As construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline is completed, the project is leaving a new community legacy in northeast B.C.
A $50,000 gift to the North Peace Community Foundation will create the Coastal GasLink Community Fund, benefitting local non-profits that support children, families, seniors and newcomers.
“I have always said to my colleagues, if you want an industry that understands the importance of community, you look to the energy sector, in particular the oil and gas industry,” said Lori Ackerman, chair of the North Peace Community Foundation and former mayor of Fort St. John, B.C.
“We’re going to be able to take the funds from this sponsorship and really enhance the impact in the region, supporting initiatives that create the social fabric of the community. The social fabric needs to be constantly mended. It’s like having a hole in your sock. You’ve got to darn that hole and fix everything. This is the kind of funds that will help us to do that.”
About 72,000 people live in northeast B.C., according to the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.
In all, Coastal GasLink and owner TC Energy report spending over $11 million on community investments in northern B.C.
This includes initiatives like the Burns Lake Youth Soccer Association, Chetwynd Medical Centre, Crisis Centre of BC, Houston Search and Rescue, Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club, and Fort St. John Public Library Association.
“Our industry is a very giving industry. They understand community,” Ackerman says.
In 2021, the city of Fort St. John provided $3 million to launch the North Peace Community Foundation, which is designed to manage community gifts like the donation from Coastal GasLink.
One of the foundation’s founding members is Petronas, a partner in the LNG Canada export terminal under construction at Kitimat, B.C. The terminal is connected to B.C. natural gas production through Coastal GasLink.
After a decade in development, the project announced in early November that 100 per cent of pipe is now installed. The LNG Canada terminal targets its first export shipments by 2025.
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