One of the encouraging indicators of a healthy economic future is when small to medium businesses Heather Oland are investing in themselves, according to Oland. Businesses capable of hiring more staff or expanding because they are comfortable that they will still be lucrative in five years is a big change in Prince George from 10 years ago. “[Businesses] used to work as hard as [they] could while the work was here, but that’s not the case anymore. Businesses are investing in themselves,” said Oland. As Prince George and northern B.C. grows, the advantages to relocating here expand as well, due to improvements to educational opportunities, amenities, and the cost of living. “You can go from kindergarten to a PhD [in Prince George]; we [have] great trades training facilities; affordable housing options; green spaces; two performing theatres, said Oland. “[Those] are things that people look for when considering a move to a city.” The one area that is still in the beginning stages of expanding is the entrepreneurial aspect of the workforce. “Increasing the services that we offer to the young startups is definitely growing, but I think that would round out the offerings that we have for people,” said Oland.

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


Premier Christy Clark attends reception for participants in a two-week Asia trade mission in November. About 200 people visited China, Japan and Korea.

Premier pitches LNG in Asia Tom Fletcher Black Press Premier Christy Clark set off last month on her fourth trade mission to Asia, after sidestepping questions about the environmental impact of liquefied natural gas export plants on the Kitimat-area environment. A new report from environment group Skeena Wild concludes that if three LNG processing plants are built to burn natural gas for compression and cooling – what the industry calls direct drive – they would use two and a half times more gas than Metro Vancouver. The report calls for modern gas-fired power plants to be built outside the narrow Kitimat Valley to reduce the impact of sulphur dioxide and other pollutants that affect air and

water quality. Speaking to reporters at Vancouver airport, Clark rejected the report’s claim that the government has “tacitly endorsed” the use of direct-drive production of LNG. “The study can’t have final answers on any of that, because they don’t know yet how liquefied natural gas plants will be powered,” Clark said. “We don’t know how many there will be. We’re still in negotiations with the companies about how all that’s going to unfold.” Environment Minister Mary Polak said in an interview that one LNG proposal has applied for an environmental assessment, and two others are in discussions on B.C.’s technical requirements for a permit and how the plants would be powered. “Nothing like that has been finalized yet, and of course we are concerned about what that means for a con-

strained airshed like Kitimat, because we know that there are a number of facilities proposed for Kitimat,” Polak said. Polak announced in October that $650,000 has been spent on a study of LNG impact in northwestern B.C. Results are expected by the end of March. U.S. Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Malaysian LNG investors expected to make final investment decisions on B.C. proposals later in 2014. The expansion of Rio Tinto-Alcan’s aluminum smelter has already required a 50 per cent increase in the plant’s allowable sulphur dioxide emissions, from 27 to 42 tonnes a day. New technology is expected to reduce the smelter’s output of fine particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fluoride and other pollutants when the upgrade is in operation in 2014.

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Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Special Edition: The Northern Report

Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


What’s the rush on LNG?: Chiefs Bill Phillips Northern Report What’s the rush? That was the message from chiefs at the B.C. First Nations LNG Summit in Prince George in October. With the provincial government touting five liquefied natural gas plants possible for the Northwest in the coming years, and as pipeline proposals come rolling through First Nations territory, they are feeling under the gun. “We’re really feeling the pressure, from not only the provincial government, but the proponents,â€? said Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. “Really, we should be dealing with the two levels of government.â€? He added that First Nations have limited resources to examine these projects properly to determine whether they are in the band’s interest or not. Grand Chief Edward John was a little more direct, using his band as an example. “There’s a proposal for Trans Canada Pipeline to go through adjacent to one of our villages,â€? he said. “Companies come in with a sense of urgency. We have to have a socioeconomic impact study done by the end of this month. The situation is this ... we have no resources in our communities, we have a company coming in with a pipeline who are expecting us to jump up and down at their beck and call.â€? He said the band has no help from the provincial or federal government to deal with these things. In this case, Trans Canada Pipeline gave the band $75,000 to help pay for some of the work required. “That’s welcomed by the community,â€? said John, “But a significant amount of money is required to make the kind of decisions that are required.â€? John says they are continually told that the demand is market driven and Canada has a small window of opportunity to get into the market. “We haven’t seen anything from any source that says there’s that sense of urgency,â€? John said. “I’ve been to China five times, no thanks to either government ‌ Somebody’s telling us there’s urgency here, and we don’t understand


We’re really feeling the pressure, not only from the provincial government, but from the proponents. Really, we should be dealing with two levels of government. - Tribal Chief Terry Teegee the source of that urgency, except somebody’s telling us it’s urgent. We have to slow this process down.� Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Judy WilsonRaybould said there is a bigger issue that needs to be solved first. “First Nations have been engaged and thinking about these situations for a long time,� she said. “They have been fundamentally wanting to solve the land question in British Columbia. We’re not opposed to development, but not at any cost.� She said First Nations want to find a balance between






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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

LNG is the new LSD But it is no more a panacea for our ills than LSD was for hippies Roslyn Kunin TroyMedia VANCOUVER/ Troy Media/ - Back in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;60s the three magic letters were LSD. People were turning on, tuning in and dropping out with LSD, hoping to solve all their problems. It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. Today, in British Columbia, the three magic letters are LNG and they are presented as a solution to the provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic problems. Unfortunately, LNG (liquid natural gas) is no more a panacea for all ills than LSD was. It is an important component of the B.C. resource base, but the whole future of the B.C. economy cannot hinge on LNG alone. Why? Well, first, there is vocal opposition to the development of LNG. Environmental groups oppose â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;frackingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, the water-intensive process used to extract natural gas from shale, even though it is used extensively in the United States and elsewhere. There is also concern about the impact of transportation and other infrastructure needed to liquefy and deliver the gas to markets. While the validity of these concerns has been hotly debated, they do raise a real political issue for the B.C. government and are loud enough to create doubts in the minds of potential customers about the provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to deliver LNG. Second, First Nations are often portrayed as against LNG and other resource development, even though the Tahltan, Haisla and Tsimshian are just three examples of First Nation communities that are currently involved in economic development activities related to natural gas. First Nations communities, like most others, are vitally concerned with having jobs and incomes, and they know that most jobs and income in B.C. (especially outside the metropolitan areas) are resource dependent. They are anxious to retain their citizens within their communities. Should too many young people have to leave to get work, their entire culture is put at risk. Third, environmental and compensation issues do need to be addressed, even though B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental standards are higher than in many countries where natural gas is produced. But the government has already promised to look at compensation for First Nations in areas of resource development. Fourth, there are the myriad of supply and demand factors that must also be considered for success in any economic project. A recently released paper by the Canada West Foun-

