December 14 2018, 10:00 AM
When the air outside has cooled, and the rest of us begin to bundle up for the winter months ahead, the team at the Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility begin their prep for the next summer. Every November, the team begins the months’ long process of spawning and rearing eggs and juvenile Atlantic salmon for release into the wild.
This process starts by catching healthy wild adult Atlantic Salmon juveniles, in waters above the head pond in the Saint John River (Wolastoq.) The fish are brought to the facility and reared to sexually mature adults over a period of 2 to 4 years. The majority of these mature fish are released back into the river to spawn naturally, but a small percentage are retained for captive breeding where eggs are extracted and fertilized on site. After being incubated for the next two months at the main facility, the eggs are moved across the river to the incubation building next to the Mactaquac Generating Station. The eggs are kept in large incubation tanks where they will grow through the coldest months of the year until they hatch.
It’s this step in their journey, when the team at the Mactaquac Generating Station steps in to help. The incubation building is fed with warm water that comes out of the pump house at the Station. Because the temperatures can be unpredictable at times, the operators keep a close eye on the temperatures and adjust as needed so the temperatures inside the building stay at a safe level for the fish.
“There’s daily communication between our team and the team here at Mactaquac,” says John Whitelaw, a Biologist with the Biodiversity Facility. “This facility allows us to get an early start on hatching and feeding the fish. It’s incredibly important that the water temperatures and oxygen levels stay within a defined range, as it could stunt their growth or completely wipe out the eggs if we lose that.”
The young fish continue to benefit from this partnership once they’ve fully outgrown the tanks at the incubation building and get transported to the Aquadomes a short walk uphill. These domes are where they’ll spend the next few months growing until they reach their juvenile state and make their way back to the biodiversity facility across the river.
They’re transported in large tanks by truck across the dam where they are released into rock pools that mimic natural riverbeds. They’ll stay here until they’re big enough to be released back to the river to start their journey to the marine environment.
“This partnership began when the dam was built to mitigate loss with the operation of the dam,” says Whitelaw. “Since then, there has been a shift in thinking to conservation and preservation of the species. So in 1984, this early rearing facility was built as an add-on to what we were already doing to help us learn new things on how we use our facilities and how we can incorporate new science to help put more salmon back in the river.”
The Mactaquac Biodiversity Facility also collects migrating salmon and gaspereau at a specially designed fish lift at the Mactaquac Hydroelectric Dam and trucks and releases them upriver of the Dam.
September 7 2018, 10:10 AM
The 4th Annual Doug Wallace Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament was held on August 11 in Saint John. The slo-pitch Tournament is an annual fundraising initiative led by Point Lepreau staff in memory of Doug Wallace, well known union member and long-time NB Power employee.
Eight teams made up of NB Power employees and community members participated in the Tournament, raising a total of $2,850 for Bobby’s Hospice of Greater Saint John.
Team Security came in first place with team Operations coming in second.
In first place was Security – Back Row from left to right: Anna-Marie Adams, Keith Garnett, Dylan Jones, Vinnie Hosford, Shannon Tapper, Chris Dempsey, Vance Crozier Bottom row left to right: Katrina MacKinnon, Joe Mahoney, Litsa Dares, Keri Savoie
In 2nd place was Operations – Back Row from left to right: Glen Beers, Carolyn Davis, Ted McWilliams, Marc Myles, Darren Logan, Ashley Logan, Dwayne Logan Bottom row from left to right: Katelyn Denton, Randy O’Donnell, Amy Raynes, and in front the official OPS Batboy Nicholas O’Donnell (9) Not Shown: Preston Boulos, Randy Davis
NB Power employees Randy O’Donnell and Adrice Bordage worked together to organize the tournament. “We’re very proud to have had this event take place and we look forward to doing it again next year,” said Randy.
Bobby's Hospice is a palliative care home that provides 24-hour medical care and support to people living with a terminal illness and grief support for those coping with the loss of a loved one.
March 8 2018, 10:50 AM
Carolyn Campbell’s family-oriented focus is apparent when speaking with her and she understands the benefits of positive role models while raising her young daughter, especially in her line of work.
Carolyn is an Environmental Specialist at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. It was family that brought her back to New Brunswick in 2007, after working in Ontario for three years. She now lives in the Saint John area, where she grew up.
“Being away from my family was difficult for me,” she said. “Now that I am a mom myself, I couldn’t imagine not having my family nearby. I couldn’t survive without their support.”
Her role with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission brought her back home, where she got to work closely with employees at Point Lepreau. It wasn’t until last year though, after taking a short hiatus from the nuclear industry that Carolyn returned to the point, but this time as an NB Power employee. As soon as she was back, she knew it was the right place to be.
“Since the day I started, actually even on the day of my interview, I felt like I was coming home, and was surrounded by family,” she said. “Everyone wants to see you succeed. They want the team to succeed. And that is something I have not felt in any other place I’ve worked. It is pretty special, and the people are what make Lepreau an amazing place to work.”
As an Environmental Specialist Carolyn works to ensure that NB Power is meeting environmental regulatory commitments. She does this through data collection and analysis for submission into monthly and annual reports. She also helps work groups understand the potential environmental risks of the work they are doing, and works with them to mitigate the risks. She spends a lot of time in the field at PLNGS to ensure that we are always doing the right thing when it comes to protecting the environment.
