Temporary foreign workers and Canadian Mines

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"Not racism" letter to editor in tomorrow's Province newspaper

Are we sure 'bout that?


Excellent article by Tom Sandborn, a guy who walks the talk

Protect the Global Domestic Worker: Report

Canada yet to ratify UN safeguard for 53 million who toil in others' homes.



Wow, just flippin' wow!

Brilliant Labour Lawyer Charles Gordon has done it again getting a favourable ruling from Judge Mason yesterday.

I guess Canada's mainstream press were just too busy to share this fabulous news with us, the voting public.

This is far, frar from over, and these clowns will stonewall as long as they can, but........Smile

Message to the Ottawa Cons, the BC Libs, and HD Mining, your day of reckoning is coming.

Anyway share the news - I presume the Federal Court of Canada on West Georgia Street next to the Pacific Centrance entrance will be happy to share the written decision with any Canadian citizens who want it. Maybe it is even on a website somewhere.



This is the website where you can probably get a copy of Judge Mason's decision against HD Mining and the federal government for a production order to be complied with by January 21, 2013, which is next Monday, not that far away. I think these decisions get posted maybe once a week.




It's time for HD Mining to come clean - how many Chinese workers are now working for them in Tumbler Ridge today, tomorrow, and what are their plans?

Why is HD Mining being obstructionist in our Canadian courts.

The federales need to get a clue and cut this HD Mining loose, otherwise the Cons will be in serious trouble in the next federal election in 2015, which is not that far away now. Mulcair must be rubbing his hands with glee over the trouble this file is creating for the Harper Cons, as it will bring the federal NDP much closer to power.


Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we set out to deceive!!!

Government lawyer downplays minister's statement questioning permits for chinese miners in northern BC



A government lawyer is attempting to walk back comments from a federal cabinet minister who publicly suggested a mining company may not have followed the rules when it obtained permits to bring 201 Chinese miners to a project in northern B.C.

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley issued a written statement to reporters last November that said she and her ministry were “not satisfied” HD Mining had made sufficient efforts to recruit or hire Canadians for its proposed Murray River underground coal mine near Tumbler Ridge.

HD Mining’s project is now the subject of a legal challenge in Federal Court, where two unions — the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union — are arguing the temporary foreign worker permits should be revoked.

During a hearing related to the case on Wednesday, a federal government lawyer insisted Finley’s statement shouldn’t be interpreted to suggest there was anything wrong with HD Mining’s applications for temporary work permits.

“Notwithstanding whatever concerns she [Finley] had initially expressed in a public, unsworn, out-of-court statement based on whatever media reports she had looked at, I was instructed to appear here today to argue that the minister felt there was no legally reviewable grounds at all in this case,” Department of Justice lawyer Lorne Lachance told Federal Court in Vancouver.

“We have been vigorously defending [the permits] on that basis ever since.”

The project has fuelled controversy since news of the permits surfaced last year, with unions and other critics decrying the company’s decision to hire foreign workers instead of Canadians.

HD Mining has insisted it couldn’t find qualified Canadians to work at the proposed mine, which would use a specialized form of underground mining that’s currently not used in Canada.

The company says it plans to eventually employ Canadians once they can be trained.

In the midst of that controversy last fall, Finley issued a statement that said the federal government was reviewing the entire foreign worker program.

She suggested the HD Mining case revealed problems that needed to be addressed.

“We are not satisfied with what we have learned about the process that led to permission for hundreds of foreign workers to gain jobs [at the HD Mining site],” the statement said.

“In particular, we are not satisfied that sufficient efforts were made to recruit or train Canadians interested in these jobs.”

The statement pointed specifically to allegations the company required workers applying for jobs at the mine to speak Mandarin. HD Mining has denied that.

Finley has not elaborated on her concerns, nor has she retracted that statement or indicated she has changed her mind.

A spokeswoman for the minister could not be reached Wednesday.

The statement has hung over the court case for the past two months



Oh, oh. Trouble in paradise for Finlay, Kenney, Harper, Clark, Bell, and HD Mining!!!

