If you build them…(mines)… they will come( workers) – from China.

Sarbjit touched on a very important point in his letter, which is posted directly below.

Sarbjit states:

“In the coming years, jobs will require more skills and training, particularly in this region in forestry and in mining.  We need more funding and a definitive plan for apprenticeship and skills training in the resource sector, especially with a call to open 8 new mines and expand 9 others. Who will be filling these positions?  HD Mining near Tumbler Ridge has already received permission from HRSDC to hire 92 foreign workers for their proposed coal mine.”

Shocking. Absolutely shocking when you think of the ramification of Christy Clark’s big non-vision for defending and creating jobs in B.C.

Sarbjit was wonderful to also send along the links to the mining companies site that talks about these foreign workers being shipped over to work in a BC mine.


Seven approvals for foreign workers

HD Mines International’s permission to employ 92 foreign workers for a prospective underground mine near Tumbler Ridge is a result of seven separate approvals from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

Each of the seven positive labour market opinions (LMOs) was granted to Canadian Dehua International Mines Group (CDIMG) in mid-April, and each was evaluated on a case-by-case basis, “to ensure the employer is offering foreign nationals the prevailing wage rates, acceptable working conditions and that the entry of the temporary foreign worker will have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market,” said an HRSDC spokesperson.

Work permits are another matter, which will require permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Those permits are likely to be granted by a Canada Border Services Agency officer at the worker’s point of entry, allowing each of the temporary foreign workers to start working when they arrive in Canada.

HD Mines, the joint venture recently formed between CDIMG and the Huiyong Group of mines, has six months to bring the workers to Tumbler Ridge before the LMOs expire.

While in Canada, the foreign workers will have the same rights and protections as Canadian citizens and permanent residents under applicable federal and provincial employment standards and collective bargaining agreements. The province is responsible for the enforcement of labour standards and assistance to workers regarding fair pay, hours of work, rest periods and general working conditions.

Asked how CDIMG was able to show their intent to hire Canadian workers, HRSDC explained all employers must provide proof of advertisement and the results of the efforts to recruit Canadians or permanent residents before being allowed to hire temporary foreign workers.

For the past several months, CDIMG has been advertising on Service Canada’s Job Bank and on numerous mining employment websites to fill underground mining, geologist, construction, and drilling positions for the Murray River project, an underground metallurgical coal mine with a projected 50-year mine life.

The proof includes copies of advertisements, number of Canadian applicants and why they were rejected. Records of the employers’ efforts should be kept for a minimum of two years, in the event that a Service Canada Officer contacts the employer to verify the advertising efforts.”


Joint venture HD Mines to develop Murray River project

A major underground coal mine in Tumbler Ridge took a step closer to reality last Thursday (June 2), as China’s Huiyong Holdings Group announced a new joint venture with Canadian Dehua International Mines Group (CDIMG) to develop the Murray River project.

“The important thing about Huiyong is that we have extensive experiences in community integration,” explained Yan Penggui, who will chair the new company. Once the legal paperwork clears, it will be called HD Mines International.

Huiyong’s growth strategy in China “is that we acquire small mines, through integrating with communities,” said Penggui. “I have to be accepted by the community as an outsider – that was part of my experience in China, and I’m ready to use that knowledge and expertise in this place.”

HD is focused solely on the Murray River project, and plans to develop the underground mine with a 50-year lifespan, and a starting workforce of 92 Chinese miners.

Prior to his Tumbler Ridge News interview, Penggui met with mayor and council last Thursday, where plans for a major residential development across from Tumbler Ridge Secondary School were discussed.

“That piece of land was offered to us by the district,” said Penggui. ” It’s a hilly place, with nice topography, very good for building gardens, maybe for Chinese villas, that sort of thing,” he said. “We’ll be working under guidelines from the local community.”

“We are encouraged by council to produce our master plan for that part of the city, and we even talked about, in a candid way, building a Chinese cultural element,” he said. “A winding stream, a Chinese garden that is open to everybody.”

While that project is at least a year away from ground-breaking, a temporary foreign worker allowance granted by Service Canada in mid-April means the 92 employees are set to arrive in September.

