DAWSON CREEK—Peace River South BC Conservative MLA candidate Kurt Peats announced today his support for domestic miners. “Last month B.C. lost 22,500 full time jobs. BC was once known as a province that had good, high paying jobs, but now we sit in the back of the pack in terms of job creation. Giving away very good mining jobs to foreign workers is not a strategy that we should pursue” Peats said.
Peats acknowledges that many Tumbler Ridge residents are frustrated that they are unable to work at the mines in their very own community. The hiring of foreign workers depresses wages by approximately 15 percent, and these wages are ultimately spent in other countries, completely bypassing the local, provincial and Canadian economies.
Peats wants to ensure that all jobs at the mines are available to BC residents first, then secondly, to Canadian citizens. This can be accomplished via the permitting process and would not add any additional costs to the mining companies nor to the government. “If highly technical skills are not available in Canada, then by all means we need to bring in temporary foreign workers on a very limited basis with strict time limits.” It would therefore be incumbent upon the mining companies to train BC and/or Canadian residents to the skill level required to fulfill all technical jobs at the mine site.
“By developing skills, investing in trades and providing a BC first approach to jobs, this would ensure that we have a long term tax base to provide the services, now, and into the future.”