dation called Managing Expectations: Assessing the Potential of BCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Liquid Natural Gas Industry, shows that the potential supply of gas to feed Chinese and Asian markets could easily exceed demand. Further, the cost to produce gas in places like China is lower than in B.C. And there are alternatives to B.C. LNG. China can use pipelines to get LNG from elsewhere in Asia or use other sources of energy. It was wise, therefore, that a recent B.C. government trade mission to sell its LNG in Asia focused on Korea and Japan. However, the province still has an uphill battle on its hands if it is to successfully market its gas resource because the infrastructure needed to produce, liquefy and ship the gas is not yet in place and faces high costs and environmental constraints. There is also intensive competition for LNG customers and many of its rivals for these markets are ahead of it in the race to produce and deliver it. Finally, the increased actual and potential production will put downward pressure on gas prices and, therefore, on the profitability of the sector. Fortunately, The Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) has just released a white paper on energy policy in BC called Building New Energy Advantages for BC. It deals with multiple energy sources, but makes several recommendations that could improve B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success in selling LNG. These include but are not limited to: â&#x20AC;˘ placing a renewed focus on marketplace competitiveness; â&#x20AC;˘ accelerating LNG development with adequate resources, including needed electricity; â&#x20AC;˘ positioning B.C. as a global leader in responsible energy development; â&#x20AC;˘ building and refining First Nation energy partnerships; â&#x20AC;˘ building a robust skills agenda including human resource planning, and â&#x20AC;˘ encouraging the domestic use of BCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural gas resources. LNG can still be a positive component in the B.C. economy. However, its impact will not be as large might be desired. Following the Canada West Foundation findings, B.C. should consider the development of other resources and other sources of growth and not put all our eggs in the LNG basket. Following the BCBC recommendations will help the government of British Columbia insure that LNG can still be an important, realistic part of a thriving province and not an unattainable LSD type hallucination. Troy Media BCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Business columnist Roslyn Kunin is a consulting economist and speaker and can be reached at

The whole future of the B.C. economy cannot hinge on LNG alone


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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


Leading standards for natural gas Rich Coleman Minister of Natural Gas Development VICTORIA - With recent events bringing attention to hydraulic fracturing, I think it is important for British Columbians to know the facts about natural gas operations in our province. B.C. has been producing natural gas for more than 50 years. Hydraulic fracturing, the technology used to extract a large portion of our natural gas, has been occurring for decades. Our extensive experience has enabled us to put strict rules in place to govern how the industry conducts its business, ensuring it is rigorously monitored and as safe as possible. We were the first province in Canada to make it mandatory for industry to disclose the fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process. The online registry - provides information about our regulations and an account of each well drilled. Our provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geology provides us with natural advantages over other areas in North America with the hydraulic fracturing process occurring in B.C. kilometres away from the surface and below impermeable layers of rock and soil. When wells are drilled, they are lined with cement to a depth of 600 metres to protect our soil and water. This provides even more protection for our drinking water. As well, water usage is carefully monitored and protected in British Columbia. The net result of both our strong regulatory framework and our geology is that B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water supply is protected and safe. It has never been contaminated as a result of hydraulic fracturing. To ensure industry adheres to our rules, we have a dedicated provincial regulator in place. The BC Oil and Gas Commission has expert geologists, hydrologists, and engineers to ensure natural gas work remains safe. And while the experts do their job, we continue to do ours. The provincial government has made sound policy

Rich Coleman

decisions to support responsible natural gas development. World-leading regulations and best practices continue to guide how we operate. Our government supports responsible growth and development because it makes long-term sense. We want industry to grow in an environmentally sensible manner so all British Columbians can benefit directly from natural gas production. We recognize safe exploration as an opportunity to support and grow our economy. Revenue generated enables us to better protect our environment and pay for important services such as health care, education, infrastructure

development and more. The reality is we must strike a realistic balance between the needs of our families and strong communities, and the need to be responsible stewards of our environment. We need to accomplish both to be successful in the long term. And, we are confident we are doing that on many fronts. For instance, to address growing demands from many industries, we are updating legislation with the proposed Water Sustainability Act. This act will ensure the best standards of environmental protection and appropriate oversight is in place for B.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water resources now and in the future. Our approach appears to be working. To reiterate, there has never been an incident of contaminated water supply as a result of hydraulic fracturing in our province. The water used by industry is subject to strict rules. Before any approval can be provided, each permit must go through a rigorous review to eliminate harms and maintain existing water levels. In addition to a vast supply of natural gas and leading standards for exploration, B.C offers industry with many other advantages necessary for large investment, and that is why we have this amazing opportunity to become a world leader in natural gas exports. As the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas is in high demand around the globe, particularly where air quality is a major concern. We see this as an opportunity to redefine our financial security and set a path forward to future prosperity for all British Columbians. We want future generations to benefit financially from the foresight we show today to responsibly grow our natural gas sector. To do that, we have made a commitment to responsibly develop a liquefied natural gas export industry. Our government supports natural gas development because it makes sense today and for generations to come. Natural gas is our best competitive advantage moving forward. Connect with the Province of B.C. at: connect

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Development in a nutshell Status of West Coast Energy Infrastructure Projects at oulined in Douglas Eyford’s report Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships – Aboriginal Canadians and Energy Development,

