Praise for mining jobs dominates Nunavut symposium – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 7, 2017)

“Meadowbank has literally created a new middle class”

If you wonder about the impact of mining on people in Nunavut, two Inuit employees of Agnico-Eagle Mining Ltd. in central Nunavut can tell you the mining industry helped change their lives.

Travis Rusk, 44, a haul truck driver and auxiliary equipment operator at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank gold mine, started work at the mine in 2011 as a labourer hired by a contractor. After switching to Agnico Eagle and training for his present job, he’s now driving a variety of vehicles. Thanks to his job, he was able to buy a house in his home town of Rankin Inlet.

And then there’s Devon Killulark, 36, of Baker Laker, a certified mechanic at Meadowbank, who entered the mine as a mechanic’s helper: with on-site training, he’s now earned his Red Seal certification as a mechanic.

Full of praise for the training and jobs they received, Rusk and Killulark handed out information about mining to members of the public April 5 at Agnico Eagle’s trade show booth at the Nunavut Mining Sympoisum in Iqaluit.

These men’s careers provide two examples of how mining and the roughly 300 jobs that Agnico Eagle has brought to Nunavut to date have increased the standard of living in communities like Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet—a theme underscored by others at the symposium.

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