Finally publicizing the judge's decision I suppose

Court still wants docs for Chinese miner case


A Federal Court judge isn’t letting Ottawa off the hook when it comes to producing documents in the case involving the use of Chinese miners in a proposed British Columbia coal mine.

Two unions are challenging the government’s decision to allow HD Mining to bring about 200 Chinese miners to work in northern B.C., rather than hire Canadian miners.

A judge ordered Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to turn over documents from HD Mining related to temporary foreign worker applications, but the government has said the company is refusing to provide the documents.

Federal government lawyers argued there was nothing they could do and asked the court to change the order to reflect that.

But Judge Michael Manson says the order stands, and he has ordered Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to reconsider whether she can do anything else to force HD Mining to turn over the documents.

The judgment doesn’t say just what the government needs to do, but it says whatever action it takes must happen by Jan. 21.



Now we are getting somewhere. HD Mining needs to fess up and start acting like a good Canadian corporation that respects the laws and the citizens, and their representatives, the federal government of Canada.

Judge refuses to let Ottawa off the hook for documents in Chinese miners case



Ottawa claimed it had no way to compel HD Mining to produce documents that weren't already in the government's possession and asked that the production order be changed to reflect that reality.

Judge Michael Manson ruled that the order still stands.

Manson didn't outline just what the federal government should do to comply, instead leaving that with Human Resources Minister Diane Finley. He noted that the government's previous requests to HD Mining were made without any consequences if the company refused.

"It is not my decision on case management to now determine if the minister has sufficiently exercised that control, but the judge hearing the applicants' application for leave for judicial review may draw an adverse inference against the minister if the judge is not satisfied that the minister has complied," Manson wrote in his decision, issued Tuesday.

"The minister, in her discretion, shall further consider the scope and nature of her compliance with the production order."

Manson said if the federal government decides it can do more to convince HD Mining to turn over the documents, it must take action by Jan. 21.

The unions are challenging Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's decision to provide HD Mining with a positive labour market opinion, a document that confirms that a company needs to use foreign workers because it can't hire or train Canadians.

Any company that wants to use temporary foreign workers must first obtain a positive labour market opinion. HD Mining received positive labour market opinions for its workers last year.

The Federal Court production order in question deals with documents that support the claims HD Mining made in its application for its labour market opinions.

Manson's ruling notes the department tells applicants to keep documents related to their attempts to hire or train Canadians for two years. Manson quotes a passage from the department's website that explains the documents may be needed "in the event that a Service Canada officer contacts you to verify your advertising efforts."

He also notes the department has the power to revoke those labour market opinions, at least until a worker is admitted into Canada.

The unions told court earlier this month that Ottawa should threaten to revoke HD Mining's temporary foreign worker permits if it continues to refuse to turn over the documents.

HD Mining couldn't immediately be reached to comment on the Federal Court decision.

The company has previously said the federal government has no power to compel it to turn over the documents. HD Mining also insists the documents aren't relevant and that the hundreds of pages it has already submitted to the court should be enough.

HD Mining is a partnership between China-based Huiyong Holding Group, which owns a 55 per cent stake, and Canadian Dehua International Mines Group Inc.

The project is currently in the exploration phase as it awaits an environmental review. Several dozen Chinese miners have already arrived for that exploration work.



Now these right-wingers have a dilemma. Keep on fighting this and seriously risk incuring the increasing wrath of the Canadian voters, or smarten up, bite the bullet in a no-win situation for them, and accommodate the judge's request to table the 300 Canadian applicants resumes. Right-wingers don't know much else that to keep fighting, so they will probably continue on their stupid course of action. But mark my words, they will be going down on this one, and it is going to cost them politically at the ballot box.



Harper's totally helpless here - right!

The Cons, Jason Kenney, and  Diane Finley have screwed this up big time, and Harper will now be forced to sort it out.

But Harper and the Canadian government helpless in this situation, please don't make us laugh too hard. If that were so, Canada might as well close up shop right now.


Judge refuses to let Ottawa off the hook for documents in Chinese miners case



Steelworkers Allege BC Importer of Chinese Miners Tied to Deadly Accidents

Dehau Mines linked to Shandong energy group, whose subsidiaries had five disasters killing nearly 200 workers: union.