OIL PROJECTS NORTHERN GATEWAY PIPELINE / ENBRIDGE NORTHERN GATEWAY Enbridge is proposing to construct and operate a 525,000 barrels per day petroleum export pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. The proposed project consists of a 1,170 km-long petroleum export pipeline, a condensate import pipeline, and a marine terminal. The project has an anticipated capital cost of $6.5 billion, and is expected to generate 3,000 construction jobs, and provide 1,150 long-term jobs. Aboriginal Interest: The proponent has engaged 70 Aboriginal groups Planned In-Service Date: 2018 TRANS MOUNTAIN PIPELINE EXPANSION / KINDER MORGAN Kinder Morgan is proposing a $5.4 billion expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system that would increase capacity from 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 890,000 b/d of crude oil and petroleum products from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. Approximately 30 per cent of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline was looped or twinned in 2008. The proposed expansion would twin the remainder of existing pipeline within the existing right-of-way, where possible, and add approximately 981 kms of new pipeline. The project would employ approximately 4,500 people during construction and 100 people once in operation. Aboriginal Interest: 103 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: 2017 KITIMAT CLEAN REFINERY / KITIMAT CLEAN Kitimat Clean has proposed the construction and development of an export-oriented 550,000 barrel per day petroleum refinery, approximately 25 km north of Kitimat, B.C. Refined products would be shipped from a marine terminal located on the Douglas Channel, near Kitimat. The project would require an estimated $18 billion capital investment and, once built, would be the largest petroleum refinery in Canada and western North America. Aboriginal Interest: TBD Planned In-Service Date: TBD

NATURAL GAS PROJECTS PRINCE RUPERT PACIFIC NORTHWEST LNG TERMINAL / PROGRESS ENERGY CANADA / JAPAN PETROLEUM EXPLORATION Progress Energy Canada (a subsidiary of Petronas) and Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) are proposing to construct and operate a $9–11 billion natural gas liquefaction project on Lelu Island within the Port of Prince Rupert. The proposed project is anticipated to have an initial two train design of 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) with the potential to add a third train for up to 18 MPTA. The project would employ approximately 3,500 people at the peak of construction, and 200-300 people during operations. The proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline would supply gas to the terminal. Aboriginal Interest: Five potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: Late 2018 PRINCE RUPERT LNG TERMINAL / BG ENERGY GROUP BG Energy Group is proposing to construct and operate an $11–16 billion natural gas liquefaction project on Ridley Island within the Port of Prince Rupert. The proposed project is anticipated to have an initial two train design of 14 MTPA with the potential to add a third train for up to 21 MPTA. The project would provide approximately 9,000 person-years of employment for the construction of trains one and two, and an additional 3,500 personyears for train three. Once all three trains are in place, that facility would provide employment for approximately 250 employees. The proposed West Coast Connector Gas Transmission project would supply gas to the terminal. Aboriginal Interest: Six potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: Early 2020 WEST COAST CONNECTOR GAS TRANSMISSION / SPECTRA AND BG GROUP Spectra Energy and the BG Group are proposing to construct and operate a $6–9 billion

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gas pipeline from northeastern British Columbia to the Prince Rupert LNG facility located in the Port of Prince Rupert (~900 km). The proposed project will consist of either one or two adjacent pipelines of 36” to 48” pipe with a capacity of up to 4.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). The proposed project would employ approximately 3,500 people during peak construction and 200 to 300 over a 30-year project lifespan. Aboriginal Interest: Approximately 20 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: Late 2018 PRINCE RUPERT GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE / TRANSCANADA PIPELINES TransCanada Pipelines is proposing to construct and operate a $5 billion natural gas pipeline from northeast of Hudson’s Hope, B.C. to the Pacific Northwest LNG facility in Prince Rupert (~750 km). The proposed project will consist of a 48” pipe with a capacity of up to 3.6 bcf/d. Anticipated employment associated with the pipeline is 4,400–5,500 person years during construction and 30–40 permanent jobs during operations. Aboriginal Interest: 24 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: Late 2018 KITIMAT LNG CANADA TERMINAL / SHELL CANADA AND PARTNERS Shell Canada and its partners (Korea Gas, Mitsubishi and PetroChina) are proposing to construct and operate a $10–15 billion natural gas liquefaction project near Kitimat, B.C. The proposed project is anticipated to have an initial two-train design of 12 MTPA with the potential to add 2 additional trains for up to 24 MPTA. The project would employ approximately 5,500 employees during peak construction and 200-400 employees after full build. The proposed Coastal GasLink Pipeline would supply gas to the terminal. Aboriginal Interest: 9 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: 2019 (for initial design) KITIMAT LNG TERMINAL / CHEVRON AND APACHE Chevron and Apache are proposing to construct and operate a $4.5 billion natural gas liquefaction project near Kitimat, B.C. The proposed project is anticipated to have an initial plant capacity of 5 MTPA with the potential to expand capacity to 10 MPTA or more. The project would employ approximately 700 people during construction and 50 people once in operation. The proposed Pacific Trail Pipelines would supply gas to the terminal. Aboriginal Interest: One potentially-impacted Aboriginal group identified

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


First Nations and development Bill Phillips Canada should promote a principled dialogue about resource development with Aboriginal communities in Alberta and British Columbia. It sounds great and, in fact, is one of the key recommendations from Douglas Eyford’s report Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships – Aboriginal Canadians and Energy Development, released in early December. Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Eyford as Canada’s special federal representative on west coast energy infrastructure to identify approaches that could meet Canada’s goals of expanding energy markets and increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy. His report makes several observations and recommendations, including involving First Nations communities in resource development. For First Nations communities, they’re still waiting for more involvement to happen in a meaningful way. “We’ve known for years that the federal government is not listening to First Nations,” said Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. “Harper wants to continue to wage war on First Nations. Unless there is a seismic shift in how the federal government manages its relationship with us, we’re going to see more confrontation that benefits no one.” Eyford met with Carrier Sekani officials while preparing his report. Teegee said the Carrier Sekani appreciate Eyford’s report and his approach, and called for all of the recommendations in the report to be implemented within the next six months. In addition to “promoting a principled dialogue” some of Eyford’s recommendations include: • Where federal jurisdiction is engaged, Canada should collaboratively participate in regional planning with provincial governments, Aboriginal communities, local governments, and other stakeholders to effectively assess cumulative effects and encourage sustainable development. • Canada should establish a joint initiative with Aboriginal groups for environmental stewardship and habitat enhancement to address concerns about cumulative effects of major resource projects. • Canada should coordinate and convene the participation of key stakeholders including Aboriginal groups, governments, industry, non-governmental organizations, and scientists, to advance pipeline and marine safety and strategies to mitigate potential impacts of oil spills on the terrestrial and marine environment.

