Mining, energy projects near Indigenous communities undermine womens’ safety, experts tell MMIWG inquiry – by Julia Page (CBC News Montreal – September 18, 2018)

Big pay cheques and fly-in, fly-out workforce are ‘a bad mixture for women and girls,’ commissioners learn

Energy and mining projects in remote parts of Canada jeopardize the safety of Indigenous women and their families living there, human rights workers testified Tuesday at Quebec City hearings of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls .

“It’s time for [governments] to step up and see that these projects have an impact on my life and my children’s lives,” said Connie Greyeyes, who is from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Fort St. John, B.C.

Fort St. John, the largest city on the Alaska Highway, has “more strip clubs than bars,” said Greyeyes, with workers flying in from the south to work in the oil, natural gas and forestry industries.

Greyeyes said those labourers often work several weeks in a row under stressful conditions. They return to Fort St. John with a large paycheque in their pocket for a few days off, and they often “blow off steam,” said Greyeyes. “It’s a bad mixture for the women and girls in the community,” she said.

Income gaps heightened

These high-paying jobs don’t trickle down to women, said Jacqueline Hansen, a gender rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada and co-author of Amnesty’s 2016 report Out of sight, out of mind.

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