The United Steelworkers' Union is alleging a Chinese coal mining company affiliated to a Canada-based mining firm is responsible for the deaths of nearly 200 miners in China.

In a report released this week, the USW claims subsidiary companies of Shandong energy group are responsible for "at least five accidents that killed almost 200 workers" during the past six years.

Vancouver-based Canadian Dehua Mines International Mines Group lists Shandong Energy Group as a "cooperative enterprise" on the company information page of its website.

Dehua is also a partner in HD Mining, a venture mired in controversy after it came to light the company would undertake a mining project near Tumbler Ridge using miners brought from China instead of Canadian residents.

BC Unions have been pursuing court action and a public campaign against the company and HD Mining responded by filing a human rights complaint against the USW, claiming it is creating anti-Chinese sentiment in the province.

In this latest swing at the opposition, the USW's report details the record of Shandong Energy in China, highlighting what it said are major incidents.

Among the accidents are a flood in which 172 miners died in 2007 and another 15 killed in a coal dust explosion in 2006.

It also challenged comments made by HD Mining spokesperson Jody Shimkus insisting the company's coal mines in China have a good safety record, linking HD Mining with Dehua and Shandong.

The union has renewed calls to have Chinese mine development in British Columbia halted until mines in China "clean up their act."

Chinese mining has 'worst record': union official

United Steelworkers District Three president Stephen Hunt said the findings raise concerns about the provincial government's reasoning for allowing the company to bring workers from China.

"The whole thing was predicated on technology and modern mining methods and all that good stuff and they were going to come here to show us the way," said Hunt.

"We were going, 'Are you kidding?' Chinese mining companies have the worst record in the world."

He said he's concerned the workers, who only need to speak 100 words of English, will be intimidated and afraid of refusing dangerous work or pursuing their rights in Canada.



 Shangdong Energy Group CEO Bu Changsen

Shangdong Energy Group CEO Bu Changsen meets with BC Premier Christy Clark in Nov. 2011. Source: Shandong Energy Group website.

- from thetyee.ca



I'm from Missouri.

I'll believe it when I see it.




Unions triumph as mining firm turns over resumes of failed applicants in Chinese workers case 
Unions triumph as mining firm turns over resumes of failed applicants in Chinese workers case

Two unions arguing Canadians should have been hired for a northern British Columbia mining project instead of workers from China will get their wish to review the resumes of hundreds of job applicants who were turned down.

The mining company at the centre of the controversy has reluctantly agreed to turn over the documents, one day after a federal judge ordered Ottawa to try and retrieve them.

HD Mining had steadfastly refused to provide about 300 Canadian resumes since last month, but announced Thursday it will reverse course in the case involving the proposed Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

“The issue for us has never really been the resumes themselves,” company lawyer Alex Stojicevic said in an interview. “By putting these forward, we’re hoping to put the issue to bed.”

The dispute arose during legal proceedings spearheaded by two unions challenging HD Mining’s decision to hire 201 temporary foreign workers.

The unions were seeking disclosure of the plethora of documents associated with the application to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, which granted the firm permits to bring the workers from China.

The unions intend to use the documents at a judicial review set for April.

While about 600 pages of material were initially released by HD Mining, the company had refused three times to give up other documents.

It argued the move would be an invasion of privacy and that the federal department had no legal authority to force it to give up the material.

In a letter to the federal government’s lawyer on the case, Stojicevic said the aim is to assemble the resumes by Monday.

But he argued there are still no grounds for handing them over because department officials never reviewed them when the permits were granted and agreed with the firm that specialized miners could not be found in Canada.

The unions, however, maintain the rejected resumes are crucial to the case because they will shed light on the qualifications of the Canadians who were not hired.

“It’s integral because if there were qualified Canadians who weren’t selected to perform the work, then it means ... the government’s granting of the 201 work visas for the Chinese workers would really come into question,” Brian Cochrane, a spokesman for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115, said in an interview.

He called the development a victory.

“This has been a long, expensive and painful process that frankly should have been transparent right from the very beginning.”

