BC Hydro sending Site C workers home

BC Hydro scaling back workforce at Site C dam over virus fears

A work camp near Fort St. John is still undergoing an expansion to house constructions workers. | BC Hydro

BC Hydro is scaling back its workforce at the Site C dam construction project to address concerns about the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus at its massive work camp near Fort St. John.

"Focusing only on essential work and critical milestones will help reduce the number of workers staying at the worker accommodation lodge and result in fewer workers travelling to and from Fort St. John and the Peace Region," the Crown corporation said in a press release.

It is the second major energy project to announce a major workforce reduction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic this week. 

On Sunday night, LNG Canada announced that it would cut its workforce in Kitimat in half.

The fear is that workers flown in from other areas could bring the COVID-19 virus with them to work camps.

There are currently more than 4,000 workers employed on the Site C dam project. BC Hydro hasn't said how many workers will be laid off or for how long.

Some work will continue of the Site C dam project.

"One of the areas the project will continue to make a priority is work required to achieve river diversion in fall 2020," BC Hydro says.

"Other essential work such as keeping the site secure and meeting the project’s environmental commitments will continue as planned. In addition, work will continue in areas off-site, including the realignment of Highway 29, work on the transmission line and reservoir clearing, as the majority of these workers do not stay in the worker accommodation lodge."

nbennett@biv.com

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