A deep and lasting impression of engagement
Not anymore. The company’s open and transparent engagement efforts with local governments, chambers of commerce, community interest groups, landowners and citizens has made a deep and lasting impression.
“You guys are the only ones that did it right,” said Mayor Shane Brienen of Houston. “Of all the pipeline companies that have come through, TransCanada is the best to work with.”
“You have been engaging with us since the start and have been open and transparent and always answer questions honestly.”
Said one local landowner, Rosemary Beier: “We were concerned about our hayfields and our cattle. When Dave (Kmet, TransCanada B.C projects land manager) let us know the corridor had been adjusted to run parallel to an existing road, we were pleased.”
“You have set a precedent for other developments to follow. You are the first pipeline project that has actually listened to us.”
Over 25 letters of support received
In fact over 25 letters of support have been received from local municipalities, chambers of commerce and stakeholders along TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink and PRGT pipeline routes – all of whom are eager for project approvals so that benefits can begin flowing into the region.
- Since mid-2012, the Coastal GasLink and PRGT project teams have met with individual local governments on more than 150 occasions, hosted more than 100 public information sessions, and operated information booths at over 60 conferences and public events.
- Project management and technical teams engaged, listened and responded constructively to community leaders and residents in dozens of Aboriginal territories, rural settlements and small urban centres.
- Numerous routing changes were implemented to reduce effects on homeowners, landowners, archaeological sites and sensitive environmental areas.
- In the forests and on the back roads, TransCanada gained a reputation as a good neighbour through the careful execution of environmental and engineering field programs amounting to nearly 500,000 person-hours.
Significant boost to the B.C. economy
“This activity has provided a significant boost to the northern B.C. economy through such channels as employment, professional services, fuel and equipment supply, hotels and food,” explains Jaimie Harding, TransCanada community relations lead.
“Community leaders have spoken loud and clear that they want companies to invest in the well-being of community residents and leave a legacy.”
This stakeholder feedback led to the development and implementation of several post-secondary schools and two established Aboriginal training institutions in northern B.C.
Those efforts over the past 48 months have not been lost on Mayor Garry Thiessen of the District of Vanderhoof.
“Coastal GasLink is already making significant contributions to our region,” he says. “Local businesses are involved in their fieldwork, and the company is contributing to community organizations.”
Support for skills training and more
“This includes support for things like skills training, emergency response, environmental protection and community events, (such as) sponsorship of public skating,” said Thiessen.
“These benefits will continue and the north will be stronger if we can move major projects like Coastal GasLink to construction.”
Meanwhile TransCanada’s efforts will continue unabated as the projects moves along.
“We will continue to be responsive and address questions from our stakeholders about natural gas, how it differs from oil, how pipelines are built and how we reclaim the land after construction,” said Harding.
“Communities also want ongoing information on project plans for local environmental protection, especially related to waterways and fish stocks, and those efforts to keep everyone informed will continue unabated.”
‘We strive to be good neighbours’
Adds Rebecca McElhoes, community relations manager: “At TransCanada, we strive to be good neighbours.”
“We recognize that excellence in stakeholder engagement helps deliver value to the business and we believe that open dialogue results in better projects – for TransCanada and for communities.
“Many of our stakeholders in B.C. have in effect told us that we have ‘walked the talk,’ that we have done what we said we were going to do.
“We intend to continue to do so as we move towards construction of these projects.”