Those employees are now being trained at Huiyong facilities in China by two Canadian instructors, in order to meet the B.C. standards for underground mining. They also began learning English 40 days ago, said Penggui.

“They hate it; they don’t like it,” he said with a grin. “But I said, ‘You have to become a neighbour, buy cigarettes, buy food – you’ll have to speak with people’,”.

Huiyong would hold a 55 per cent interest in the joint venture, while CDIMG would hold a 40 per cent stake, with the final five per cent now being negotiated with another partner. Huiyong would have four board members, Dehua would have two, and the third partner would have one.

Penggui first visited Tumbler Ridge last June, as has been discussing a joint venture with CDIMG since then. Huiyong would provide all the capital, and would build and operate the mine.

The project’s 100,000 tonne bulk sample is expected to occur in late July or early August, said Penggui. HD will present its detailed engineering plan to provincial government officials in Prince George on June 14, and will clarify timelines for the start of an environmental assessment application.

“According to my briefing from Dehua, the baseline study has almost been completed – what they need now is a project description,” he said. After that, the Environmental Assessment (EA) Office may start to compile experts and community members to comment on the project description.

Getting employees in place that far ahead of an approved EA certificate and Mines Act permit poses some financial risk, said Penggui, but it’s a process he believes will be successful due to synergies between drilling work and environmental data collection.

“There’s a time frame arrangement by which all the elements fit into the entire framework,” he said. “We have confidence in the law and transparency of this country.”

The full EA process will take about 18 months, a time span he said will allow for the completion of two shafts and a further refinement of the mine design.

Details of where the new employees would be housed upon arrival in Tumbler Ridge are yet to be disclosed. The planned subdivision is slated for an area currently zoned for residential multi-family (R3) and future development commercial (FDC), which means a re-zoning application would not necessarily be required.

HD’s long-term vision includes funding a visitor centre, geological museum, and an innovative closed-circuit television feed to provide people in Tumbler Ridge with a real-time view of the mining happening underground, said Penggui.


Still as outraged and angered as I was when I first read this? Which brings me back to Sarbjit’s multi-million dollar question.

Christy plans to open 8 more mines and expand 9 others, so who will fill those positions? The foreign students she’s planning on bringing in to our universities that she says will contribute skilled labour to our province ? 

More workers from China?

Or will it be the hometown boys that might really appreciate some comprehensive training so they can support their families and live a decent life ?

Christy Clark, selling BC one grand vision at a time. To China.

32 Comments on “If you build them…(mines)… they will come( workers) – from China.

  1. And so it begins….it is time for a major push back.
    Screw a family day in Feb. We want homegrown jobs provided for by Canadian Companies where the profits stay in Canada.

  2. Homegrown workers please. Train the young people here. Canadian born people should be given priority over foreigners for training, apprenticeships and jobs. Unemployment is a problem in a lot of communities, so why the hell give the jobs to foreigners?

    Also…ownership of mines , rivers and forests should remain Canadian.

    • I have strong family connection to Tumbler Ridge- my now passed grandfather worked in the mines up there for a long time while I was growing up, and my uncle passed away in Babine Lake while on a break while he was working up there too. The town pretty much died off when the mines closed, people left, I think at one time the entire place was for sale! It has been a slow recovery, aided by the discovery of fossils and dinosaur footprints in a riverbed, new ventures… so this is a double edged sword. On one hand, the town welcomes new ventures because workers companies etc keep the place going, keep other businesses and jobs going, but on the other hand… I still believe it should have been a priority for the government and the town, to ensure that domestic workers are located to fill the majority of the workforce, and the appropriate training venues initiated to make that possible.

      I know far too many people from PG, skilled labour and workers, who would have little trouble or objection to learning the skills needed to get a job like this. Bringing in workers from China is a sell-out in my eyes, pure and simple. I would very much like to see this issue raised in the Legislature as well.