Monday is also the deadline for the unions to make an application for leave for consideration of the judicial review. The Crown and company will have 30 days to respond.

The process around granting the permits has become a subject of great scrutiny in the case.

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley initially issued a statement saying the Conservative government wasn’t satisfied HD Mining followed all the rules when it sought the permits. She also announced an overall review of the temporary foreign workers program.

The firm has strongly objected to her remarks, subsequently threatening legal action.

The proposed underground mine site is located about 140 kilometres west of Grande Prairie, Alta. Several dozen workers from China have already arrived to begin exploration work.





I feel for these Chinese miners who are caught up in the middle of this - all they want I'm sure is to make a better and safer living for themselves and a better living for their families than they can get in China 


Mining company to hand over failed B.C. applicants' resumes in foreign workers case


HD Mining International has hired temporary foreign employees to work at the Murray River mine near Tumbler Ridge in northern B.C.




What a crock of shit. He is wrong and wrong here. The Clark and the Harper governments will eventually pay the political price here

"The issue for us has never really been the resumes themselves," company lawyer Alex Stojicevic said in an interview. "By putting these forward, we're hoping to put the issue to bed."

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/business/Mining+company+concedes+resumes+failed+applicants+temporary/7835304/story.html#ixzz2IIqTlMjY




Labour group slams 'mass importation' of Chinese workers for B.C. coal mine



Monday, January 21st, should prove to be an interesting day.


It would be helpful if some, any, of the qualified miners, within the 300 Canadian applicants, who got turned down, would begin to start speaking out to the press.



Last week's decision not yet published on government website.







HD Mining, Stephen Harper, and Cristy Clark had a bad week last week in the courts.

It just got worse this week.

Chinese miner's complaint rejected by human rights commission



Good on these Chinese workers!

Chinese workers angry at 2-minute toilet breaks, fines for tardiness hold 18 bosses hostage



BC First Nation says no to China-Canada Unequal Treaty, aka FIPA: The SinoFile

A First Nation is trying to stop Chinese history from repeating itself -- in Canada.





B.C. NDP promises tougher enforcement of workers’ rights

Labour critic Shane Simpson said the NDP, if elected, would make it easier for foreign workers to report abuse

B.C. NDP promises tougher enforcement of workers’ rights


The provincial New Democratic Party, motivated in part by reports of abuse of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker program, plans to toughen enforcement of workers’ rights and perhaps revamp B.C.’s Employment Standards Act if the party wins the May election.

“We’re going to do a better job” at the Employment Standards Branch, NDP labour critic Shane Simpson said in an interview. “And we’re looking at whether that will require additional resources, and I expect it does.”

Simpson also said an NDP government would ensure the branch has “more tools to do their job.”

He said he doesn’t believe the changes would affect B.C.’s ranking as the jurisdiction with the least red tape in Canada. That ranking came Tuesday from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which gave B.C. an A, the federal government a B-minus, and put four jurisdictions in a tie for last with a D-minus — Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

“I think for the vast majority of businesses are acting appropriately, and they don’t have a problem,” he said.

The B.C. New Democrats are considering emulating Manitoba’s NDP government, which requires employers using the temporary foreign worker program to register with the province.

“Employers register for a whole lot of things, and the idea that you register when you bring employees in from a foreign country to work in Canada,” Simpson said. “I don’t think that’s a very untoward approach.”

The B.C. Liberal government under Gordon Campbell made big changes to employer-employee relations in 2002-03, amending the Employment Standards Act, cutting staff at the Employment Standards Branch by a third and closing almost half the branch’s offices.

The Campbell government also increased fines to $500 for a first offence and $10,000 for a third offence. But employees were required to formally complain to their employers before going to the Employment Standards Branch to file a grievance.

Since 2002, the number of temporary foreign workers coming to Canada has soared, reaching a record 190,842 in 2011. B.C. gets almost a quarter of the national total.

Several advocacy groups and academics have warned of growing exploitation of such workers. The issue came to the public’s attention last fall when it was disclosed that a consortium of mostly Chinese companies planned to use exclusively Chinese workers in four underground coal mines in B.C.



