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Site C reaches employment milestone surpassing 1,000 B.C. workers

FORT ST. JOHN – There are now more than 1,000 British Columbians working on the Site C Clean Energy Project, according to BC Hydro's latest employment statistics.

"Government made a commitment to ensure British Columbians would benefit from Site C. Today's announcement - that 1,000 B.C. workers are on the job - reflects that commitment." said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. "Working on the Site C project is more than just a job. It is an opportunity to be part of a legacy project for our province that will provide clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years."

The latest employment statistics show that there were 1,547 total workers on the Site C project in May 2016, with 1,223 workers from British Columbia (79%).

"I'm very pleased to see there are now more than 1,000 British Columbians working on the Site C project," said Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South. "And we're building this project together, with union and non-union workers both benefiting from Site C construction. In fact, this project will provide an important economic boost for our province for almost a decade during its construction."

The more than 1,200 British Columbians working on the Site C project represent a varied workforce including: carpenters, truck drivers, crane operators, safety advisors and officers, general labourers, heavy-equipment operators, mechanics, electricians, worker lodge operations staff, construction supervisors, environmental workers and project staff (engineering consultants and office staff).

"In May 2016, there were 443 workers on the Site C construction site from the Peace River Regional District and that's great news," said Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North. "The northeast has been affected by the slowdown in oil and gas, and Site C construction is providing job opportunities at exactly the right time."

Construction of the Site C project started in summer 2015. Employment has been increasing as construction activities ramp up, particularly with the start of main civil works this spring. The main civil workers contractor alone expects to have 600 workers on site this fall.

"We continue to make excellent progress in line with Site C's budget and schedule and this is being reflected in the employment numbers," said Jessica McDonald, president and CEO of BC Hydro. "This is an ideal time to be building Site C, as interest rates are at historical lows, commodity prices are down, and economic shifts have increased the availability of skilled workers and equipment."

"We're pleased to be involved in the main civil works component of the Site C project," said Paul Nedelec, secretary treasurer of the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers. "Building Site C provides jobs for our members - and our members bring a proven track record of success in dam construction."

"We're thrilled to have started the physical work on main civil works for Site C," said John McPherson, earthworks and dam construction director, Peace River Hydro Partners. "We're committed to local hiring on Site C. That's why we participated in job fairs throughout the region earlier this year."

Quick Facts:

  • To date, unions who have participated in the Site C project include: Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers (CMAW), Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC Local 68), Canada West Construction Union (CWU), Pile Drivers 2402, Move Up, and the following B.C. Building Trades affiliated unions: the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE Local 115), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Teamsters Local 213. In addition, 10 unions affiliated with the B.C. Building Trades will be working on the installation of the Turbines and Generators when that work is completed as construction progresses.
  • The Site C project is a hydroelectric dam and generating station under construction in northeast B.C.
  • The project is being built to meet long-term electricity needs in B.C. Once complete in 2024, the project will provide clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.
  • An independent Joint Review Panel report concluded that: "Site C would be the least expensive of the alternatives, and its cost advantages would increase with the passing decades as inflation makes alternatives more costly."

Media Contacts:

Suntanu Dalal
Media Relations
Ministry of Energy and Mines
250 952-0628

BC Hydro Media Relations