Accusations of Chinese miners being dubiously brought into the Canadian province of British Columbia to work in coal mines has prompted the federal government not only to investigate the issue, but to review its entire temporary foreign worker program.
In a statement released Thursday by Human Resources Minister, Diane Finley, the government said it is not convinced that HD Mining has made sufficient attempts to hire and train Canadians.
Finley said the government is also concerned about allegations that HD Mining required applicants to be fluent in Mandarin.
Both the provincial and federal government are already investigating the use of foreign workers in HD Mining 's proposed underground coal mine near Tumbler Ridge.
On Monday, two major B.C. unions requested Canada’s Federal Court overturn a decision to allow about 200 foreign workers to come before the end of the year to start building the coal project.
According to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training's website, a company can be fined up to $10,000 if found guilty of breaching the province's Employment Standards Act.
Foreign workers are the responsibility of the federal government.
Image: "Swallowed by the earth" photo exhibition. Detail by Jjackunrau.