BCIT PIPING PILOT PROGRAM
BCIT is working with the Government of Canada to remove barriers to apprenticeship completion in the piping trades by offering new programs that will allow apprentices to complete the theory portion of their technical training by distance education. This will reduce the amount of time apprentices need to be away from work or home to complete their apprenticeships.
As part of the Government of Canada’s Flexbility and Innovation in Apprenticeshp Technical Training (FIATT) pilot, BCIT is working to reduce the time required away from the workplace by offering the theory portion of a student’s technical training completely online. The pilot project will run for the first time in August for piping trades apprenctices (plumbing, stem/pipe fitting and gasfitting).
With the new pilot program, students will study theory online for 16 or 22 weeks. When the theory portion is completed, students will then attend the reduced two weeks of practical training and assessment at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. This project is funded in part by the FIATT program.
MASSEY TUNNEL UNDER ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has submitted its application for an environmental certificate to construct the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project.
The project is to build a bridge to replace the 630-metre tunnel that runs below the South Fraser River about 20 kilometres south of the city of Vancouver. A key artery in the region that connects Richmond and Delta along Highway 99, the four-lane tunnel causes notorious traffic snarls, which result to an estimated one million hours of vehicle idling each year.
The tunnel was completed in 1959 and only has about 10 years’ of useful life left before its electrical and mechanical systems need replacing, not to mention that it cannot be structurally changed to meet the higher new seismic standards. The structure lies about 20 metres below sea level at its lowest point and is the deepest tunnel in Canada.
Plans are to replace the tunnel with a bridge and 50 kilometres of new transit and HOV lanes between Highway 91 in Delta and Bridgeport Road in Richmond. About 10,000 transit passengers who use the tunnel now will benefit from the new bridge’s dedicated transit lanes and the project includes $40 million for cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure.
The new project promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from the current situation, or 13,000 tonnes per year. The bridge is to be designed to account for rising sea levels as a result of climate change, and there are to be no bridge piers in the Fraser River. The scheduled date for construction is 2017.
B.C. UNVEILS CLIMATE LEADERSHIP PLAN
The B.C. government has unveiled its highly anticipated Climate Leadership Plan which outlines the province’s strategy for limiting greenhouse-gas emissions and combating climate change.
According to the province, the plan will lead to the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next 10 years, and reduce net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050.
“We are continuing to lead the way in reducing emissions and creating jobs with the release of our new Climate Leadership Plan,” said Premier Christy Clark. “We are taking action with an approach that balances environmental responsibility with economic opportunity.”
The plan’s initial 21 action items include making electric vehicles more affordable and buildings more energy efficient. Government is also targeting sequestration opportunities in our forests and emission reductions in our natural gas production and processing. As demand for clean solutions increases, these actions continue to position B.C. for growth.
Emissions will be reduced further as subsequent actions are introduced, putting B.C. on course to achieve its 2050 target of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions from 2007 levels.
“We are taking further action to keep our province on track to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets, while continuing to grow our economy,” said Environment Minister Mary Polak. “Through the Climate Leadership Plan, we are taking strong actions that will ensure we continue to be an international climate leader, and that our province remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
The B.C. Climate Leadership Plan encourages industries to look at new technologies and innovation for the built environment, with a focus on energy efficient buildings, infrastructure upgrades and less waste to landfills.