Canada's mainstream press is trying to distract from the issue here at hand of what is probably unlawful foreign workers

And what about the  safety and environmenntal concerns sxurrounding mining of and using coal.

Editorial: Coal mine has benefits for Canada regardless of foreign workers

 Coal mine has benefit for Canada regardless of imported workers





Oh, oh, trouble in Paradise?


B.C. mining firm sends 16 Chinese workers home, delays hiring moreUnion fights influx of Chinese miners in court

Two unions are claiming HD Mining International Ltd.'s plan to hire Chinese workers to work in a B.C. mine will cause irreparable harm.


Sixteen temporary employees at a controversial coal mine in northern B.C. are returning to China because of the company's concerns about ongoing litigation and its associated costs and disruptions.

HD Mining announced on Monday evening that it has also decided not to bring any more workers to the proposed Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., until it has "reliable certainty" on the project.

Two unions have been challenging in court the federal government's decision to allow the company to bring 201 Chinese miners to the community instead of hiring Canadian workers.

"This was a difficult decision for us, but we are very concerned about the cost and disruption this litigation brought by the unions has caused to the planning of the project," said Jody Shimkus, vice-president of environmental and regulatory affairs for the company, in the media release.

According to the company, the 16 workers participated in underground preparation work on a bulk 100,000-tonne coal sample.

The company did not indicate how much the litigation has cost, nor how the litigation has delayed preparatory work but said it remains committed to the project, noting it will continue work on its housing development and the environmental assessment process.

"But we need to be able to rely on the Canadian legal system -- and receive fair treatment from governments -- when planning and developing projects," said Penggui Yan, chairman of HD Mining, in a statement.

"In the absence of being able to find Canadians qualified and interested to do this work, we need to know we can rely on the two-year temporary foreign worker authorizations we received."







Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we set out to deceive.......Frown

This must be  Christy Clark's families-first  job plan going up in smoke.

Chinese miners sent home in B.C. workers dispute

HD Mining says it has also delayed plans to bring more miners from China

HD Mining says the uncertainty caused by court cases has delayed bringing more miners from China.




kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The company I am sure thought that it had the support of both the federal and provincial government for the project, including the use of Chinese miners.  All over the world they have projects where they bring in many of the workers needed to build and to run them.  I'll bet they thought they had a deal that followed the rules in this country and proceeded in good faith to open the mine. The Temporary Worker application was likely sold as a rubber stamping exercise since as it turns out that seems to be what it has become in the last few years.  They must be wondering about the governments on our side of the water who were clearly selling them a reality that does not have the support of Canadian citizens. Their withdrawal until the court case is settled could be seen as proof that they are willing to follow our rules if only someone would tell them what they are.  


Mining company in B.C. suffers setback to plan for using 'temporary' foreign workers



Ha!  Ha!

That's why HD Mining and their gang, receiving 300 resumes, some of which were no doubt from very experienced Canadaian miners, and yet not one Canadian miner was hired. They were in on the scam from the beginning, and are in it up to their eyewballs with the provincial and federal goverments.  




Just on principle based on jerseystar20's behaviour I would not purchase this crap!!!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NorthReport wrote:

 They were in on the scam from the beginning, and are in it up to their eyewballs with the provincial and federal goverments.  


The Temporary Worker application was likely sold as a rubber stamping exercise since as it turns out that seems to be what it has become in the last few years.

I'm glad we agree. 

At least so far the Chinese mining companies have not been accused of murdering indigenous locals who oppose the mining operation unlike our Canadian mining companies who operate in Latin America and Africa.


kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The MSM has really highlighted the evil Chinese company. 200 Chinese miners are seen as a disaster but not the other 68,800 temporary workers already in the PROVINCE?  Does anybody know where the other 68,800 "indentured slaves" are from? If the nationality of these miners is such a prominent part of this story why is country of origin not a big deal for the others. The piece from rabble gives out the real numbers.

Kudos to the IUOE and Labourers for going after this program but it is not like it a Chinese problem.  It is a Canadian problem that our politicians have implemented on behalf of their corporate backers. The BC Fed is right that the sooner it is shut down and we go back to immigration to fill needed jobs the better off we will all be. 

