This letter from Trans Mountain was originally published as an op-ed on March 6, 2023, in the Clearwater Times.

Trans Mountain has been a member of the Clearwater community for 70 years. The original pipeline was built in 1953 and has been operating safely ever since. Since 2019, we’ve been active building the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and are proud to be completing construction in the area as part of this legacy Project for all Canadians.

Thank you for hosting our workforce in the Clearwater region and for your patience during construction.

Seventy-five kilometres of pipeline construction is now complete through Vavenby to Darfield, including Clearwater. While pipeline construction is complete, teams will return throughout 2023 to finish right-of-way cleanup and reclamation. Workers from other regions may be passing through or staying in the community.

During construction, Trans Mountain and its general construction contractor, Banister, have aimed to be good neighbours. When planning the Expansion Project, Trans Mountain made a commitment to work with communities to minimize construction impacts, while maximizing local benefits. We appreciate your patience during the completion of our work.

Trans Mountain values the relationships it has built with communities along the pipeline corridor over its 70-year history. During construction of the Expansion Project, we’ve given back to the region by funding various community projects, local education and training opportunities, with $390,000 going to Clearwater and $175,000 to Vavenby, Birch Island, and Black Pool.

As a result of a funding agreement with the District of Clearwater, Trans Mountain has contributed $3.1 million to upgrade Clearwater’s drinking water, wastewater and sewer management treatment systems that helped to minimize camp impacts, while providing a lasting benefit to the community.

Trans Mountain’s North Thompson office and new operations yard are both located in Clearwater. With a number of other operating facilities in the region, many of our team members work and live in the community. On top of local benefits, Trans Mountain will pay nearly $900,000 annually in local taxes after the Expansion Project.

Banister Pipelines and its sub-contractors have also been active within the community. From joining local softball leagues, to recycling drives, to helping the local seniors and supporting community events such as the Outdoor Learning Centre. Banister has given more than $150,000 in financial support and in-kind contributions back to the community of Clearwater; all this while safely building the Project.

As we continue building the Expansion Project in the North Thompson, you may still see some traffic impacts on Highway 5 as workers from other regions could be passing through or staying in the community. Our camp community closed at the end of January and will be removed once weather permits.

While our presence will be smaller with pipeline construction now complete, we look forward to staying good neighbours in the community and maintaining our positive relationship well into the future.