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Site C workforce at 4,941 in November

Drilling and piling work is in progress for pier 2 of the Dry Creek segment of Highway 29 realignment. The new segment includes the design and construction of 1.5 km of new highway and a 158-metre-long bridge at Dry Creek, December 2020. (via BC HYDRO)

Employment on the Site C dam dropped under 5,000 in November, with 4,941 workers reported, according to BC Hydro.

Employment figures released Friday show the workforce down by 240 from October, which had seen employment surpass 5,000 for the first time since construction began in 2015.

As of Jan. 8, there were 604 workers reported at the camp outside Fort St. John, none in self-isolation. A new public health order currently limits BC Hydro to a maximum of 800 workers in camp.

“We have been working closely with health officials for a number of weeks on a safe and staged plan to slowly increase the number of workers staying at camp to a maximum of 1,100 later in January. We informed them of our planned works for after the holiday season as well as our critical workforce requirements,” said project spokesman Dave Conway.

“While these changes will have a further impact on our overall project schedule and cost, we understand the rationale for the order and we will continue to put the health and safety of our employees, workers and the nearby communities first.”

Of the November workforce, roughly one-fifth was local, with 974 Peace region residents employed as construction and non-construction contractors.

There were 3,551 B.C. workers, or 72%, working for construction and non-construction contractors, and in engineering and project team jobs.

BC Hydro reported 181 apprentices for the month, as well as 400 indigenous people and 514 women working on the project.

There were two temporary foreign workers employed in specialized positions, BC Hydro said, and another 38 managers and other professionals working under the federal international mobility program.