  3. This ties perfectly in with Merv Ritchie’s piece on Rio Tinto hiring practices in Kitimat and Grant’s article today about the Chinese housing bubble. The NeoLiberals want to make BC a FTZ, foreign trade zone. No Canadian need apply. Nor expect these Corporations to be taxed on their profits. Mr. Hochstein and Mr Winter’s wet dream.

    Lynn is right. Screw Family Day! Solidarity with PG and all of BC’s workers.

    And stop wearing shorts to garden in the Autumn! Feel better, Laila.

    • Kim, just saw this. My spam filter is catching everything it should not!!

      You said it best.

      Solidarity with all of BC’s workers. We are the 99%. Clearly, this government has other priorities.

  4. Laila, I know I should have asked you first, but I was so worked up after listening to Forests Minister Steve Thompson fielding questions about the export of raw logs that I decided to send your previous blog to him (Adrian), in the slim hope that he might read it and bring that letter up in question period whenever possible.

    Then, for good measure, I sent this one as well. Did I commit some unethical breach of blogosphere conduct? If so, please forgive me.

    • Absolutely not gini, all information here is for sharing far and wide, and thank you for taking the time to do that- those who blog rely on our helpers to get the word out. I think the people of PG, and Sarbjit in particular, would be very impressed to hear this letter read in the leg.

      Thank you for this must read tidbit Norman! I find the Liberals often justify contracting to foreign and out of province companies and workers, by stating they wanted the best value for their dollar. True enough, but we also want the people in BC to be working and staying in BC. The flood of people out of the province must be stemmed at all levels.

      gini, I have some time tonight and will listen to todays proceedings in the leg. Should put me in a righteous anger, which wil be good. I just got back from visit number two to the doctor today, and have new drugs, the other seems to have no effect on this bacteria. As well, it has become far worse since this morning and if no improvement or it continues to get worse, the hospital will be my next destination this week.

  5. BC Place re-opened after PavCo spent hundreds of millions. Originally mooted at $150-million, then $200-million, the project was announced as $365-million, then $458-million and finally (maybe), $563-million. Incidentally, the Vancouver Sun, ever loyal to BC Liberals, reports the project on-time and on-budget.

    Detailed financial information is hard to find but much of the spending for the German designed stadium was done outside British Columbia. For example, a contract of about $100 million went to a component of the Canam Group of Ville Saint-Georges, Beauce, Québec. Ironworkers local 712 said that hundreds of jobs were exported from our province. Steel components for the stadium were fabricated by plants in Quebec and Washington State. I understand that many of the roof installers were foreign workers as well.

    I suspect those of us who are not BC Liberals would prefer that mega-project spending was creating jobs in British Columbia, not elsewhere.

  6. OMG Laila! You must not wait too long. If it was in fact the Brown Recluse, it can be very, very nasty. If I lived in your neighbourhood, I’d probably insist on driving you to the hospital tonight.

    I think I speak for everyone here when I say you are a very special person, and we’re all pulling for you. Please take good care of yourself, okay?

  7. Maybe I’m getting to be too much of a skeptic, but in thios article HRSDC lays out certain rules that a company must go through before they can apply to bring in outside workers. They also state that a company must retain this proof for two years in case a Service Canada Officer wishes to examine the material. My question is why would the company have to keep this material for two years? Does this mean that the company is not required to produce the information upon application and only under some sort of suspicion will someone ask for it to be produced? Sounds pretty fishy to me.

    Another thing that gets my blood boiling is the fact that this information had to reach the public through a letter to the editor. Where the hell is our vaunted MSM? Waiting for the government’s spin doctors, Federal and/or Provincial, to issue a tale of fiction.

  8. Egads, ……this is insane!

    The business strategies of both the federal and provincial governments, along with their lack of ethics and integrity, are totally perverted! Not only are they giving public resources away for less than their real value, they are bringing in foreign workers to do it for them.

    During my employment years in the forest industry, companies were required to operate processing facilities in the forest regions where they actually cut the logs. Although most forest companies received larger credits for building roads (primarily for their own purposes) than they paid in stumpage fees, local residents earned livable wages. If they were american companies, they charged excessive administrative fees to ensure their operations made little or no profit. Because they did not make profits, they did not pay corporate income taxes. On the plus side, the employees that cut the logs, operated the mills and shipped the value-added materials to market (often on BC Rail) paid BC and Canadian income taxes. Will that happen with these foreign workers?

