Hiring of Chinese miners in B.C. sends unions to court – Petti Fong (Toronto Star – November 6, 2012)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

VANCOUVER—The hiring of about 200 Chinese miners to work in northern British Columbia has raised concerns with Ottawa as unions went to court Monday seeking to overturn the decision to allow the foreign workers into Canada.

The workers, some of whom are already at the mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., were allowed in after getting approval from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

The miners will be employed at HD Mining International Ltd’s Murray River coal mine extracting bulk samples.

“Canadians must always have the first crack at job opportunities,” said Alyson Queen, spokeswoman for Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley. “As we have indicated previously, we are concerned with the process that led to this decision.”

Queen said in a statement to the Toronto Star that the ministry is looking into the case to ensure that appropriate rules were followed but cannot comment further on matters because the issue is now in the courts.

On Monday, two unions under the B.C. Building Trades union filed a judicial review in federal court of Ottawa’s decision to allow in the Chinese workers.

Lee Loftus, business manager for B.C. Building Trades said Monday that the survey work and sampling work being done by the Chinese workers already employed at the site could be done by dozens of other qualified union members in B.C.

The application was filed by the Construction and Specialized Workers Union, Local 1611 and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1283183–hiring-of-chinese-miners-in-b-c-sends-unions-to-court