CALGARY — Construction on the Woodfibre LNG project southwest of Squamish, B.C., on the West Coast has been delayed for a year due in part to affects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project spokeswoman Rebecca Scott says substantial construction expected to start this summer won’t take place until after the middle of next year after a fabrication yard in Asia that was making components for the project was shut down to hinder the spread of the coronavirus.
She says another cause of delay is that the preferred U.S. construction contractor for the marine part of the project has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and won’t be available to start work as expected.
The company is applying to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office for a five-year extension to its environmental certificate which expires in October.
Last week, the much larger LNG Canada project said it will reduce the size of its construction workforce at Kitimat, B.C., by half to help local communities deal with COVID-19. The $40-billion project is to have an initial capacity of 14 million tonnes of LNG per year.
No cost estimate has been released for Woodfibre LNG, which is licensed to export 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year for 40 years. Construction is expected to take about four years.
“The key thing here is that we’re full steam ahead,” Scott said. “We’re still meeting all of our pre-construction commitments. Really nothing changes for us except our projection for start of construction.”
Last May, Woodfibre LNG developer Pacific Oil & Gas Ltd. announced a deal to buy Calgary-based Canbriam Energy Inc. to ensure a supply of natural gas feedstock for the project from wells in northeastern B.C.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.
The Canadian Press
Ninth Albertan dies from COVID – Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s Alberta Update for March 31
From the Province of Alberta
Update 18: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 31 at 5 p.m.)
Sixty-four additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 754.
There is one additional death in the Calgary zone.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- 453 cases in the Calgary zone
- 187 cases in the Edmonton zone
- 51 cases in the Central zone
- 50 cases in the North zone
- 12 cases in the South zone
- One case in a zone that is yet to be confirmed
- Of these cases, there are currently 26 people in hospital, with 11 admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
- In total, there have been 49 hospitalizations, with 17 admissions to ICUs.
- Seventy-five of the 754 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
- Seventy-seven confirmed cases involve health-care workers, including staff in continuing care facilities. We continue to refine reporting for health-care worker cases.
- There are now a total of 120 confirmed recovered cases.
- There are a total of nine deaths in Alberta – five in the Calgary zone, three in the Edmonton zone, and one in the North zone.
- Alberta Health is tracking outbreaks in the following facilities. Updates on confirmed case numbers will be provided in the April 1 update:
- Calgary zone: McKenzie Towne Long Term Care and Carewest Glenmore Park centre
- Edmonton zone: Shepherd’s Care Kensington
- Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographical areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19statistics.
- All Albertans need to work together to help prevent the spread and overcome COVID-19.
- Restrictions remain in place for close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants and non-essential retail services. A full list of restrictions is available online.
- Albertans are prohibited from attending gatherings of more than 15 people, and they must continue to observe two metres of social distancing. This includes events both indoors and outdoors, such as family gatherings, weddings and funerals. Further details are available online.
Access to justice
The Court of Queen’s Bench will now permit counsel to submit master and justice consent orders for processing through email. More information: www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/processing-of-master-justice-consent-orders-by-email
Charities and non-profit organizations
Eligibility criteria for emergency funding for charities and not-for-profit organizations impacted by COVID-19 is available at https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-funding-for-charities-and-not-for-profit-organizations.aspx.
List of essential workplaces
The list of essential workplaces that can continue to operate in Alberta can be found online.
Emergency isolation supports
Emergency isolation supports are available for Albertans who are self-isolating or who are the sole caregivers for someone in self-isolation, and have no other source of income. Applicants can view eligibility criteria and apply at alberta.ca. To carefully manage the flow of applications, we are periodically closing access to MADI and the emergency isolation support. We will provide daily updates about system availability.
There is no formal deadline for emergency isolation support. This is a temporary program to bridge the gap until the Federal Emergency Care Benefit is available.
- The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
- This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately.
- Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
- For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.
Youth worker, hockey coach one of Alberta’s latest COVID-19 victims
HIGH PRAIRIE, Alta. — The wife of a northern Alberta man who died this week of complications due to COVID-19 says he will be remembered as a loving father and someone who cared for youth in his community.
Shawn Auger, who was 34, died Monday morning in hospital after he was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on March 16.
He is the province’s youngest victim of COVID-19 to date.
His wife, 35-year-old Jennifer Auger, says the virus particularly affected him because he had asthma.
The father of three was a youth care worker at the Youth Assessment Centre in High Prairie, Alta., about 370 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
His wife says they were heavily involved in organizing hockey teams and they often called the kids they coached their “hockey babies.”
“He hasn’t left us,” Jennifer Auger said Tuesday. “We gained a fighting, caring, wonderful angel and he is still working from beyond.”
A statement from the Valleyview Jets hockey club asks people to place hockey sticks on their porches as a sign of solidarity with Auger’s friends and family.
And a statement Monday on Facebook by Big Lakes County, a municipal district about 300 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, urged community members to get support during their grief.
“Big Lakes County is deeply saddened by the news of our first COVID-19 death,” the statement said.
“We are a close-knit community, and this news will be hard for everyone.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2020
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