While building this project and other projects for KMC, you realize that safety and containment (environment) is a priority for KMC, which as a contractor and local citizen of Kamloops makes you extremely proud of how it does business in order to operate a system in the best way possible.

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We interviewed Garry Simson, President of Newport Structures Ltd. located in Kamloops, BC. Newport Structures Ltd. has 30 full-time/part-time employees. It also subcontracts work to a variety of trades in its regions, which spins off to another 30 employees for these contractors, as well as suppliers from Vancouver to Edmonton.

We talked with Mr. Simson about responsible resource development in Canada and his experience working on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Hear more stories from local business leaders and Project supporters here.

What has your experience been working on the Trans Mountain Pipeline and current Kinder Morgan operations?

Newport Structures was established in 1989 as a heavy industrial construction company.  During this time we have had the privilege of working for Kinder Morgan Canada (KMC) on the Trans Mountain Pipeline for approximately 25 years. As a contractor, we have seen first hand how Kinder Morgan operates the pipeline. From safety of the environment, to quality of workmanship and the professionalism of its operation, we have found Kinder Morgan to be a leader in the industry.

We have been building valve vaults for Trans Mountain/Kinder Morgan for 18 years, which has provided us with yearly projects for our staff. These vaults are one of the components of KMC’s operating system to control and contain any spills if something should happen. We hope and expect these valve vaults will continue on after expansion as we have found that KMC is always upgrading and maintaining the operating facility.

Recently, we completed an 18-month project with KMC for a new pump station in Kamloops. This project provided employment for 10 – 12 of our staff for this period as well as a host of sub-trades. While building this project and other projects for KMC, you realize that safety and containment (environment) is a priority for KMC, which as a contractor and local citizen of Kamloops makes you extremely proud of how it operates a system in the best way possible. One thing that has always stood out for me is how clean the pump room and all of the facilities are. I have said numerous times you could eat off of the pump room floor.

Because I have worked on the Trans Mountain Pipeline and with Kinder Morgan’s current operations for 25 years, I believe we would see the economic benefit of the expansion, but we would also see long-term jobs to operate and maintain the facility in the way KMC currently does. All the while, our country would benefit with selling our resources to the rest of the world.

As a company, what’s your main interest or priority with expansion?

I look at the expansion project, both environmentally and economically, and I believe that transporting fuels through the pipeline is the safest delivery method. Railcar and trucking continue to deliver, but pose a risk to the environment and to public safety. The pipeline expansion will help to mitigate other delivery methods, increase our economy and give short- and long-term jobs in the Kamloops region and throughout the Interior. With the pipeline expansion, I also see the new route will avoid neighborhoods it currently goes through, which again will help the environment and local towns.

Are you in favour of responsible resource development? If so, why?

We are in a global economy and  we have the resources in our backyard. To sell this resource to the world will go a long way in helping our country’s economy as well as benefit our local economy for years to come.

What is your message to those who haven’t decided whether or not they support the Trans Mountain Expansion Project?

When you live in Kamloops, most people do not realize the pipeline goes through our community, which then tells you how well it is run. My message is to look at how Trans Mountain has been operating for the last 60 years, what is its track record for the environment and safety, and then look at the benefits of the expansion.