By Andru McCracken

The Regional District of Fraser Fort George has said okay to a new liquor lounge and you are not invited to go there for a drink.

The Regional District was asked to provide comment on an application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for a lounge within the Trans Mountain Pipeline workforce accommodation camp under construction in the Cedarside area south of Valemount. No comments were received from the public regarding the application. The Regional District Board voted to support the application.

The application is for a 130-seat lounge at the 600-room camp on Whiskey Fill Road.

The B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch holds the final decision-making authority.

Local area director Dannielle Alan said that the district would have received feedback if it had held a public hearing in the area instead of soliciting written statements.

“I’m very disturbed at the lack of comment we’re receiving on an issue that I know has people interested in it,” Alan said in a story by the Alaska Highway News.

She also raised concerns about compliance with health regulations during the pandemic.

The Alaska Highway News article noted the decision by the regional district board was made a day before provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Site C work camp near Fort St. John.

Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson, who sits on the board as a director, said he’s in favour of the application.

“Trans Mountain has arranged a shuttle service from the camp,” Torgerson said. “All WorkSafeBC and, of course, public health orders would apply.”

The applicant, ATCO Frontec said the lounge would be open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., seven days a week. It would not be open to the general public, only workers at the camp and their registered guests.