Goldcorp job cuts ‘devastate’ Red Lake as Ontario town loses 3 per cent of workforce – by Cathy Alex (CBC News Thunder Bay – November 25, 2016)

‘Wall Street gets a cold, we get pneumonia,’ mayor says of job cuts at gold mine

The town of Red Lake, Ont., about 570 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, is “devastated” by the loss of three per cent of its workforce after the GoldCorp gold mine cut 27 jobs, says Mayor Phil Vinet.

“We’re a gold-mining town, and we’re subject to the whims or the rigours of Wall Street,” Vinet said. “When the price of gold on Wall Street drops, or Wall Street gets a cold, we end up with pneumonia.”

“You hate to lose even one of these jobs in the mine,” he added. “These are good jobs, they’re high paying and these people have lived in the community for a long time.” With people potentially leaving town to find new employment, the community will feel the impact on both the economic, and social level, said Vinet.

“You can see the impact, whether it be a Sunday school teacher, a hockey coach or a volunteer,” he said.

Until recently, those laid-off workers might have been able to find other jobs in the town, especially in the service sector. But as the price of gold dropped, those options decreased as well, said Vinet.

Now, it will be up to council and municipal staff to find new business opportunities, and ways to diversify Red Lake’s economy, he said. It’s not easy in a resource-based town, but he remains hopeful.

“We’ve been mining gold in Red Lake for 90 years. It’s not the first time we’ve had some tough days, and it won’t be the last so I like to think that there is some blue sky and sunny days ahead of us,” Vinet said.

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