She also liaises with regulatory agencies, our corporate office, and sometimes other NB Power facilities to understand and apply provincial and federal regulations, and then relay those regulations to the appropriate individuals in the field doing the work.
Outside of work, Carolyn is helping the next generation of New Brunswick women discover the joy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. She mentors with Skills Canada NB and volunteers with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB) to give presentations to high schools.
“STEM careers are exploding and having women in New Brunswick in these roles shows the young women and girls here that it’s possible. It gives them a goal to aspire to, and most importantly, it lets them know that they can do anything that they want to do. That’s what I tell my 7 year old daughter as often as I can,” she adds. “Women and girls have amazing ideas, many have interests that are within the STEM field and have so much to contribute.”
Carolyn believes it’s important to share stories like hers because people are always looking for people who remind them of themselves.
“The more people share, the more likely someone is to see something that they can relate to, and help them realize that they can accomplish the same kinds of things.”
November 28 2017, 10:49 AM
On an ordinary morning drive to work at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station last September, something extraordinary happened to Keith Whitebone - he became a hero.
Coming up on the Musquash highway, out of the corner of his eyes, he and a coworker spotted a car on its roof in the ditch, water coming up its side. Keith quickly pulled over to the shoulder and jumped into action.
“Some sort of calm came over me and I just did what had to be done,” said Keith.
Searching for something to help, Keith found a large rock that he used to break the back window of the car. He crawled inside. Once in the overturned car, he found a woman trapped upside down by her seatbelt.
“I did think when I got down to this lady hanging upside down in anywhere from inches to 3 feet of water, is this poor soul survives this terrible roll over and now she has the potential of drowning,” said Keith. “I wasn’t going to let that happen.”
He was able to cut her free from her seatbelt, and carefully helped her out of the car through the back window. Once out of the car, Keith sat by her side on the swampy ground and helped to keep her calm and comfortable while they waited for emergency responders to arrive.
Keith was nominated for a Safety Recognition Award by his colleagues at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, and received a plaque from the Station’s Joint Health and Safety Committee for a company-wide Safety Excellence Award for his actions.
Now, just over a year later, Keith is getting more recognition - this time, on a national level for saving this woman’s life. On November 15 in Toronto, he received the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Lifesaving Award. The awards are an annual event that publicly recognizes and celebrates incredible lifesaving acts.
“Recognition is appreciated but not needed,” Keith said. “I would give my life for a complete stranger.”
But Keith wasn’t alone is receiving this lifesaving award. Fellow NB Power employee, Trevor Munn, who works in Marysville, Fredericton, also took home this prestigious award in Toronto.
At an annual barbeque for his office’s Joint Health and Safety Committee, Trevor noticed something was off with one of his co-workers. They were choking. Without hesitating, he wrapped his arms around his co-worker and thrust his arms just under their ribs to help dislodge the food in their throat. After a few minutes of this, the food was out and his co-worker saved.
We’re proud of these employees for going above and beyond to help those in need around them.
May 4 2017, 10:42 AM
The Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT) launched a new utility arboriculture college program this February in Fredericton. This program is a joint venture with MCFT, NB Power’s Distribution Vegetation Management team and Arboriculture Canada Training and Education Ltd.
Graduates of this program will complete over 1000 contact hours over the two year program, graduating with a diploma in utility arboriculture in 2019 with over ten separate certificates (such as a Chainsaw Operator Certificate, Herbicide Applicator certificate and ATV Operator Certificate, to name a few.)
The primary objective of this program is to supply a highly skilled and safety-oriented workforce to an industry that is struggling to recruit and retain workers. These individuals have gone through several steps during the admissions phase to ensure they are a best fit to this career, including an online candidate assessment tool called Talent Sorter.
The “tree trimmers” of tomorrow will be more appropriately termed “utility arborists”, with NB Power and MCFT having applied for trade designation and recognition of utility arboriculture as a designated occupation within the province of New Brunswick. Program coordinators have been working closely with counterparts in Ontario and British Columbia (where utility arboriculture is already a designated occupation) to design the curriculum and move toward the goal of red seal designation.
The curriculum includes courses such as Arboriculture Sciences, NB Power Safe Work Practices and Orientation, Electrical Theory and Awareness, Communications and a full suite of technical arborist courses offered through Arboriculture Canada Training and Education Ltd-Canadian leaders in the field of arboriculture. These students will be trained on proper tree rigging techniques both on the ground and high up.
This program is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, and has been featured in the Atlantic Forestry Review (Clearing the Lines) and MacLean’s magazine.
After tireless recruitment efforts in a relatively short period of time, 28 students (27 from New Brunswick, one from Ontario) have entered the program and will begin one of two work practicums this June with an NB Power vegetation contractor. They are currently working diligently in the classroom to prepare for their first work practicum, learning everything from vegetation management principles, electrical theory, tree species identification and biology, to pruning, felling and chipping methods.
This represents a significant advancement in the level of training and professionalism in the industry, with 28 bright and engaged individuals who are willing to invest (financially and time-wise) in educating themselves with a goal of working and living in New Brunswick.