Michael Goehring is the president and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C., representing the province’s steelmaking coal, metal and industrial mineral producers, smelting operations and advanced development companies.
The lives of British Columbians have been fundamentally altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tragically, it has taken loved ones before their time, while entire sectors of our economy have been shut with nearly 400,000 jobs lost in March and April alone.
In B.C.’s mining sector, the pandemic prompted a quick and resolute response to protect the health and safety of our employees and communities and maintain worksites and operations essential to our economy and the livelihood of more than 33,000 British Columbians.
Despite COVID-19, last month the B.C. Legislature proclaimed May as Mining Month to recognize the industry’s long standing contribution to our province.
While there were no community celebrations this year, it was timely to recognize mining’s importance to British Columbians’ standard of living and our economic future, particularly as we reopen our battered economy.
Some British Columbians may see mining as a thing of the past that is not important to B.C.’s future. Others may think mining is relevant only to rural British Columbia. These views, however, are far from the truth. The fact is mining is critical to our economy. It benefits every person and every city and town in B.C.