Coastal GasLink pipeline announced they will open a regional office in Smithers mid-May.
At a Houston Open House last Monday, Project Director Greg Cano said there will be three full-time staff and others travelling in and out.
When asked why the office will be in Smithers not Houston, Cano said Smithers is more central.
“It was [central] both for the communities as well as the First Nations. North is Moricetown which is the largest Wet’suwet’en town and south is Houston. Smithers has a larger population in the area, and we are also closer to Hazelton.”
Cano said the office will also be easier to access since Smithers has an airport.
Pepita Elena, Aboriginal Relations Lead, is one of three staff moving to the Smithers office.
She said the goal of the office is providing information and answers to the public and information from the the public to the pipeline.
It is about engagement, Elena said.
“Whether the [investment decision] is yes or no, we want it to be informed. That is why we took the extra step to be here.”
Cano says during the summer they expect the office to be very busy, as it will be the base for the prime contractors.
Elena says they also plan to run workshops for employees and the public, covering topics like budgeting, work skills and general information about Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and pipelines.