This letter from Trans Mountain was originally published as an op-ed in the Hope Standard in the month of June.

Trans Mountain has been transporting petroleum products across Alberta, British Columbia and Washington state for more than 70 years. The original pipeline was built in 1953 and has been operating safely ever since. In 2019, we began building the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and are proud to have completed construction in the Coquihalla and Hope region as part of this legacy Project for all Canadians.

Approximately 89 kilometres of pipeline construction is now complete between Coquihalla Summit to Popkum, BC, including 16 kilometres within the District of Hope. The Coquihalla and Hope region included one camp community, 40 trenchless crossings, 11 watercourse crossings and 29 technically challenging areas, including the Mountain 3 Horizontal Directional Drill.

Thank you for hosting our workforce and for your patience during construction. While pipeline construction is complete, smaller work crews will return to finish right-of-way cleanup and reclamation.

Trans Mountain values the relationships it has built with communities along the pipeline corridor over its history. During construction of the Expansion Project, we’ve given back to the region through Community Benefit Agreements, funding various local initiatives, local education and training opportunities. We invested more than $650,000 into local communities, including a new multi-use pathway in the District of Hope and supporting community projects in the Fraser Valley Regional District.

Trans Mountain supported the District of Hope with $1.6 million invested into upgrades of Othello Road. To accommodate work on the Expansion Project, upgrades were needed to support construction activities in the area and will benefit residents for many years to come. Additionally, Trans Mountain purchased and installed School Zone Radar Speed Signs on Flood Hope Road, near Silver Creek Elementary School, to support a legacy of safety in the community.

Trans Mountain is also proud of its partnerships with Indigenous communities throughout the region, achieving significant levels of Indigenous inclusion and shared prosperity. The Sqémél Lá:lém Camp Community, located on Shxw’ōwhámél First Nation’s Ohamil Reserve No. 1, housed approximately 450 workers on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and was operated by Shxw’ōwhámél LandSea Limited Partnership. Working with its business partners, Shxw’ōwhámél cleared, graded and developed the 20-acre site for Trans Mountain’s camp community as part of its long-term community development plan.

To assist with worker accommodations, Trans Mountain upgraded the Telte Yet campsite on Chawathil First Nation’s Reserve lands. Upgrades included a utility connect for 40 RV sites to support workers in the region. This investment provides lasting benefits for Chawathil and local tourism.

During construction, Trans Mountain and its general contractors, Kiewit Bonatti TMEP Partnership, Midwest and Macro Projects Inc., committed to being good neighbours and gave back locally through volunteering and community involvement.

In 2021, British Columbia experienced catastrophic flooding, changing our landscape forever. The pipeline was shut down for 21 days, the longest in our history. Trans Mountain and its contractors, besides restarting efforts, assisted with transportation, fuel, food and water supplies, provided necessary equipment, and undertook substantial road-clearing and bridge-building to reconnect communities completely cut off due to the flooding and landslides. This was a significant moment in the history of Trans Mountain and BC. We sincerely thank our team and the community for coming together during this difficult time.

Trans Mountain operations staff work and live in the Coquihalla and Hope region. In addition to local community benefits, Trans Mountain will pay more than $5 million annually in local property taxes to the District of Hope, Fraser Valley Regional District and Indigenous communities after the Expansion Project is completed.

We look forward to continuing as good neighbours and maintaining our positive community relationships well into the future. 

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