In my opinion all companies should be told that if it takes less than a year to train workers to do a job then they have to train local Canadians first before even being able to apply for temporary workers.  As well the training programs start up costs at the nearest northern university or college would be the companies responsibility.  Once they had trained Canadians they could bring in a certain percentage of experienced miners if there were really none available in Canada.

But as an aside I wish that we would just leave the fucking carbon in the ground instead of participating in the mad rush to make a quick buck before the whole planet collapses.


Presently, there are approximately 70,000 temporary foreign workers residing in the province.

"We don't have a temporary shortage of workers, we have a shortage of jobs," B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair has recently commented. 

The most effective response to the abuses of the temporary foreign workers is to abolish the program that strips them of their rights. 



HD Mining are sending their workers home because they were forced by the courts to release the resumes of what I am 99.999999% sure, and that is at least some of which were from legitimare, trained, and qualified Canadian miners.



But we do agree on the following:

But as an aside I wish that we would just leave the fucking carbon in the ground instead of participating in the mad rush to make a quick buck before the whole planet collapses.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sorry I keep forgetting it is the evil Chinese not our own governments that are responsible.  Carry on.

Did Charles or Kevin show you the applications and is that how you know that there were qualified applicants?  My favourite argument from the company was that the applications were not relevant because no one from the government ever looked at them.  Like I said IMO the company was told it is a rubber stamp regulation and hell they might even have been told that the applications would never even be vetted. I can see either the feds with Harper or the people around Clark giving those kinds of assurances or at least telling the company how the program was working at the time they signed on last year.


Give it a break.



Foreign Miners 'Piled up and Sent Home': BC Fed's Sinclair

Firm's power to abruptly ship them out shows flaws in TFW program says labour leader.


As Chinese miners in Tumbler Ridge head back to China, labour groups are pointing to the sudden decision by HD Mining to send its workforce home as an example of serious problems with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The 16 miners were sent back to China -- perhaps only temporarily -- just days after the company handed over documents related to the workers' permits to two unions after a court fight aimed at getting a judicial review of the case.

The return also coincides with the Chinese Spring Festival, at time when migrant workers traditionally head home for a period of up to six weeks in some cases.

Jim Sinclair, president of the British Columbia Federation of Labour said sending the group of coal miners back on such short notice shows businesses using TFWs have too much power over them.

"On a moment's notice, like a political football, they were just piled up and sent home," said Sinclair.

"No one knows a thing about these people, it's just suddenly one day they're gone because politically they [HD Mining] are facing a court experience and a whole bunch of other stuff is going to be public."

The BC Fed has argued if such workers are genuinely needed in Canada, they should be brought to the country as immigrants, so they are afforded the same protection and benefits Canadians have.

Sinclair said it isn't known if the workers were eligible for EI until the dispute is finished in court.




kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You know North Report we agree on this subject except i think the story is about temporary workers and not Chinese workers.  Our MSM is racist and portrays China constantly in a negative light.  However when you look closely at how companies behave around the world  many of the worst offenders when it comes to running roughshod over the locals seems to be Canadian mining companies with most being based in BC.  

This company is only half Chinese owned and the other half is good old Canadian capitalist exploiters with a stake in driving down wages for our miners.  The whole deal was facilitated by both the federal and provincial governments.  Bringing in temporary workers instead of immigrants is simply wrong but the country of origin of the workers should not be the centre piece of the story.  Even the thread title could say Temporary Workers to Work BC Coal Mines but instead of focusing on the exploitative nature of a program that has tens of thousands of workers currently in BC it highlights the race of these particular workers.

And no I will not give up in pointing out how racist our MSM is.  It is a very old BC media tradition that goes back to before the Asian Exclusion League.


I don't disagree with you k, but this is diversionary nonsense, and when you read the following article you might want to ask yourself who actually was/is being racist.

I wish the title of this thread and all this discussion was about the Canada's foreign workers programme.

But any suggestion that the company was not involved in this from the beginning is absurd.


And as I suspected all along, the applications HD Mining turned down were from legitiamate qualified Canadian miners.


