HD Mining Chair calls for Clarification from Feds


Trent Ernst, Editor
 
Penggui Yan, Chairman of the Board for HD Mining has written a letter to federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to clarify statements she made about Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
 
Yan says the statements have become an “increasing concern” in the company’s court case with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union (Labourers), Local 1611.
 
In his letter to Finlay, Yan says “The presiding Justice has indicated on more than one occasion that your statement has cast a ‘cloud’ over the [Labour Market Opinions], and has questioned whether your statement constitutes an ‘admission’ by the government of the matters at issue in the litigation. It is therefore clear that your statement (made the day after this litigation was publicly reported) has unfortunately become a relevant issue in these proceedings.”
 
As reported two weeks ago in the Tumbler Ridge News, Finlay issued a statement saying that the government is not happy with the way the process has played out. “Our government believes that Canadians must always have first crack at job opportunities in Canada,” says Finley. “We are not satisfied with what we have learned about the process that led to permission for hundreds of foreign workers to gain jobs at the Dehua Mines subsidiary in British Columbia.”
 
In particular, she said, the government is not satisfied that sufficient efforts were made to recruit or train Canadians interested in the job. “It is clear to our government that there are some problems with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. We take these very seriously and are currently reviewing the program.”
 
However, since making that statement, there has been no further clarification on the statement and she has ignored repeated requests for interviews on the matter. Her office has stated she was not able to comment on matters that were before the court.
 
In the letter, Yan asks whether Ms. Finley is aware of “any error or irregularity in the processing of the LMO applications relative to the applicable law and policy.”  
 
In an unsigned public statement, the company calls the comments “unfair, unclear and potentially inconsistent with statements made to HD Mining by HRSDC staff.”
 
HD Mining expects the Murray River Coal project will create 600 direct jobs for the community of Tumbler Ridge through the construction and operating phases.