Grand Chief Ed John

• Canada should sponsor and coordinate regional strategic planning with Aboriginal groups, industry, and local and provincial governments, educational institutions, and training providers, to ensure education, skills, and employment training are coordinated, flexible, and targeted to meet the needs of Aboriginal people and employers in areas impacted by the projects. • Canada should target funding for Aboriginal education, pre-employment skills development, and skills training in a manner that is responsive to the needs and timelines identified in the regional strategic plans, and sufficiently flexible to address chronic barriers to employment. • Canada should collaborate with its partners to enhance access to employment and business counselling services, community supports, and office infrastructure, to support Aboriginal people and to implement regional strategic plans. This includes establishing direct relationships and accountability between regional service providers and neighbouring Aboriginal communities to support their members. • Canada should ensure that federal programs address the need for capital and other financial support for Aboriginal businesses participating in opportunities related to major projects. • Canada should facilitate and support tribal and sectoral associations to achieve defined objectives in areas such as marine and land use planning, capacity building, energy literacy, strategic planning, employment, and business opportunities. • Canada should consider conditions for access to capital where an Aboriginal group or collective brings forward a proposal to obtain an economic interest in a project.

And, he didn’t let First Nations communities off the hook either. He said Aboriginal leaders should engage in community-based strategic planning to: undertake existing community skills and training needs; encourage members to pursue training, education, employment, and business opportunities where they exist; and identify suitable business development and entrepreneurial opportunities. “Our people will be contacting the prime minister and premier to meet with our leaders to discuss the next steps forward,” said Teegee. “We are prepared to listen, and find a way forward so that our environment is protected and our people benefit from projects in our territories. The ‘gold rush’ mentality is back. We’ve seen it before. Responsible development will include First Nations as partners that collaborate to understand the cumulative impacts from these energy proposals. We risk the health and well-being of our future economy and children’s health if we don’t get this right. The Eyford report is a good first step to moving forward. The proof will be in seeing how it is implemented.” Teegee’s sentiment is being echoed throughout many First Nations communities. “It is clear that Mr. Eyford listened to our communities as many, if not all, of his recommendations reflect the public positions and statements of many First Nations standing against Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of their Trans Mountain pipeline,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union B.C. Indian Chiefs. “Unfortunately, many of his recommendations will be ignored. The Harper govern-

ment has time and time again demonstrated their jobs agenda trumps, ignores and arrogantly dismissed our constitutionallyenshrined, judicially-recognized inherent title, rights and treaty rights. The Harper government has consistently demonstrated a complete contempt for environmental values and concerns.” First Nations Summit leaders are also encouraged by the recommendations contained in the report. “The recommendations in the report released by Mr. Eyford contain critical recommendations that could open the door to a process of improved engagement between First Nations and the federal and provincial governments,” said Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit. “However, it is absolutely critical that the foundation of this engagement must be based on the recognition of First Nations Aboriginal Rights and Title within their respective territories.” “Mr. Eyford clearly recognized there are serious deficiencies in the way the federal government engages with First Nations which has resulted in a high level of mistrust. If the federal government takes these issues and this report seriously, it must work to immediately implement the recommendations, otherwise there will continue to be a high level of uncertainty in this province. The ball is now in the prime minister’s court. He needs to meet directly with BC First Nations on an urgent basis to chart a way forward.” John added that it is critical to note that despite the findings in this report, the views of the general public and First Nations regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal will not change.

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

B.C. is on the go FROM PAGE A12 Planned In-Service Date: 2017 DOUGLAS CHANNEL LNG TERMINAL / BC LNG EXPORT CO-OP AND DOUGLAS CHANNEL ENERGY PARTNERSHIP BC LNG Export Co-operative and Douglas Channel Energy Partnership are proposing to construct and operate a $400 million barge-based natural gas liquefaction project near Kitimat, B.C. The project is anticipated to have an initial capacity of 0.9 MTPA of natural gas with a total capacity of 1.8 MTPA. Aboriginal Interest: One potentially-impacted Aboriginal group identified Planned In-Service Date: Unknown COASTAL GASLINK PIPELINE / TRANSCANADA PIPELINES TransCanada Pipelines is proposing to construct and operate a $4 billion pipeline to deliver natural gas from the area west of Dawson Creek, B.C. to the LNG Canada Project in Kitimat, B.C. (~650 km). The project will initially have the capacity to flow approximately 1.7 bcf/d of natural gas and could deliver up to approximately 5.0 bcf/ day. The pipeline would provide 2,000 to 2,500 direct jobs during construction and 15–20 permanent positions once in operation. Aboriginal Interest: 18 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: 2018 PACIFIC TRAIL PIPELINES / APACHE AND CHEVRON Apache and Chevron are proposing to construct and operate a $1.3 billion natural gas pipeline from Summit Lake, B.C. to Kitimat (~470 km). The project will consist of a 42” pipe with a capacity of up to 1.4 bcf/d. Aboriginal Interest: 15 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: 2018

OTHER PROPOSED PROJECTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA PACIFIC NORTHERN GAS LOOPING PROJECT / PACIFIC NORTHERN GAS Pacific Northern Gas is proposing a $1.3 billion upgrade to its transmission pipeline capacity by looping (twinning) its existing natural gas transmission system between Summit Lake, B.C. and Kitimat, B.C. (~525 km). The pipeline would transport approximately 600 million cubic feet per day (mcf/d), and provide between 1,800 and 2,400 direct person years of work during construction. Aboriginal Interest: 24 potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: Late 2016