Qualified applicants turned away by HD Mining: unions Company given permits to hire Chinese workers instead

"Clearly the evidence, after reviewing these resumes, supports what we've been doing all along and clearly there were qualified Canadians who should have had an opportunity at these jobs," said Brian Cochrane, a spokesman for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115. "It appears that some of them didn't even have an opportunity for an interview."

The engineers' union and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union spent weeks in legal wranglings before the company agreed to hand over about 300 resumes last month to satisfy a Federal Court order.





Company favoured foreign workers over qualified Canadians

Trade unions say resumes of rejected Canadians show applicants with years of experience


he Canadian Press Posted: Feb 3, 2013 7:20 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 3, 2013 11:59 PM ET Read 406 comments406 Two unions have taken HD Mining to court over its plan to employ temporary foreign workers from China at the Murray River project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., not pictured.Two unions have taken HD Mining to court over its plan to employ temporary foreign workers from China at the Murray River project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., not pictured. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)




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A mining company that was granted permits to bring 201 temporary foreign workers from China rejected multiple Canadian applicants who had exemplary qualifications, including one person with 30 years of experience, say two trades unions after reviewing hundreds of refused resumes.

'A full gamut of obviously qualified people.'—Brian Cochrane, a union spokesman

The unions have been fighting HD Mining in court over the firm's insistence there was never a supply of qualified or interested Canadians in doing the work at the Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, in northern British Columbia.

The labour groups say Canadians should have had the first rights to such jobs, disputing the firm's claims it was forced to get permission to bring in temporary workers.

Now the unions contend they have documents that validate their assertions.

Court ordered handover of about 300 resumes

"Clearly the evidence after reviewing these resumes support what we've been doing all along and clearly there were qualified Canadians who should have had an opportunity at these jobs," said Brian Cochrane, a spokesman for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115. "It appears that some of them didn't even have an opportunity for an interview."

The engineers' union and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union spent weeks in legal wranglings before the company agreed to hand over about 300 resumes last month to satisfy a Federal Court order.

The unions, which are more broadly seeking a judicial review of Ottawa's decision to issue permits to the workers in the first place, say their findings justify the legal challenge.

They filed documents to the Federal Court late Friday outlining some of the qualifications found within the tossed resumes.

One applicant had more than 30 years of wide-ranging and extensive experience in all aspects of underground mining, while another had 20 years of experience, including three as an underground operations supervisor, according to their submission.

Other sample applicants had six years experience, including three in an underground coal mine, while another had completed an "underground miner hard rock common core" certificate. At least three more had three years and experience installing ventilation, operating equipment and specializing in construction, diamond drilling and production.

"(There was) a full gamut of obviously qualified people," Cochrane argued.

No interested, qualified Canadians, says company

But he said he's still unclear as to why the company would have found the applicants unemployable.

"That part is hard to determine from my perspective. It just looks like the Canadian applicants were discounted."

The judicial review is tentatively set to be heard in April.

HD Mining did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But in a statement last month, its chairman repeated the company's claim it sought and obtained the permits from the federal government "in the absence of being able to find Canadians qualified and interested to do this work."

The firm has also argued it made significant recruiting efforts, but still turned up empty-handed.

Last week, the company announced it was sending 16 temporary workers who had already started work on the prospective project back to China, because the firm was concerned about the ongoing litigation and associated costs.

HD Mining also said it had decided not to bring any more workers to Canada until it had "reliable certainty" on the project.

The case has also prompted a federal review of the temporary foreign workers program.



Unions: resumes show HD Mining rejected qualified Canadian workers


Two building trades unions say the resumes of Canadian workers that were submitted to HD Mining show there were qualified Canadians who applied to work at a coal mine near Tumbler Ridge.

Brian Cochrane is with one of the unions.

"I guess this justifies exactly why we've been pursuing this matter so diligently from the beginning despite the objections from the federal governmemnt and HD Mining, because this was our suspicion all along, that there were qualified Canadians that should have had the first opportunity at these jobs."

Cochrane says there were applicants who had as much as 30 years of mining experience, who had mineral engineering degrees, and who had managed major mines in Canada.



