Example of a Falcon Camp Services worker accommodation facility.

Work camp liquor debate coming to council

Owner of camp company says workers would be limited to two to three drinks max at planned LNG camp south of Terrace, B.C.

The application by a work camp company wanting a liquor licence for a planned work camp at the Skeena Industrial Development Park has sparked debate in advance of a public input session at Monday’s regular council meeting.

Prince George-based Falcon Camp Services has been building a 200-400 person camp for workers on the Pacific Trails Pipeline that would carry natural gas to the planned Kitimat LNG plant at Kitimat, but this number could rise to thousands if construction of the Chevron plant begins.

In applying for a liquor-primary licence to serve booze in a lounge within the Chevron recreational building, Falcon set in motion a multi-level bureaucratic process through the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch which requires a public input session through Terrace city council who can then endorse or reject the application.

According to city spokesperson Alisa Thompson, Terrace residents will have a chance to give their opinion about the liquor lounge idea at the Jan.12 council meeting. They can also submit their comments in writing to city hall before the meeting.

Thompson said that “there are good reasons either way” for endorsing or not endorsing the work camp liquor permit but that ultimately the decision falls to the provincial government. Council can also choose not to make a statement at all.

Falcon business manager Alex Reed said the proposed 65-seat lounge will be part of a self-contained design that will include a gym and cafeteria.

He says Terrace should still expect an influx in demand for services that local businesses will benefit from despite the all-inclusive philosophy of the camp.

“It was an application that was put in on behalf of our client,” said Reed. “It is a private facility that is being done on their behalf.”

Reed said that whether a work camp is dry or not depends on the client’s needs, and that any drinking in the camp would be regulated by the company in a similar way to how it is done in Fort McMurray.

“We don’t know what it’s going to look like other than it’s going to be a two- to three-drink type thing,” he said of the drinking lounge. “They’ve done it for years in Fort Mac and all those facilities are fenced, they’re secured, they have private security firms, all of that.”

“It’s just a cubby hole kind of thing in the existing facility,” he added.

The Kitselas First Nation owns the land on which the camp is being built but since it falls within the municipal boundaries Falcon must follow Terrace municipal laws.

On average it takes seven to 12 months to get a liquor-primary licence, and Falcon applied earlier in 2014.