We attended the Renewal Northwest forum in Burns Lake at College of New Calendonia, hosted by the federal NDP representative Nathan Cullen. With work being scarce in the area due to the destruction of the mill and now undecided as to whether its going to be rebuilt, due to the forest tenure question. We were hoping there would be more information on the development of mining and employment in the northwest. What where we thinking?
What I believe is, we where subjected to a fishing expedition on Nathan’s part to collect information to use to build their next federal election strategy. So the question remains. What are the mining corporations and other industries planing for the northwest and what can the residents of the northwest expect for future employment?
If you’ve been to the WorkBC office of late, you will notice that they proudly declare that they have placed six people in the last month. Well, I don’t see that as very promising or encouraging and when your over 50 even less so. So, where are all these jobs that they can’t find skilled and experienced people to fill and where does that leave the people of the northwest? I believe, it leaves us competing with other provinces and immigrant workers for the jobs in our back yard.
Apparently, one camp shift is 40 days in and seven days out, with no accommodations for family and girl friends, or enough time off for them to fly home. An escort service has been suggested to meet the needs of the out of area workers. If there are no accommodations for the extended families, how can there be for the escort service? And is this a better solution, then training and employing the local workforce? I don’t think any of us have to dig very deep to see the insanity of the situation.