- Project News
TransCanada Corporation today announced that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project (PRGT) has signed a project agreement (PA) with Lax Kw’alaams Band. The PA outlines economic and employment benefits as well as other commitments that will be provided for as long as the project is in service. The announcement of PRGT’s agreement with Lax Kw’alaams comes in conjunction with agreements between Lax Kw’alaams, the Metlakatla and the Province of British Columbia and Pacific NorthWest LNG.
PRGT and the Metlakatla First Nation signed a PA in September 2015.
“This is a significant milestone for PRGT, Lax Kw’alaams, Metlakatla, Pacific NorthWest LNG and the Province of British Columbia. We’re very happy to be a part of this agreement,” said Tony Palmer, president of PRGT. “These agreements are the product of strong engagement practices and years of collaboration.”
PRGT has now announced 14 project agreements executed with First Nations in B.C. They include: Blueberry River First Nations, Doig River, Gitanyow, Gitxsan, Halfway River, Kitselas First Nation, Lake Babine Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Metlakatla First Nation, Nisga’a Lisims Government, Takla Lake First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Yekooche First Nation.
The $5 billion PRGT project will provide significant economic benefits for British Columbians, local and provincial governments, and Indigenous communities as it supports the export of surplus natural gas to global markets, including:
Sometimes small steps can springboard into leaps. Removing an old, forgotten and collapsed bridge in a small foothills stream and restoring habitat features could be just the little nudge needed to encourage the recovery of the threatened Westslope cutthroat trout population in Allison Creek in the Crowsnest Pass area of southern Alberta.
“Westslope cutthroat trout are beautiful little salmonids, perfectly adapted to the cold, clear moving streams that run through the area, but they are also so sensitive to human activity,” says Kim Ogilvie, manager, environmental planning and permitting, pipeline integrity for TransCanada.
The health of the trout population is often seen as an early indicator of the health of the stream.
Following the 2013 flooding in southern Alberta, four pipelines on TransCanada’s NGTL natural gas pipeline system required remedial work. Since the impacts of the flooding were unavoidable and fish were already challenged by human activity in the area, TransCanada devised a plan to improve their habitat by removing a barrier to spawning areas last summer.
“When fish are unable to reach their preferred spawning areas, it can have an impact on the sustainability of a population,” Ogilvie explains.
Once the bridge was removed, TransCanada restored the channel and banks using various techniques such as placing root wad cover into the banks and planting native species in the riparian area to enhance fish habitat.
As part of the bridge removal project, TransCanada reached out to local community and conservation groups and also worked with local off-highway vehicle (OHV) users to direct vehicles to nearby existing bridges.
Trail traffic crossing the creek has taken a toll on trout spawning beds by disturbing sediment that can smother incubating eggs downstream. The hope is that by removing the creek crossing, traffic will be significantly reduced at the location, preserving important upstream habitat and improving local water quality, which in turn will give these fish the boost needed to recover the local population.
Unfortunately, these trout are limited to less than five per cent of their original habitat range. The situation is so serious that in December 2015 the federal government issued a critical habitat protection order for the trout.
“We want recreational users to know that activities that alter fish habitat, release sediment, or increase erosion in the riparian areas that line the steam can delay the recovery of these iconic fish and add risk of their disappearance forever,” says Ogilvie.
“Collaborative efforts like this one between TransCanada and off-highway vehicle or OHV groups like the Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad are important to help keep wheels out of water,” says Sofie Forsström, education program manager, Oldman Watershed Council.
“We recognize that there are many different land uses in our watershed and their cumulative effects can have a negative impact on environmental quality and habitat for threatened species. We all have a part to play in protecting our watershed – it’s important to work together. After all, when it comes to water quality, we are all downstream.”
The Quad Squad encourages all its member trail users to ride with respect and use bridges as opposed to crossing through the water, allowing nature to rehabilitate this portion of Allison Creek to a productive trout spawning channel.
“Over its 18-year history, the Quad Squad has installed more than 60 bridges, costing millions of dollars from both grants and privately raised monies,” says Gary Clark, club president.
“We have done this not to get our feet wet, but because of the concern we have for our environment. We build bridges to protect the fish and water banks. That is why we fully support TransCanada, Oldman Watershed Council, and Cows and Fish for the projects they are working on.”