WOODFIBRE LNG TERMINAL / WOODFIBRE NATURAL GAS Woodfibre Natural Gas Limited (WNGL) is proposing the development and operation of a LNG production, storage and marine carrier LNG transfer facility located on the previous Woodfibre Pulp and Paper Mill site in Squamish, B.C. The proposed project is anticipated to have a capacity of 2.1 MTPA of LNG. The project would provide approximately 600 person years of direct employment during construction and 2,500 person years of employment during operations. Natural gas will be delivered to the Woodfibre site through the existing and expanded FortisBC pipeline. Planned In-Service Date: 2017 WCC LNG PROJECT / EXXON / MOBIL / IMPERIAL OIL Exxon/Mobil/Imperial Oil are proposing to construct and operate a natural gas liquefaction project in either Kitimat or Prince Rupert, B.C. The project is anticipated to export up to 30 MTPA of LNG. Planned In-Service Date: 2021 TRITON LNG / ALTAGAS AND IDEMITSU KOSAN Triton LNG LP, an equal partnership between Canadian AltaGas Ltd. and Japanese Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., is proposing a Floating Liquefaction Storage and Offloading (FLSO) vessel, with two liquefaction trains and storage capacity. It is anticipated that the FLSO vessel will have an annual production capacity of approximately up to 2.3 MTPA. The project site has not yet been selected, but locations have been identified in the vicinity of Kitimat and Prince Rupert, B.C. Natural gas will be delivered to the site through the existing and expanded Pacific Northern Gas pipeline. Planned In-Service Date: 2017 AURORA LNG / NEXEN ENERGY Nexen Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, has entered into an exclusive agreement with the Government of British Columbia to examine the viability of constructing a LNG plant and export terminal at Grassy Point near Prince Rupert, B.C. DISCOVERY LNG / QUICKSILVER RESOURCES CANADA Quicksilver Resources is considering the development of a project involving the construction and operation of natural gas liquefaction, storage and on-loading facilities on the north side of Campbell River, B.C. Planned In-Service Date: 2019 (Phase I) EAGLE MOUNTAIN WOODFIBRE GAS PIPELINE PROJECT / FORTISBC FortisBC is planning a $350 million upgrade to its natural gas pipeline running from Coquitlam to the Woodfibre industrial site near Squamish, B.C. The expansion includes the addition of an approximately 52 km long 20” diameter natural gas pipeline. Anticipated employment during the construction phase is 500–650 person years. Aboriginal Interest: Four potentially-impacted Aboriginal groups identified Planned In-Service Date: Late 2016

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


An environment of innovation Ashley MacDonald-Venis Northern Report Spectrum Resource Group is making all the right moves to reduce the ecological footprint created by industries in northern B.C. and Alberta. The firm, which deals with all matter of flora and business from re-vegetating old mining sites to addressing impacts of the mountain pine beetle to combating invasive weeds, started humbly in 1987 with four employees. Now, 27 years later, Spectrum has lent its expertise to firms across Western Canada in sectors ranging from forestry to oil and gas. “We had to diversify to stay competitive and no longer be a seasonal company. We did that by horizontally integrating into other industries and utilizing our existing resources and expertise,” said Duane Maki, CEO of Spectrum Resource Group. Much of the growth the company has experienced is because of Maki’s foresight. He started out coming to B.C. as a tree planter while in university and worked his way up at Spectrum to where he is today. While the company is continuously looking to find new industries to work with, the main vision of the company remains to reduce the environmental effect of industries in the region. “[We want to] specifically create knowledge on how to better utilize herbicides and reduce the amount of herbicides we use,” said Maki. One of the areas that Spectrum is working in is land reclamation in oil, gas and mining sites. Using knowledge that senior researcher Dr. Lisa Wood and the research team have compiled, the company has proven to be successful at returning the sites back to their native species. Another area that is taking advantage of Spectrum’s knowledge are the forests that have been impacted by the mountain pine beetle. “We take standing timber back to productive land,” said Maki.

Spectrum harvests and chips the dead wood, prepares the land to be re-vegetated and plants the area, all over the course of 12 months. One concern Maki and Wood both see as an obstacle for the continued growth of Spectrum is educating the public on the importance behind their work and finding funding resources for continued research. To that end the evolving company introduced an internal research department. “We started the research program to improve our internal operation so that we could have something more to offer our clients, a service that we could provide without charging more [to our clients],” said Wood. “We wanted to create an environment of innovation and creativity where we could pull our employees together and work towards obtaining results in new services.” Spectrum doesn’t only work with big industries, but the company also prides

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Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


Transport Canada A partially loaded crude oil tanker is guided out of Burrard Inlet from Burnaby’s Westridge Terminal next to the Chevron oil refinery, visible at left. Dredging of Second Narrows would be required to carry larger loads.

Ottawa vows world-class oil spill prevention and response in B.C. Tom Fletcher Black Press Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver assured a Vancouver business audience last month that the federal government is committed to “world-class” oil spill prevention and response on the B.C. coast. In a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade, Oliver stopped short of specifically endorsing the 45 recommendations in a new survey of marine and land oil transport safety, but repeated a vow from last summer to make “polluter pays” the law for pipelines in Canada. “There has never been a serious tanker accident on the West Coast,” Oliver said. “Nevertheless, we are committed to building a world-class system to prevent marine accidents. In the unlikely event there is an accident, we need to respond rapidly and comprehensively and make sure the polluter pays, not the taxpayer.” Earlier, Oliver and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt released

a report by a tanker safety expert panel chaired by Gordon Houston, former president of Port Metro Vancouver and Prince Rupert harbourmaster. The panel’s report calls for adequate funding to the Canadian Coast Guard to make it the lead agency in any oil spill response at sea. Potential polluters and their delegated spill response agencies should be prepared for a “worst case” incident like the Exxon Valdez grounding in Alaska in 1989, the report says. B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said it remains to be seen if Ottawa will take the necessary steps to meet the province’s conditions for approving new heavy oil pipelines. A federal review panel is due to issue recommendations by the end of December on whether the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal for a double pipeline from northern Alberta to Kitimat should be allowed to proceed. The federal report looks only at current traffic, including crude and other petroleum products. It identifies the south end of Vancouver Island and the adjacent coast, including Vancouver harbour, as being at “very high risk due to the

large volumes of vessel traffic and bulk oil movements that occur within close proximity of environmentally sensitive areas.” That is the region where Alaska crude oil tankers enter the Strait of Juan de Fuca to reach Washington state refineries, and the oil tanker exclusion zone ends. Between 30 and 60 tankers a year filled with crude oil or diluted bitumen also sail out from the Kinder Morgan Canada oil terminal at Burnaby through the same waters. Traffic from Burnaby would increase to about one tanker per day if Kinder Morgan’s proposed twinning of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta proceeds. Currently 30 to 60 tankers a year load at the Westridge Terminal in Burnaby. The tanker exclusion zone, a voluntary agreement between Canada and the U.S., extends 200 nautical miles west from the northern tip of Haida Gwaii to southern Vancouver Island. The federal report rates oil spill risk as “medium” on the northern and southern ends of the exclusion zone, and low in the central portion.


Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


Study looks at agricultural land use “Are governments doing what Canadians want with respect to farmland?” This is the question under investigation in a new study led by the University of Northern British Columbia. The three year project, headed by UNBC Environmental Planning Associate Professor David Connell, will examine how the changing role and value of farming in Canada may affect agricultural land use within and across national, provincial, and municipal jurisdictions. “The average person shopping at a grocery store does not know where his food comes from. And the average Vancouverite visiting a farmers’ market because she values ‘eating local’ might be surprised at how much prime farmland has been overtaken in the Fraser Valley for commercial, residential, and industrial interests,” says Dr. Connell, who is investigating the issue with researchers from across Canada, including fellow UNBC International Studies Assistant Professor Matias Margulis. Dr. Connell says the biggest cities in Canada are situated where they are in part because that is where the best farmland is located. Consequently, as cities expand, land identified as being some of the most fertile in Canada is being replaced by developments such as golf courses, condominiums, and shopping malls. “In BC, the area of greatest impact is in the Fraser Valley Photo courtesy of UNBC UNBC professors Mattias Margulis and David Connell are examining how the changing role and value of farmbecause that’s where there is the greatest level of urbanization and also the greatest quantity and quality of farmland,” ing in Canada may affect agricultural land use within and across national, provincial, and municipal jurisdictions. says Dr. Connell. the best farmland in the Lower Mainland is being replaced nadian agriculture land use planning such as globalization, “How important is the preservation of our best farmland with less productive land in the North. So while it looks like policies affecting farmland preservation, and issues of food to the public in BC and to the citizens of communities the total amount of farmland has not changed the quality of sovereignty, or the right of people to define their own food across Canada? Are local, provincial, and federal bodies the land has deteriorated.” systems. implementing policies that reflect the priorities of citizens? Dr. Connell says the growing local food movement will The research findings will be presented to all three levels We are going to try to measure that.” be one of the factors evaluated in the study. That movement of government, distributed to agricultural advisory commit“Prior to 1972, local governments approved the converargues that there are social, economic, and environmental tees, and will culminate in a national forum to discuss the sion of about 5000 hectares of prime agricultural land to final results, and weigh possible best practices for commuurban use each year,” says Dr. Connell. “The quality of farm- consequences for bringing food to communities from far nities and governing bodies. land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) has decreased, away. Proponents also claim the food is healthier, fresher, and more nutritious. “If this movement continues to grow Funding for the study comes from a Social Sciences with more prime farmland (Class 1, 2, and 3) being excludthen there is a corresponding need to strengthen legislation and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant worth ed than being included. Likewise, most of the additions to that protects local farmland,” says Dr. Connell. $464,000. The proposal was selected from 1,799 submisthe ALR have taken place in Northern BC, which growing The research will also examine other issues affecting Casions from across Canada. conditions and soil quality are not as good. This means that

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Premier in P.G. for forum Mike Morris Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Prince George is on the cusp of the most exciting timee in its history! Not since the Klondike Gold Rush, over 125 25 years ago, has the region experienced such strong interest esst and unparalleled opportunities. Northern B.C. has perhaps haaps the highest number of planned and proposed resource development and intense economic investment activity in in North America at the present time. Conservative estimates put planned and proposed capital pitaal investments in the region for the next decade at over $700 billion. This investment will be spread across a large nummber of new and emerging sectors, including natural gas, mineral exploration and mining, coal, energy (includingg the completion of the largest new Highway 37 transmis-n sion line), oil and gas, and a revival and strengthening in forestry. It will be taking place under a world-class regulalaatory regime, which will ensure that our natural environment ment d is protected for the enjoyment of future generations and that First Nations are consulted and share in the economic micc benefits of resource development. ur,, Prince George’s key position as a transportation, labour, and service and supply hub ensures it will play a key rolee th hat as these exciting projects move forward. It is estimated that nthese projects could create over 40,000 long term sustainable jobs in the north, with very high family incomes. ade d . It is surprising how much has changed in the last decade. Back in the 1990s, the forest sector was in turmoil, facing softwood lumber issues, collapsing U.S. markets, the closure of a large number of processing facilities, and last, but certainly not least, the beetle kill. During that period, more mines were closing than opening, mineral exploration was at a historic low, beef markets collapsed, and tourism was down. Unemployment rates in the north hit historic highs, and housing prices in places like Tumbler Ridge and Mackenzie collapsed. Throughout the turmoil in the resource sector and the economic challenges we faced, we in the north remained positive and optimistic. Leaders from First Nations com-

mu niti iti ties,, allll levels levells off government, g vernment, go t, stakeholders, sttakkeh hold lders r , and d the th munities, resource sector continued to discuss challenges, and shared opportunities and success stories. They pushed to introduce innovations in technology and transportation, to improve environmental protection, and to explore new opportunities in the service and supply sector. Our strength has always been our positive attitudes, our entrepreneurial spirit, and our close ties with the land and the resources. Our positive attitudes coupled with our will and commitment to put the welcome mat out to investors has been a key foundation in the emerging economic revolution we now face. As Prince George is poised to become the hub for B.C’.s future economic success, it is time for all of us to play an ac-

ti and tive and d engaged enggag aged e rrole ole in gguiding ol uiiding uidi ng o our ffuture. utture. That’s u at’ t’s why wh w hy I am pleased to be hosting the “Premier’s BC Natural Resource Forum” on January 22-23, 2014, in Prince George. This is the forum’s 11th year, and building on a solid foundation, I believe that we have a very exciting format and a great list of invited speakers who will address current and interesting topics for everyone involved in or connected to the resource sector. The BC Natural Resource Forum is a key opportunity to share the vision of urban and rural BC working together for the common good of all, to explore the huge opportunities that are unfolding, and to share our thoughts, ideas and desires for how these opportunities will unfold in the best interests of all British Columbians.