Zai Jian for now

“Why is HD Mining afraid of scrutiny and due legal process in Canada if it has nothing to hide and followed the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?” asks International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 115 spokesman Brian Cochrane in a separate press release.  “Its actions in pulling out and blaming unions that are only asking for a fair judicial review speak volumes about HD Mining.”
  The IUOE and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union are contesting the federal government’s decision to grant HD Mining permits for 201 temporary foreign workers, but that review won’t happen until April.



Foreign workers hired over qualified Canadians on BC coal project - Court




Document reveals experience of Canadian mine applicants Chinese-owned Tumbler Ridge operation received about 300 resumés


kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Of course there were miners that applied but not long wall miners. It is absurd that a difference like that would make a difference but that is how the program has evolved.  I have been following the Temporary Worker Program for quite some time now and could never figure out how any Tim Horton's could say there were no qualified Canadians to do the job.  We have temporary workers driving trucks and those companies followed the same rules as this mining company.  A shortage of qualified workers is not what it sounds like when it comes to companies trying to bring in cheap labour. The only reason Tim Horton's can't find enough workers is because they don't pay a living wage. 

I am glad that Brian and Charles have developed a strategy to tear open the veils around this program and highlight its inherent absurdness.  But the truth is this corporate scam has been escalating over the last decade and it needs to stopped. If you go the Service Canada website and read the rules it almost sounds reasonable.  But with no enforcement and no oversight it is merely a scam to drive down wages.



Every working Canadian should be outraged by this, as it is as k says, a stake in the heart of the working person, as this foreign workers program is just a scam to drive down wages in Canada by our, elected by the people, BC and Federal governments.

Smyth: Critics scoff at claims of Chinese mining company

The Chinese company that wants to set up an underground coal mine near Tumbler Ridge said it tried — and failed — to find qualified Canadians to work in the mine.

But after the company was forced in court to produce about 300 resumes submitted by “unqualified” Canadian job applicants, critics are scoffing at the claim.

“There were obviously qualified Canadians who applied for these jobs, and they were simply rejected,” Brian Cochrane, of the Union of Operating Engineers, told me Saturday.

“Qualified Canadians are being denied jobs developing Canada’s own resources,” he said.

“It’s outrageous.”

HD Mining International received approval from the federal government to bring hundreds of Chinese coal miners to B.C., after Ottawa accepted the company’s argument that no Canadians could do the work.

The Operating Engineers and another union, the Construction and Specialized Workers, challenged the company and the government in court.

Last month, the company turned over to the unions hundreds of resumes from rejected Canadian job applicants.

Now, in a document filed last week in federal court, the public is getting its first glimpse at the qualifications of Canadians who applied for jobs with the Chinese company.

“There were trained and certified underground miners who applied for these jobs,” said Cochrane.

“Miners with over 30 years’ experience. Former managers and supervisors with major mining operations. Heavy equipment operators. People with tonnes of experience and clear qualifications. Yet all of them were rejected or didn’t even get interviews.

“It proves we were right all along.”

HD Mining opposed the release of the resumes.



Why isn't the BC NDP all over this?

They should be asking Christy Clark if HD Mining is a good example of her families-first job program for BC?


What HD Mining dispute says about Chinese labour: The SinoFile

The boiling discourse on the Chinese hires in a Canadian coal mining project shouldn't only be a South-Park-style



The release of the resumés, meanwhile, has some supporters of the company going suddenly silent.

B.C. Jobs Minister Pat Bell — who earlier said HD Mining conducted an "exhaustive search" for Canadian workers and criticism of the company "is bordering on racial remarks" — refused to comment on the resumés.

"It would be inappropriate for me to comment on a matter that is before the courts," Bell said.

Strange, that. He's normally very chatty on the topic.

- Mike smyth in the Province newspaper today


The release of the resumés, meanwhile, has some supporters of the company going suddenly silent.

B.C. Jobs Minister Pat Bell — who earlier said HD Mining conducted an "exhaustive search" for Canadian workers and criticism of the company "is bordering on racial remarks" — refused to comment on the resumés.

"It would be inappropriate for me to comment on a matter that is before the courts," Bell said.

Strange, that. He's normally very chatty on the topic.