Feb 16, 2019
LNG Canada sponsors driver training in Kitimat and Terrace
Lack of driver’s license a leading barrier to employment for Indigenous peoples
Vancouver, February 15, 2019 – Today LNG Canada announces it has contributed $80,000 to sponsor three sessions of driver training, two in Kitimat and one in Terrace, B.C. This funding will enable 46 students to take the graduated licensing program and go from an “L” (Class 7) license to an “N” (Class 5) licence. In addition, students will receive training on defensive driving and how to be a safe driver.
This sponsorship is part of LNG Canada’s commitment to provide employment opportunities for the local community and First Nations, and to remove barriers so individuals can take advantage of the employment opportunities that lie ahead as the project moves into construction.
“From our discussions with the local community and First Nations, we understood that a key barrier to employment is not having a driver’s license, which is a requirement for many jobs,” said Susannah Pierce, director, external relations for LNG Canada. “We are committed to ensuring the local community and First Nations benefit from our project and are pleased to offer a program that provides much needed driver’s training to help overcome that obstacle, and at the same time, increase road safety.”
Each student going through one of the sessions receives free driver training and a shorter process time of going from an “L” (Class 7) license to an “N” (Class 5) licence. The process is typically 24 months, but for participants taking the graduated licensing program, the process is shortened to 18 months.
The training is open to anyone living in Kitimat or Terrace that could benefit from having a driver’s licence. The only criteria are a valid “L” license and no outstanding fines. The Kitimat training will take place through Kitimat Valley Institute (KVI) in partnership with Haisla Driving School. The first session will begin February 15th, 2019 and a second session will run March 20 – 22, 2019. The training in Terrace is in partnership with All Nations Driving Academy and will run in the evenings of February 25th to March 1st to accommodate those who work during the day. Students can then sign-up for the in-car portion of the training at any time in 2019.
“Studies show that between 5-45% of Indigenous people living on reserve do not have a driver’s license,” said Lucy Sager, Principal CEO All Nations Driving Academy. “I’m really appreciative of the partnership with LNG Canada and for them taking the initiative to understand there is a problem, and to step up to help fill the gap. Long after LNG Canada is built, the benefit of being able to drive will be a life skill that will take community members anywhere they want to go.”
“We are pleased to partner with LNG Canada and Haisla Driving School to host this valuable training for the community. Drivers licenses are key to employment,” added Tanya Rexin, President and CEO of Kitimat Valley Institute.
In addition to funding this driver training program, LNG Canada has provided $1.5 million since 2015 towards funding our Trades Training program, administered through the BC Construction Association, and the company recently announced $150,000 in funding towards the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP), that prepares Indigenous youth for a successful transition to employment and post-secondary education.