Pipeline camp at 7 Mile Camp. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)

Michels Canada’s pipeline project director says Burns Lake highly receptive to crew

Crew intends to stay for another year

Earlier this year in June, Coastal GasLink (CGL) terminated the contract with one of its prime contractors along an 85 kilometres section running from south of Burns Lake to south of Houston and replaced them with Michels Canada, a diversified utility contractor in North America. Since then, the company’s crew has felt welcome in the community and has been enjoying all that the Lakes District has to offer, said the project director on the CGL project with Michels Canada, John Hunt.

“Michels Canada is diligently and safely working on and focused on completing the CGL project scope it has been awarded. The crews continue arriving at both, 7 Mile and Huckleberry Lodges with peak workforce slated for late September and October this year,” said Hunt. “The Village of Burns Lake and Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako are very welcoming and Michels Canada is enjoying the wonderful natural environment the Lakes District offers.”

According to Hunt, Michels Canada has been thoroughly engaged with Indigenous and local community leaders and residents to optimize relations and source subcontract and employment opportunities. In turn, the community has been receptive and complimentary of the Michels Canada team.

“We are enjoying good relationships and intend to increase our engagement and local activity participation. We are cognizant of potential traffic increases and will be respectful in every way we can,” remarked Hunt. “We are visitors in the community and want to have and leave a great impression.”

To that effect, Michels Canada has been involved with community engagement and fundraising. They have taken over the bottle donations program and are now working hand-in-hand with CGL, Civeo and the local bottle depot, to continue the program.

“Our connection with the CGL bottle donation program at our 7 Mile Lodge nearest to Burns Lake has raised $26,000 for local organizations within the community, and it has been impactful. Most recently, we were able to provide funding to support the arrival of the Ukrainian refugee family to the Village of Burns Lake and each month donate to a different local organization,” said Hunt.

Michels Canada team has also engaged several Indigenous, local, and sporting organizations.

“I would particularly point to our fishing derby held in August that raised money for a seniors’ complex and a family in distress,” said Hunt. “Our first donation was for the grand opening of the community’s dog park, and we brought a large box of dog treats for everyone in attendance. We have contracted with Indigenous businesses, those businesses that have partnered with Indigenous businesses, and have generally been supportive of the local businesses with retail and sizeable material orders.”

The team has also sponsored the Burns Lake Timbermen Junior Hockey Team with a sponsorship.

“We look forward to attending many Timbermen games,” said Hunt adding, that several team members are even looking forward to playing some shinny at the local hockey and curling rinks starting this October.

The Michels Canada team according to Hunt, intends to be in town for roughly another year, adding that the weather has been favourable and the team is really enjoying their stay locally.

“Michels Canada has enjoyed the natural beauty of Burns Lake and the surrounding area. The people have an envious friendliness, welcoming engagement and industriousness of note, and are willing to help, advise and guide Michels Canada as a company and its employees on local events and business connections. The Indigenous people and culture have been inspiring in their engagement and values with whom we connect with often,” said Hunt.

“We have men and women from all over Canada that have left their homes and families to come work on the spread and are grateful for welcoming them into the community.”