By Laura Keil
Trans Mountain officially closed the worker accommodation camp in Valemount May 28th, 2023.

Trans Mountain says the closure coincides with a significant drop in the local pipeline expansion workforce.

“The Valemount Camp Community had its last meal on May 28, 2023, and is now closed,” a Trans Mountain spokesperson told the Goat May 29th.

The spokesperson said the majority of the workforce will continue to migrate towards the southern portions of Spread 3/4A and into the Clearwater region.

“The Blue River camp community remains open and has the capacity to provide additional accommodation as required.”

The June workforce projection for the entire North Thompson (Darfield to Rearguard) is roughly 879 workers a day. Last year, Valemount alone saw its local pipeline workforce peak at more than 2,000 people.

Area rentals are still scarce, however, and rents remain high. Valemount Council requested that the camp remain in place until pressure was reduced on the local housing market.
In April, Mayor Owen Torgerson said it was Council’s desire that the camp remain open until the end of mechanical completion (slated for the end of 2023) or at least until Spread 3 is fully completed.

He said the village, local accommodations, other commercial businesses, schools, residents, etc. would all benefit from a “slow and steady project wind-down” to ready the community for what will be a back-to-normal population base. The Village anticipates increased visitors this summer, for instance, the Canadian Enduro League event July 15 and 16 will bring 200-250 participants and their support teams to the area.

Trans Mountain says Valemount-area workers can use the Blue River camp community if needed.

The spokesperson said the camp will be decommissioned and the assets removed when weather conditions are favourable, likely in the summer.