Waneta workers home for the holidays

Economic boost from Waneta expansion project spans West Kootenay region

CASTLEGAR, B.C. – Partners in the Waneta Expansion Project – Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust – are pleased to announce the results of a recent survey of workers on the project.

On behalf of the Allied Hydro Council of BC, the local labourer’s union recently undertook an informal survey of approximately 100 workers employed at the Waneta Expansion Project to determine how many workers have been able to stay in the area, move back, or relocate to the area as a result of the project.

The survey found that 25 per cent of workers moved back to the Kootenays or relocated to the area while 60 per cent were able to remain at home with their families while working on the project.

“These results are great news for our local families and economy,” says Audrey Repin, spokesperson for the Waneta Expansion Project. “The owners are pleased the project has been able to keep local workers at home and attract new, skilled workers to the area. This is exactly what our projects are meant to do – create clean hydropower, support the economy, and bring jobs to the region for local families.”

Hiring for the project is done through Columbia Hydro Constructors Ltd. (CHC) under the terms and conditions of a collective agreement with the Allied Hydro Council of BC. Under this agreement, hiring preference is given to local residents (living within 100 kilometres of the project) and members of equity employment groups.

“The findings of this survey support this project as great news for local workers,” says Chuck Chatten, representative from the Labourer’s Union.

“The feedback received from the workers was consistent – they are happy to be able to stay close to home and be a part of a project with such an emphasis on safety, quality and the environment.”

The contractor, SNC-Lavalin Inc., has announced they expect construction activities to slow down over the holidays to give workers a chance to celebrate the holiday season with loved ones.

The Waneta Expansion Project is a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust. For more information please visit: www.columbiapower.org/wanetaexpansion.