“But it makes it all worthless if riders cross the waters instead of using the bridges we’ve built for them,” he explains. “We ask all our members to help us help you keep riding. Use the bridges, stay out of the water.”
Note: fish shown in video was rescued as part of river rehabilitation.
TransCanada Corporation today announced that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project (PRGT) has signed a project agreement with 12 hereditary chiefs of the Gitxsan Nation. The hereditary chiefs each represent a Wilp (house group) whose territory is affected by the project route. The agreement outlines economic and employment benefits as well as other commitments that will be provided for as long as the project is in service.
“This agreement is the product of our engagement with the Gitxsan hereditary leadership. This comprehensive agreement provides long-term economic benefits, jobs, contracting opportunities and information sharing throughout the life of the project,” said Tony Palmer, president of PRGT. “A lot of hard work and compromise went into this agreement, and it reflects our desire to work cooperatively with the Gitxsan,” said Palmer
Gitxsan Hereditary Chief Luutkudziiwus (Gordon Sebastian), explains the authority of hereditary chiefs in the Gitxsan Hereditary system, “The Supreme Court of Canada’s 1997 Delgamuukw decision affirmed that each Gitxsan Wilp (house group) has jurisdiction over its Lax Yip (the Wilp’s traditional territory) in accordance with the Ayookim Gitxsan (Gitxsan Law); each Wilp has the authority and power to make decisions as it sees fit for the good of the Wilp. As such, the 12 Hereditary Chiefs bargained hard with PRGT to ensure that the environment is protected, and that the agreement provides for long term benefits to each of the affected Wilp and to the broader Gitxsan Nation,” said Chief Sebastian.
Hereditary Chief Geel (Catherine Blackstock) said the agreement is important to the economic health of northern B.C., “I envision this as a great opportunity for all Gitxsan and community people to revitalize employment in our economically depressed upper Skeena region.”
PRGT has now announced 13 project agreements executed with First Nations in B.C. They include: Blueberry River First Nations, Doig River, Gitanyow, Halfway River, Kitselas First Nation, Lake Babine Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Metlakatla First Nation, Nisga’a Lisims Government, Takla Lake First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation and Yekooche First Nation.
The $5 billion PRGT project will provide significant economic benefits for British Columbians, local and provincial governments, and Aboriginal communities as it supports the export of surplus natural gas to global markets, including:
The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission and Coastal GasLink projects are proud sponsors of a number of education and skills training programs in northern British Columbia.
Education is a pathway to prosperity for many people and in northern B.C. TransCanada’s Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Program is focused on helping build a skilled, local labour force, and prepare workers for the world of opportunity that awaits them.
This program provides funding for program development, equipment purchases, classroom ‘seats’ for participants, and targeted bursaries for initiatives in northern B.C. that align with natural gas pipeline construction and operations, and the LNG industry.
We strongly believe in building local capacity to assist individuals in taking advantage of opportunities related to our projects. That’s why we’re working with northern post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal training organizations to ensure residents receive the kind of essential skills and relevant trades training needed to participate in pipeline and other development projects. Since 2014, TransCanada has made over 800 course seats available to northern B.C. students.
“Indigenous and local communities, as well as the socio-economic assessments from both the Coastal GasLink and Prince Rupert pipeline projects, have identified the need for skills training and industry certification programs in northern B.C. These partnerships are a direct response to that feedback and we look forward to the contribution that these students will make to our industry,” said Kristine Delkus, TransCanada’s Executive Vice-President, Stakeholder Relations and General Counsel
This summer we saw a number of milestones from two of our key partnerships:
TransCanada announced its partnership with NLC in BC’s Peace region in November, 2015. Since then, the college has distributed 43 Trades Bursaries to B.C. residents, including 16 Aboriginal students, enrolled in Heavy Duty Mechanics, Welding, Millwright, Electrician and Professional Cook courses.
In addition, over the past 6 months, the college has distributed 66 Workforce Training Bursaries (ranging from $100 – $1,500) to students enrolled in industrial safety training programs (Chainsaw Safety Training, OFA Levels 1 & 3, Transportation of Dangerous Goods, etc.).