    In the late 1970’s, a major collusion issue was exposed regarding a provincial log scale depot and a large BC forest firm on Vancouver Island. So to remedy this theft of provincial resources, the Socred government of the day gave the fox unfettered access to the hen house. Instead of the provincial log scaling activity being retained as a function of the forest service, the Socreds gave the responsibility to the forest companies.This was reported in provincial newspapers because it was at a time when mainstream media actually reported bad corporate behaviour.

    The current Socred/Reform/Conservative regime has accentuated this perennial give-away of public resources by:
    a) Giving away public forest lands to private companies…….thanks to Rich Coleman.
    b) Shipping a huge volumes of unprocessed logs out of the country……that Pat Bell only calls forest products. They should have processed at local mills or not cut.
    c) Charged stumpage fees of only 25 cents per cunit (cubic meter) instead of at least $25 per cunit, by scaling all wood in the cut block as pine beetle damaged.

    Laila, I’m glad your on the mend from the spider bites. I’ve also experienced the pain from these recluse varmits.

  9. This is really disappointing. First of all our governments are continuing to ship very dirty coal to China in the first place, something we should all be questioning since its a major contributor to climate change; secondly we seem to be going out of our way to help China to become as chronically consumeristic as we are – just because they want to be, and so a few of us can profit from it. Now…we open the door to Chinese extraction companies who are trying to provide their own labour – perhaps next they will send along their own town and police force (because we can no longer afford our own). If such an intention was known during the due diligence process for a mine like this, it would have never been approved.

    I get the global village perspective, the free and open movement of people and knowledge, and that we are all connected – but we would be foolish in thinking that any of this is about a global village – it’s about pork barrelling and corporate tradeoffs and all things sinister in the background. Both the BC Liberals and the Feds are turning this province and this country into a colonial territory available to the highest bidder.

    Keep up the good work Laila!

  10. I am outraged! It’s just one example after another of sending BC taxpayers money, resources and our future to other countries or should I say corptocracies? I imagine that in addition to being cheaper, foreign workers are less likely to assert their rights or do any sort of whistle blowing around destructive or dangerous practices. The fact that they don’t speak much english and have different cultural expectations certainly helps in this regard. The long term plan is good for a laugh (or a cry). A tourist centre and a chinese garden with a winding stream? C’mon, you’re f*cking with us right TR Mayor & Council? Grrrrrr. The global revolution is here, honestly people, the capitalist system of today has to go.

  11. I’m not buying this! I recently sent in my resume to one of the new mines and they didn’t even call me for an interview. I am a qualified worker with experience in the industry. But, somehow, they can justify bringing in foreign workers; train them, house them and feed them. Something just doesn’t seem right about all of this……

  12. Come on, Don, its time to get off this “dirty coal to China” bit, its getting tiresome. Tumbler Ridge coal is used in the manufacture of steel that we are completely dependent on for absolutely everything in our lives. A better question would be why are our raw resources going elsewhere to be manufactured just to be shipped back when the production of steel, lumber, gas and diesel etc. should be done here. Those are real jobs with real investment requiring a well educated work force with the usual spin-off jobs and resulting tax base. Its the same scenario with the Alberta tar sands wanting to pipe bitumen west and south when the goo should be refined right in Alberta and keep the jobs home. Our “premier” seems to want to ramp up the production of our raw resources for the rest of the world to use without looking at the future consequences for our province and country. Logging and mining are NOT major investments in the province like mills and refineries are. We are in the enviable position of being blessed with a wealth of natural resources most of which are not renewable so lets slow down their extraction and squeeze some real value out of them for many generations to come. That would require our politicians to plan for something longer than their 4 year term, politicians with a vision we can all be proud of, politicians that actually love this province and country. Oh wait, I think I hear the alarm clock!

