In the wake of recent protests over the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project in northwest B.C., Trans Mountain said court orders will prevent workers from being barred from its job sites.
Protests in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to the gas pipeline have led to stoppages in service for Via Rail and shutdowns at Vancouver-area ports and bridges and intersections in various areas of the province.
On Tuesday, protesters successfully delayed the throne speech in Victoria, blocking all entrances to the legislature.
There have been numerous protests against the Trans Mountain pipeline over the years and spokesperson Allison Hounsell said the company is expecting more to pop up as construction to twin the line ramps up this spring.
She said that while Trans Mountain supports the right to peaceful protest, the company’s standing injunction from the B.C. Supreme Court applies to all of its operational and project construction locations.
“And, really, the idea of that is that it prevents any blockades, any prevention of work,” Hounsell said.
Work on the pipeline expansion has already started in Alberta and the Lower Mainland, with more construction across the pipeline route, including 28 kilometres in Kamloops, expected in the spring, she told KTW.
More than 200 kilometres of pipeline runs through the Thompson-Nicola area.
The twinned pipeline route through Kamloops will run along the edge of the Lac du Bois Grasslands above Westsyde and Batchelor Heights before crossing Ord Road and Tranquille Road near the airport, according to the company’s website.
The pipeline will cross the Thompson River in Kamloops in March and April, using trenchless construction techniques, Hounsell said.
Trenchless construction will involve burrowing into the ground and under the river, feathering the pipeline through the hole so as not to disturb the watercourse.
“People will start to see activity as they prepare to go under the river there,” Hounsell said.
The pipeline will cross the north side of the river east of the airport runway, emerging on the south side at the Mission Flats public beach.
It will then travel up the hillside, west of Mount Dufferin and toward Jacko Lake, diverting from the current right-of-way and around the lake before continuing again south along the existing route.