[Saskatchewan] Uranium mine industry under scrutiny – by Shinoah Young (Regina Leader-Post – May 28, 2013)


Northerners are in dire need for further education and training when it comes to Saskatchewan’s economic “boom.”

A recent report called the Community Vitality Montoring Partnership Process (CVMPP) suggested that “uranium mining companies should target some education efforts and donations to invest in early childhood development” in northern Saskatchewan. The recent CVMPP report was suggested by northern leaders and put together by InterGroup Consultants Ltd., a company based in Winnipeg.

Thursday at the University of Regina, Thomas Sierzycki, mayor of La Ronge, presented the report regarding the socio-economic impacts of uranium mining in Saskatchewan.

Sierzycki said there needs to be more training and education towards the higher, non-entry level positions in order for northerners to fully benefit from the uranium mining industry.

“The number of people who have higher levels of education has increased (and) the number of people who have long-term, full-time employment have increased. Although because the population has grown so quickly, the proportion hasn’t necessarily (matched) with education,” said Erin Jonasson, a research consultant for InterGroup.

The uranium mining industry provides some of the highest-salaried positions in northern Saskatchewan, according to the CVMPP.

All entry-level positions are filled by locals but the skilled and technical positions need more local employees, provided there is more training opportunities and supporting education, the report said.

Randy Johns, CEO of Keewatin Career Development Corporation for the Northern Labour Market Committee in La Ronge said that besides a small amount of tourism and forestry, “Mining is the only economy we have in northern Saskatchewan.”

Furthermore, the spinoff services supporting the uranium mining industry such as trucking, catering, camp services, construction and oil and gas, all contribute to a successful northern economy.

Johns said there is a proposal in the works for a future mine training and research centre in La Ronge, through Northlands College.

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