B.C. Hydro has announced a new round of Site C business networking sessions that will be held throughout northern B.C. in January and early February.
These will be coupled with job fairs that will continue into March. The sessions were announced Thursday, a day after a string of arrests at a protest in support of a First Nations encampment that is blocking south bank clearing work.
Now that the main contract for the construction of the dam has been awarded, B.C. Hydro says the sessions will provide an opportunity for Peace region businesses to meet and build relationships with the main contractor, Peace River Hydro Partners (PRHP).
PRHP is a partnership between ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc., Petrowest Corporation and Samsung C&T Canada Ltd.
This will be the fourth round of business networking sessions that B.C. Hydro has organized.
• Two sessions will take place in Fort St. John on Jan. 25 at the Pomeroy Hotel from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 5-7:30 p.m.
• Jan. 26, two sessions will be held in Dawson Creek at the George Dawson Inn, starting at 1:30-4 p.m. and 5-7:30 p.m.
• A Jan. 27 session will be held at the Chetwynd and District Recreation Centre from 5-7:30 p.m.
Similar events in 2014 resulted in a shortlist of contractors which was referred to for the awarding of the contract to build the dam's work camp.
Once that contract was awarded, further business networking sessions were held with the work camp site preparation contractors, Hydro says.
Dawson Creek's omission from these earlier job fairs and networking meetings drew the ire of local leaders, including the mayor, which led to their inclusion in these latest round.
"I think every business in the Peace Country deserve a fair shot at getting that work," Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce executive director Kathleen Connolly told the Alaska Highway News in October.
After requesting business-to-business networking meetings, city council was told Dawson Creek businesses could drive to sessions in either Fort St. John or other nearby cities.
Hydro later told the city that it would be included in sessions planned for the spring of 2016.
In February and March, Peace River Hydro Partners will be hosting job fairs in Tumbler Ridge, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Hudson's Hope, Prince George, Quesnel, Fort Nelson and Mackenzie.
"The job fairs will provide an opportunity for job seekers to meet with Peace River Hydro Partners and other Site C contractors," a B.C. Hydro release said.
Dates and times for the job fairs will be announced shortly.