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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


Hydro poll finds support for Site C Kyla Corpuz Northern Report FORT ST. JOHN – Almost nine out of 10 people approve of Site C, according to a new poll commissioned by BC Hydro. Anderson Insight conducted the survey of just over 1,250 British Columbians. Eight-hundred people were called throughout the province, including the north and northeast, to partake in the poll. In addition 250 more participants were interviewed specifically in the north and northeast region to ensure a more reliable sample. Interviewing more people in the area that is affected by the project proposal reduces the margin of error, said Bruce Anderson, the polling company’s principal. The interviews took place in September. “We wanted to have a picture, as we have over the last few years, where presently the project sits and this is a way for us to find what the general attitude is towards the project – to get a snapshot, at both a provincial and regional level,” said Site C’s communication manager Dave Conway. Forty-two per cent said they support Site C, 13 per cent opposed it, and another 42 per cent said they could support it under certain circumstances. The level of support and opposition were very similar on a regional level, stated the Anderson Insight report. On a provincial scale, four out of 10 were aware of the project and 59 per cent were unaware. Regionally, the awareness was much higher at 78 per cent reporting that they had heard, read or seen material about Site C. Despite the difference in awareness levels, Conway said the support didn’t waver. “This is very typical in large infrastructure projects. The important thing to note from this is despite the awareness level of being higher regionally; the support hasn’t changed…” he said. “I think the poll shows that there is a strong base of support for the project.” However Andrea Morison from the Peace Valley Environment Association questions the legitimacy of the questions

formed to gain a provincial perspective on Site C. “Obviously BC Hydro isn’t putting out information on the impacts and they do have quite a big budget to talk about how great the project will be,” said Morison, “and we are operating on a shoe-string budget to let people know about what some of the impacts will be.” Anderson initially put the questions together in the poll. “It’s fairly typical of how I do my work, so I Dave Conway drafted questions of what I thought would be a good range … to explore perceptions on the project proposal.” BC Hydro representatives gave him feedback and together they designed the survey. Conway added that the more an individual knew about the project, the more they were inclined to support it. But Morison believes the opposite. “I think if people really knew more about this project and the real impacts they wouldn’t even be sitting on the fence about it,” she argued, “I think if they understood more impacts of the dam they would come to the conclusion that the project is not in the interest of British Columbians.” The building of Site C would cause numerous disturbances to the environment. Approximately 5,500 hectares of the Peace valley would be flooded, and a number of at-risk fish species may be lost completely. The flooding would permanently impact access to land considered significant and traditional to First Nations, and various migratory birds would be affected by the construction of the reservoir. About 30 homes would be displaced through the necessary realignment of Highway 29, to accommodate the flood line from the reservoir.

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Despite these changes, BC Hydro has maintained that “the overall impacts of the project and the net benefit to the province of British Columbia and BC Hydro rate payers, that the project should proceed.” The poll was also a means to get feedback from residents regarding support on various generating projects. “[The survey] was a little broader on the scope of just focused on [Site C],” said Conway. It showed that a majority of residents supported buying from independent producers (73 per cent) to increase B.C.’s energy production, followed by adding new hydroelectric dams (69 per cent) and building new natural gas power plants (54 per cent). Due to an anticipated population increase of one million people over the next 20 years and the potential for the liquefied natural gas industry, BC Hydro says Site C is the answer to the province’s growing energy demands. This mega project would produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 450,000 homes per year. However, the Wilderness Committee believes the province already has more electrical power than it currently needs, “and has access to even more hydro power through the Columbia River Treaty and the United States, as well as cheap hydro power imports from the Pacific Northwest.” “The only uses for Site C would be to subsidize coal mines and gas fracing operations – and people in B.C. do not want that,” said the Committee’s national campaign director Joe Foy. The project is currently in the third and last stage of the environmental assessment; an independent joint review panel made up of three experts is reviewing it. So far, the panel has issued BC Hydro to submit further answers to their Environmental Impact Statement. “The JRP has come up with good comprehensive questions and identifying significant gaps in the proposal,” said Morison, “and I hope they will recognize … that this project shouldn’t be going ahead, it shouldn’t be approved.” Should the project proceed and be approved, it would take seven years to build the facility, which could be forecasted to begin as early as 2015. Site C has a price tag of $8 billion.


Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

Poll highlights economic impact of pipes A new study released by the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) shows that the economic benefits of transmission pipelines add billions to the Canadian economy annually. The study, the first of its kind in Canada, entitled “The Economic Impacts from Operations of Canada’s Energy Pipelines,” was prepared by Angevine Economic Consulting Ltd. This study details the economic impact that crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas transmission lines contribute to the Canadian economy. According to the report, the industry is expected to add $130 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 30 years based on current operations. This does not include what the transmission pipeline industry could add to the Canadian economy, if some of the major pipeline projects currently being planned were to become operational. “Canada’s energy pipelines are an overlooked source of economic prosperity,” said Brenda Kenny, President and CEO of CEPA, in a press release. “Not only do they add billions to our GDP, they’re also a source of highincome jobs for many thousands of Canadians.” All told, the pipeline industry is responsible for over 25,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs across Canada, accounting for approximately $1.9 billion in labour income in 2012. Of the 25,000 FTE jobs created by the pipeline industry, 30 per cent are located in Alberta, 21 per cent in Ontario, and 20 per cent in Saskatchewan, with the remaining 29% spread across the rest of Canada. “There’s a perception that only Alberta and their workers benefit from the energy industry as a whole and from pipelines in particular,” said Kenny. “This report

clearly shows that the economic benefits of pipelines are spread across the entire country and contribute to the prosperity of all Canadians.” Not captured in the report are the spin-off benefits of pipeline infrastructure. Upstream, energy producers are able to move more of their product and invest more heavily in expanding their operations. Downstream, Canadian refineries, petrochemical plants and distribution companies generate GDP contributions and provide employment and income. This is due, in great part, to the energy transported by Canada’s transmission pipelines. It is estimated that 21 percent of the total value of Canadian exports of goods are generated by the transportation of energy products via pipelines. “Pipelines generate significant spin-off benefits that far exceed the direct investment made in them,” said Kenny. “Our member companies are committed to building and operating a safe, socially and environmentally responsible pipeline infrastructure that will contribute to a strong and prosperous Canada for many decades to come.” CEPA members are committed to advancing a safety culture, throughout the industry, based on a strong foundation of leadership and continual improvement leading to zero incidents. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 115,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2012, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.