  13. Laila don’t fool around with this spider bite wound. Go to Emerg, or back to your doctor right now!!!
    Christy and Harper both have job plans. However, these job plans are not for the BC or Canadian citizens. Harper and Campbell planned this treachery to the BC people long ago. Everything is geared for China and the U.S.

    China will eventually get all our raw logs. Mills will then become obsolete. They now have logging equipment that takes the place of our loggers.

    China bought a huge chunk of the dirty tar sands. Campbell and Harper planned the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tankers to Port Kitimat. That will be forced on our province and the BC people.

    The Port of Prince Rupert, has now been enlarged, to take the big Chinese freighters, and other country’s freighters. The CN rail yard in Rupert was expanded, to switch the yard of Chinese goods, to go to Ashcroft BC, which also had a rail yard expansion, to store the Chinese goods. From there they will switch the yards, to send the Chinese goods to what ever destination.

    Contracts in Canada are mostly American. As we see, the tear down of the smelter in Port Kitimat, is an American company, that brought their own workers.

    I am sure the mines going into Northern BC if American, they will bring their own miners. And yes, the Chinese will fill some of the mining jobs, before Canadians will.

    Harper’s grand ideas for jobs is, small businesses will get a boost. However, that won’t work for BC, because of the HST. BC people are so taxed to death, they can’t support our small business people. They are still closing their doors because, we BC citizens don’t have the money to support them. BC family’s can’t make it to their next payday anymore, they are using credit cards to bridge the gap.

    Harper and Campbell were working to dismantle BC as fast as they could, before the BC people would catch on to their evil agenda. My family grew very suspicious of the Marine expansion of Rupert, long ago. They said it was for, the huge passenger ships??? We did pick up on, Rupert was the closest port for the Chinese, there were rumors. We have family working on the CN. When we connected up all the CN subs, with the rail yard expansions, then we knew for certain there was dirty work being planned, very sneaky like. The trains not dropping off Chinese goods, or picking up Chinese good, will highball the main line. Selling the CN to the U.S.A. really puzzled us, as well as Campbell’s theft and sale of the BCR. Now it all makes sense.

    Even Harper’s ship building plans. If BC should perhaps get a contract.Christy will give it to SeaSpan. SeaSpan used to be, The Washington Marine Group, the same company Christy’s brother was involved with. Another American company, to bring their own “experienced” ship builders.

    Problem is, Harper is just as vindictive as his buddy Campbell. I doubt BC will get a contract. We won the HST referendum. We oppose the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tankers. We opposed, toxic mine waste being dumped into Fish lake. The BC citizens have no right to protect our province. We have no right to be angry over asinine taxes that are, hurting family’s, low income people and their family’s, seniors, and our everyday wage earners. No right to protest, the blatant price gouging.

    Canadians can save up to 50%, by shopping in the U.S. Harper should have been all over that. He has done squat, about the price gouging of gasoline. We pay more for our goods, than other country’s, who import our goods and foods. Harper has done an absolutely terrible job for Canada. He is just as evil as Campbell is. Neither Harper or the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, do anything for the people. We are only to thieve from.

    It really looks like, Canada will be the biggest state in the U.S.

  14. Yes, chuck…..and all those phoney ads on TV again, telling us how much lottery money gets spent on services….(LOL). There have been other BC Lib ads, too, but I tend to tune them out. Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist, but it almost sounds like they’re gearing up for an early election.

    Laila……are you winning the fight with that spider bite? Update, please!

  15. And the sad thing is, the schools are still pumping out qualified but inexperienced individuals, into a job market with no openings. My specific experience with this is BCIT.

    With all the layoffs and downsizing, the experienced people in many fields are flooding the entry-level jobs so that they can but bread on the table. So the entry-level graduates have no where to go.

    And guess what? The crap retail and unskilled labour jobs aren’t hiring either because of the economy.

  16. Am I retarded? How can a government say families first with a straight face and then sign an agreement with a forgein government allowing it to bring in it’s own workers.
    I am hearing the local film industry is bringing in its own labour.
    WTF is going on here?
    I just read on 1130’s website that the NDP is in rare agreement with the Liebrals. Dix has agreed to the transit 2 cents gas tax increase.
    My reaction is a rare agreement? You must be KIDDING ME! The ndp have been agreement with the liebral regime all a long and have said nothing! NOTH-ING.