“The Workforce Training bursaries have filled a real need in our community,” said Donna Kane, Executive Director of the Northern Lights College Foundation. “They are one of the first awards available to students enrolling in Workforce training courses. In more than a few cases, a single course has made the difference to a community member’s ability to find employment.”
One student, Robert, a father of three (and soon to be four!) and a recipient of a Pathway to Pipeline Readiness Trades Bursary, told us, “Without the bursaries I would have been stressed from worrying about my family’s well-being and might not have considered my trade.” Robert’s hard work and dedication allow him to complete his training, the bursary made his journey more comfortable.
Our work in northern B.C. is designed to help build community capacity and long-term success, we’re proud to see that the programs we’ve sponsored are already providing tangible benefits to northern B.C.’s workforce.
Another exciting celebration was held in Prince Rupert, BC this summer as a third cohort of students graduated from the TRICORP skills training program. The program, which is sponsored by Prince Rupert Gas Transmission and Coastal GasLink Projects in partnership with Service Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada, is a 10-week industry certification program focused on building essential skills and employment readiness. Over the term, students gain industry safety certifications including H2S Alive, Fall Protection, WHIMS, as well as essential skills, math and English upgrading, and job coaching.
The safety certification training was provided by Kaine Safety Group, an aboriginally owned, Prince Rupert-based company who also offers mentorship to the students after course completion. One outstanding student, Tia, has already been recruited to work for TRICORP as a Program Coordinator.
“Combining those life skills and essential skills with the safety tickets is important. I’ve found that you can take all the training in safety that you want but if you don’t have some of those other things supporting the learning process you might not have the same success,” said Trevor Murdock of Kaine Safety Group.
After one year of the TRICORP/TransCanada partnership, there have been 37 successful graduates from First Nations in northwestern B.C. including Wet’suwet’en, Gitxsan and Lax Kw’alaams.
We want to congratulate all of the hardworking graduates from these programs and we wish them the best in their futures.
While many Canadians have enjoyed the products produced in Asia—think furniture, toys, games, clothing, cars—there is a dark side to industrialization. Approximately 1.6 million deaths a year in China are linked to air pollution from the primarily coal-based production processes. Unfortunately, the quality of the air Canadians and Americans breathe are not immune from the impact of the activity in Asia, but there is a solution.
Often used to heat our homes and make every day products, natural gas is considered one of the world’s cleanest and safest energy sources. By making natural gas available to global markets, it can help replace other energy forms such as coal-fired electricity. That’s why natural gas is considered an ideal transition fuel as our society moves towards less carbon-intensive energy sources. Once the natural gas is delivered through our pipeline, our customer, Pacific NorthWest LNG will prepare it for export by converting the gas to a liquefied state; also known as LNG.
A recent study indicates if a number of these proposed LNG projects in B.C. proceed, they could reduce global greenhouse gas by as much as 176 million tonnes annually. Research also suggests natural gas exported from LNG terminals in B.C. would largely replace coal-fired facilities in Asian countries.
Read more about the impact of Asia’s air pollution on the United States and Canada via the TransCanada blog.
TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) announced April 13 2016, that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project (PRGT) has signed project agreements with the Takla Lake First Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB), bringing the total number of project agreements signed on PRGT to 11.
The agreements outline benefits and commitments, including business opportunities, employment for community members that will be provided during construction as well as financial benefits now and for as long as the project is in service.
The 50-member volunteer team at Terrace Search and Rescue (TSAR) is dedicated to keeping the residents of safe as well as providing emergency response activities. TSAR does everything from providing wilderness training and education training to the region’s hikers and mushroom pickers to providing critical lifesaving rescue services.
TSAR, like many B.C. area search and rescue services, relies on volunteer hours and public support to fund their operations. TransCanada has a long history of supporting first responders and when the opportunity arose to support TSAR and help the group enhance the quality of services it provides, we were proud to help.
Enter the remote operating vehicle or ROV. The ROV can explore underwater depths of up to 300 metres or 1,000 feet. It is equipped with a high-res colour zoom camera, a rear looking camera and lights that tilt with camera. Volunteers for TSAR wanted to add this critical search and rescue tool help better serve the Terrace-area residents. Funding for the ROV was made possible partially through a TransCanada community investment initiative.