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Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013


The trials and tribulations Life in and around northern work camps Kyla Corpus and Jill Earl Northern Report When a husband or dad left for work, he was usually home in time for supper. These days and in industry towns, such as those that make up the Peace region, that’s no longer the normal expectation. Whether it’s the mom, dad, husband, wife, son or daughter, coming home for dinner may take weeks or months. This shift in the average household can be attributed to worker camps, where a labourer will work, sleep and eat. Camps have become a necessary component to meet the growing demands of the natural resource sector, and along with it comes a trickle-down effect that hits the heart of a community. Though it’s not a new phenomenon, the effects of the camp lifestyle have captured the attention of governments, regulators, head offices, and health authorities. Open, closed, isolated, communal, temporary and long-term camps have left a footprint on Peace region communities. “Fort St. John is certainly no stranger to large industry and work camps, that’s been a part of our history for many, many years and it’s something that we have certainly learned to live with and in the last couple of years. It’s an emerging topic … the impact of camps on communities and families,” says Fort St. John’s city manager Dianne Hunter. Though Hunter doesn’t consider herself an expert on worker camps, she can attest to its effect on family life. “I guess I’m more of a person both as a position of city manager, mother and grandmother that lives it, that’s impacted by it, and I see our community is impacted by it, and I have colleagues now who are impacted by it,” said Hunter. During the BC Energy Conference that the city hosted in early October, Hunter gave a presentation on worker camps, highlighting a new perspective to the already complex issue. “I had a conversation with another city manager from another community … there was dismay in their community as a result of the work that was happening [in Fort St. John] and her comments were focused on a deterioration of the quality of lifestyle and community,” said Hunter. Fort St. John, Dawson Creek or Fort Nelson could be viewed as host communities. Workers flock to the north for a desirable wage, but leave their families at home. Hunter said this is the first time in a long time that a large percentage of workers are choosing where they want to settle their roots over where the work is. While the host communities experience a transient population influx, wear and tear on infrastructure, and housing inflation, the home communities are left to cope with their own challenges. “Her sense is that [they’re] left with older people, retirees, fatherless families … lack of volunteerism, all the things that knit a community together,” explained Hunter. Coincidentally households in northeast B.C. can also identify with those struggles: one parent at home, while the other is away. “Families are struggling with how to keep the family nucleus together … so it was a sense that communities are really changing and perhaps not for the better,” said Hunter. “Some families are more resilient and some

are not and so all the benefits are lost when you have a broken family.” Clarice Eckford, the Peace Project coordinator with the Women’s Resource Centre in Fort St. John, has spent the past year studying the cause and effects of worker camps on society, among other topics regarding violence against women in Fort St. John. The worker camp lifestyle is akin to golden handcuffs, Eckford says. The financial rewards of working an industy job may take precedent over nurturing a family’s wellbeing. While camps don’t have a carbon copy effect on each worker, she has seen how it positively and negatively contributes to society, families and marriages. Lori Heins is a mother of four and until recently was a resident of Fort St. John since 1997, and is what others would call a camp wife. The Heins family recently moved to Enderby in the Okanagan. Her husband Steve works as an electrician journeyman in the oil and gas industry, and is often away from home months at a time, 138 days being the longest. Heins admits that living without her husband is challenging at times, but is altogether worthwhile. “There’s always those hard times. It’s never easy, but then you work together, and it’s made our family really strong,” she said. Heins said it can be tiring being responsible for the all the day-to-day activities and chores, but her children are helping out as they get older. She also said that having Steve away has showed her how independent she is, and believes her children have a great relationship with their father. The family stays in touch using text messaging, video messaging and daily calls. According to Heins, her children really take advantage of their father being home, while other ‘9-5 families’ may not appreciate all that time together. “When papa is coming home, everything stops… so everything in our lives shuts off so that we can hang out with him. We don’t get a lot of quantity of time, but we get huge quality time,” said Heins. “We tried the 9 to 5 thing and it kind of sucked,” she added. Since having children, Steve has only missed two birthdays and one Thanksgiving. She said that there’s a misconception of all camp families being rich, and while she said that it has allowed them to move to the Okanagan, it didn’t come without hard work and sacrifice. “At the end of the day, we’re pretty proud of what we’ve done for ourselves and for our family. It is hard, but there is a good payoff in the end,” she said. The worker camp paradigm is complex. Trying to simplify it would be futile. Understanding how worker camps contribute to society, the impressions it leaves on family life and how it simultaneously stimulates the economy will take years, maybe decades to grasp. “It truly is a Pandora’s box. As far as all the little impacts that occur to an individual, on a worksite, in a community, on a health region, on other service providers: be it the RCMP, or mental health, who knows – the list is endless,” says Greg Thibault, manager of public health protection with Northern Health. Thibault is a key researcher on a series of reports that Northern Health has tackled regarding worker camps. From Northern Health’s permits alone,

they knew of approximately 4,000 workers and 1,800 work sites approved by a regulatory government agency. Thibault explained that 1,800 work sites doesn’t equate to 1,800 campsites. One day a camp could be located at a site and the next week they can pick up and move down the road – that’s two sites – same company. Therefore what remains a mystery is how many camp operations have been, and are currently, established. “There is not one jurisdiction that oversees camps,” said Hunter. While some research has been done on worker camps, there is still a huge chunk of data missing. Northern Health has completed two research papers, each one hoping to unfold more information about this phenomenon. The first paper looked at the state of industrial camps and the second looked at potential impacts on communities. “It’s really morphed into, ‘Gee we should be getting out to inspect these things more often,’ to, ‘Holy what the heck is going on out there’, to, ‘We’ve got a really good opportunity with all the resource development that currently exists with the tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure about to come swooping down on northern B.C. and all the workers associated with it,’” Thibault added. Thibault is in the process of writing a third paper, to focus on how Northern Health could potentially be affected in

terms of health service delivery. Thibault said that Northern Health has recognized that they need to start working with industry in order to address health issues in camps, and has since reached out to several different companies. Diet, exercise, substance abuse, health promotion, and prevention could be topics of programs that companies choose to implement in their camps. Thibault believes the health needs of workers are dependent on the type of camp, worker, and industry served. In the last decade the standard of camp life has improved. The trend, according to camp construction company PTI, shows that living spaces are more generous with a variety of food and entertainment. Catering to workers’ needs to stay connected to family or friends can contribute to their overall well-being. “And if we can have a positive impact on camp life in general, it’s going to have a positive impact on home life, and that’s not only going to be in the north, but potentially across B.C.,” said Thibault. It starts with recognizing that a community, like Fort St. John, should take a leadership role and start the conversation, or participate in the conversation, said Hunter. “As a community we need to build communities … that makes it a community of choice. If we don’t do it, it’ll happen regardless and it’ll happen in a vacuum policy … and there’s going to be long-term implications of some of that.”


Special Edition: The Northern Report

Prince George Free Press - DECEMBER 2013

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Prince George Free Press - Northern Report - December 2013  

Prince George Free Press - Northern Report - December 2013

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