Are 100 English words and dead miners really what we want?

Dear editor,

The truth is starting to come out about Compliance Energy. As we have said all along, this is not about jobs for local people.

Dear editor,

The truth is starting to come out about Compliance Energy and, as we have said all along, this is not about jobs for local people as John Tapics, president of Compliance Energy, would have us believe.

John Tapics is also a director for a company called Lions Gate Metals (see www.lionsgatemetals.com).

Recently, Lions Gate Metals received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from Canadian Dehua International. As described by Investopedia, “Letters of Intent are used during the merger and acquisitions process to outline a firm’s plan to buy/takeover another company.”

Canadian Dehua International is the very company that is currently under criticism for bringing 200 Chinese miners to work in the coal mine at Murray River in northern B.C. A total of 2,000 Chinese miners will be imported to work in four coal mines in northern B.C.

Dehua used the Conservatives’ new rules for bringing in foreign workers quickly if local workers cannot be found. Dehua’s Canadian advertisement for coal mining positions said Mandarin speaking was required and the rate of pay offered was much less than the standard wages for coal miners.

Not surprisingly, they got few applicants, opening the door to import miners from China.

These Chinese miners would be beholden to the companies that bring them over. They would only need to know 100 words of English to work here.

Since 2001, there have been 50,174 coal miners killed in China. This begs the question, in a dangerous environment such as an underground coal mine, would workers be safe if they could only speak as little as 100 English words?

It is not a big stretch of the imagination to think that another company could easily slide in and take over the Raven mine once the permit is approved, thus kicking open the door to Vancouver Island for three potential mines in the Comox Valley, as well as mines in Sayward, Tahsis, Port Alice and Campbell River.

Many of us do have a problem with foreign workers coming here for less pay and lower standards than those of us who have worked hard to win rights for safety, fair wages, benefits and reasonable working conditions.

If it is true, or even possible, that many of the jobs promised by John Tapics will be given to people who do not currently live in the Valley, British Columbia, or even Canada (and how could it be otherwise if we don’t have enough experienced coal miners here?), and most of the profits will not stay in the Valley, why would anyone support the destruction of our environment and a place to live that is the envy of the world?

The Raven Coal mine is about investor greed, mining companies with compromised environmental ethics and no social licence to be here. It is time for everyone opposed to the mine to stand up and speak out for this place we love before it is too late.

Lynne Wheeler,

Fanny Bay

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