  17. As a person living in tumbler ridge, working for a coal mine nearest to dehua’s project i am appalled to see this.

    Firstly, comes the safety aspect of this mine and its local, the area is hell to even get to, let alone the dangers of soft mineral mine, or china’s wonderful safety record in underground coal mining. I have seen and been around these chaps and their jobs a couple of times, the first word that comes to mind is not safety.

    Secondly comes Wage standards, bringing in foreign workers from china upsets the balance in the area, prices around tumbler ridge are high, and when i mean high i do not mean a bit above city standard, gas today is $1.26 dawson creek, $1.13, Grande prairie $1.10 . That aside tumbler ridges wages are somewhat subpar but still workers are able to carve out a modest living in tumbler ridge, and have some disposable income to work with (minus those who don’t know what a budget is). With Dehua moving into the mining sector in the peace region my number one concern is wages in the surrounding mines, now that being said anyone who knows a union can tell you wages will never drop, but the upgrading of those through collective agreements can slow due to the wages dehua is offering, i believe i saw an add for $26 an hour for skilled trades. SKILLED TRADES. and that is foremost what worries me.

    but aside from my personal greed, as a Mine rescue member , i hope i don’t have to be called underground once a year to help the new mine pull out dead bodies.

    just my thought

    • Brilliant comment and I think you should send this article and your reply to it, to Christy Clark and crew. You really hit it home with your last statement. Thank you.

  18. I believe the real reason Tumbler Ridge hung on after the mines closed was because houses were selling dirt cheap. Some might claim that the dinosaur trackway and fossils found near the town were it’s salvation, but I think it was retirees and investors snapping up the bargains. There has been a lot of hype about the dinosaur tracks, bones and other fossil discoveries around Tumbler. Actually these things are quite common in the south Peace country and many local fossil enthusiasts have been finding them for decades, without media coverage.

    China is a human rights violating communist country, with a massive pollution problem. Despite it’s attempts at some green technologies, spewed coal smoke from their industry has apparently been tracked to skies over N.America. We are doing business with them …why? Because despite their short comings, we are compliant in transactions with them, and are willing to sell them dirty coal, and buy their cheap Walmart products. Bringing Chinese workers into T.Ridge to work their own mine? With the present pro industry attitude of the Clark Liberals it’s wrong, but not surprising. Unfortunately, this province is for sale, especially the north east portion which has become an industrial play ground.

    Christy Clark sells BC coal to Asia with a smile but does she have a clue about the wide ranging effect of such actions on God’s earth and families? With minds capable of dropping a man on the moon or a wheeled rover to the surface of Mars, can’t the first world find a way to burn this stuff cleanly?

  19. I live here, but am older, though under sixty. The mines never ever have offered to hire me though I have tried many times and have a class one with air (clean abstract except for a seat belt violation.) Can’t find work here, and it pisses me off that foreign companies run Tumbler Ridge and often won’t hire locals. My next door neighbor is 19 or 20, healthy and strong; and he can’t get on with the mines either. Other people too.
    So don’t believe that neo-con bullshit about no Canadians to fill the jobs. Offer Canadians the same training those Chinese are getting and they will fill every job. Something stinks in BC.

  20. I applied for an engineer’s job of that company and am sure I am qualified for that position. Never get an answer. Why?
    From the way they operate usually, the company is controlled by it mega-head office and they will send their cheap labours from China. How can they do? The workers have to pay a large number of cash before they can come to Canada, which means if a worker earns CAD 30 per hour, the actual income for him is only CAD 15 because he already paid in his home country.
    In order to keep this secret, the company will only hire the people they can control, or belong to them.

  21. I hate to say I told you so…lol…. Its only going to get worse. They will never, ever begin to train Canadians and once they are up and running, no one can make them do it either. Let’s hope they actually pay their suppliers as well, something some foreign companies prefer not to do here in BC, like the owners of the Mackenzie mill who didn’t pay some suppliers for a very long time, or not at all.