There are fresh concerns about the legitimacy of British Columbians getting first crack at construction jobs for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Tom Sigurdson, executive director with the BC and Yukon Territory Building Construction Trades Council, says they tried to engage with Kinder Morgan years ago, and things went quiet quickly.
More recently, they reached out again.
“We’ve tried to engage but to this point we’re a little shocked at the lack of engagement. If Kinder Morgan hopes to have shovels in the ground by September of this year, I think we need to sit down and have a discussion about what the requirements are going to be.”
Sigurdson says the $6.8-billion dollar project needs to have the best workers on board, and the lack of communication this late in the game is getting worrisome.
“I’m concerned some of the British Columbia members that have the skills may not be on that construction project. You have to have the very best pipeliners on this. You’ve got to have trust in that crew they’re going to be able to do the work that’s required safely and with all due regard to the environment.”
Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday the deal with the Kinder Morgan promised its share of the economic benefits, including first crack at the thousands of jobs supposedly available during construction starting as early as this year.
The surprise approval of the pipeline project came through this week after the province announced it had given Kinder Morgan an environmental certificate and cut a deal worth up to $1-bn with the company to get the B.C. its “fair share,” of the economic benefits.
Clark says those moves ticked off the final boxes on her list of “five conditions” for pipeline approval.