Concerned Canadian unions say BC government is leaving coal in China’s hands

In unveiling Canada’s British Columbia’s job-creation strategy last September, the Premier Christy Clark said the government planed to capitalize on high demand for minerals, especially in Asia, by opening up eight new mines in the next four years and expanding nine more by 2015.

What Clark didn’t specified was who would be employed on those mines, explains labour lawyer and aspiring NDP MLA candidate Sarbjit (Bobby) Deepak.

In a letter to the Vancouver Sun, Deepack wrote that Asian trade and investment, the so-called "China Effect," had not enhanced life quality in his hometown of Prince George.

"We need more funding and a definitive plan for apprenticeship and skills training in the resource sector, especially with a call to open eight new mines and expand nine others," said Deepak.

"Who will fill these positions?" he asked, before suggestively pointing to HD Mining International's plan to bring over foreign workers, reports news site The Tyee.

Through HD's parent company, Canadian Dehua International, the mining firm had received approval from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to bring 92 labourers from China to operate their Murray River mine.

“Each of the seven positive labour market opinions (LMOs) was granted to Canadian Dehua International Mines Group (CDIMG) and evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” reads a statement in HD’s website, adding that HRSDC is involved to make sure that HD is “offering foreign nationals the prevailing wage rates, acceptable working conditions and that the entry of the temporary foreign worker will have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market.”

None of the new mines announced by BC’s Premier have opened yet, but fears over who will be extracting the province's coal keep growing, concludes The Tyee.