Today, TSAR has added a brand new remote operating vehicle (ROV) (shown below) to their operations and has already begun training on the new tool. This technology will allow TSAR to provide emergency services to the public that are currently not available in the region.
Dave Jephson Search Manager, Terrace Search and Rescue explains the significance of this of this new tool, “This donation from TransCanada has added more focus and drive for our organization with the Sonar fundraiser and just confirms that, just like Terrace Search and Rescue, TransCanada is committed to the communities in the north west region. On behalf of Terrace Search and Rescue, I would like to thank you and the staff at TransCanada for supporting our team and the citizens of British Columbia.”
TransCanada has long understood that the needs and priorities of a community are best determined by the people who live and work within it. As well as identifying community partners through TransCanada’s corporate Community Investment department, regional team members across North America play an important role in TransCanada’s community investment work.
The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project is proud to support TSAR. Collaboration helps us work better together and positively contribute to your community in a meaningful way.
Investing in the communities where we live and work is fundamental to our corporate social responsibility objectives. Whether it’s partnering with community groups or employee engagement and giving, we are committed to supporting strong, vibrant communities across British Columbia.
It’s easy to see why Chrissy and Travis Hollman chose to raise their family in Terrace, B.C., with its small-town feel and opportunities for growth through LNG-related projects.
Four weeks after welcoming their son, Soren was airlifted to the children’s hospital in Vancouver where he was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect, causing his heart to overwork and pump fluid into his lungs.
Though Terrace has nearly everything the family could ever need or want, the surgery Soren required was beyond the level of care available in Terrace. As a result, Soren needed to return to the children’s hospital in a few months for open-heart surgery; over 1,300 kilometres away from home.
Canadian charity arranges medical flights for those in need
With Chrissy on maternity leave, the family was on limited income. The financial stress of travelling to Vancouver for surgery was overwhelming. As a nurse, Chrissy was familiar with Hope Air, a Canadian charity that arranges flights for those who need to travel for medical reasons, but face financial and distance barriers.
Three months after their emergency visit to the hospital, Soren travelled with his parents to Vancouver for the open-heart surgery.
“Hope Air assisted our stress-free surgery by supplying Soren and myself a flight to and from Vancouver. It was truly the only thing I did not have to worry about.”— Chrissy Hollman
Donation helps Hope Air bring patients to treatment
As a proud neighbour committed to enriching the communities where we live and work, a $15,000 donation from TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) projects allows Hope Air to arrange 45 flights for residents, such as the Hollman family.
“This donation will clear away some of the worry, distress and extra cost of travelling long distances for medical treatment that many people who live in remote communities face. This is a program that changes lives, and we are proud to be involved with them.” says Greg Cano, Coastal GasLink’s Director of Project Planning and Execution.
“Hope Air has done amazing work over the last 29 years to bridge the gap between home and hospital for thousands of children and adults. We are proud to be able to support Hope Air with our corporate donation.”— John Dunn, Vice-President, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission.
Air transport charity has brought hope to 99,000 Canadians so far
Since 1986, Hope Air has arranged more than 99,000 flights for Canadians travelling to major cities for medical treatment. Though we hope you’ll never need to access Hope Air, it’s there for you and your family in case you do.
As for Soren, we’re thrilled to share that after his successful surgery, he no longer requires medication.
“He had more energy than we could have imagined in such a short amount of time,” says Chrissy. “He started to thrive and grow before our eyes. He truly started to flourish.”
Read more on the TransCanada Blog: Hope Air bridges distance to health care.
On October 29, 2015, TransCanada Corporation announced that its Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project (PRGT) has signed a project agreement with the Blueberry River First Nations, a Treaty 8 First Nation. The agreement outlines financial and other benefits and commitments that will be provided for as long as the project is in service.
“Achieving this agreement with Blueberry River First Nations is another important milestone for the PRGT project,” said Tony Palmer, president of PRGT. “We consider engagement with First Nations as paramount to our success. We want to ensure we have their input on environmental and cultural impacts and that they benefit from the construction and operation of the PRGT pipeline project.”
In January, 2013, TransCanada was selected by Progress Energy Canada Ltd. to design, build, own and operate an approximately 900-kilometre long natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia.
If approved, the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project will safely deliver natural gas from a point near the District of Hudson’s Hope to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility on Lelu Island, within the District of Port Edward.