B.C. workers first in line for jobs: Province secures environmental benefits in agreement with Trans Mountain

The provincial government and Trans Mountain announced a final benefits agreement today that will see B.C. workers having priority for construction jobs resulting from Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project.

The agreement also provides up to $1 billion for the Province for projects that protect the environment and benefit communities.

The initial benefits agreement was announced in January 2017 when the provincial government announced its five conditions had been met by Trans Mountain, allowing for the Province’s support for the pipeline project.

The agreement includes a “British Columbians First” hiring and contracting policy for project work within B.C. Trans Mountain and its subcontractors will endeavour to hire locally and contract with B.C. qualified and competitive businesses and First Nations first for building, operating and maintaining the pipeline. The project is expected to generate more than 75,000 person years of employment.

As well, B.C. will receive between $25 million and $50 million annually for the first 20 years of the agreement, and will receive more revenues if the life of project extends beyond 20 years. Above a $25 million guaranteed amount, the actual amount paid to the Province each year up to a $50 million maximum will depend on whether the expanded pipeline is operating at full capacity.

Revenues from the Trans Mountain expansion will be dedicated to the new BC Clean Communities program for community based projects, such as purchasing land for parks, restoring historic sites, cleaning up orphaned sites or spills where the polluter is unknown, restoring habitat, controlling invasive species, cleaning up beaches, rivers or public waterfront property, establishing and promoting recycling programs in small, rural communities or marine conservation and monitoring.

In May 2016, the National Energy Board recommended approval of the Trans Mountain project with 157 conditions. B.C.’s environmental assessment certificate added another 37 conditions to further protect wetlands, wildlife habitat and caribou and grizzly populations. In November 2016, the Trudeau government gave federal approval for the project, which will boost B.C.’s GDP by $19.1 billion during construction and operations over 20 years and generate over $2.2 billion in tax revenue for provincial and local governments.

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