NDP Call for Greater Mining Supports for Northern Manitoba

July 18th, 2019

NDP Leader Wab Kinew criticized the Pallister government today for ignoring northern Manitoba’s mining crisis and failing to take tangible action to protect northern workers and their families.

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information confirm that since Brian Pallister took office, Manitoba has lost two-thirds of its active mines. The closures mean that in 2018 there were 500 fewer workers working in the natural resource sector than in 2017, according to Statistics Canada*.

“The Pallister government has stood idly by while northern communities struggle to stay afloat in the face of multiple mining closures. At a time when workers and their families need protection, how does the Pallister government respond? By calling it ‘business as usual’,” said Kinew.

One year since the last mine closed in Manitoba and a little more than a month away from the election, the provincial government has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop a mineral readiness strategy in northern Manitoba. The RFP is accompanied by a Non Disclosure Agreement which is required to be able to review the expected scope of work, deliverables and deadline of the final report.

Kinew noted the Premier has repeatedly mislead Manitobans about the amount of funds available in the Mining Community Reserve Fund. Latest documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests show there is more than $11 million in the fund, meaning that even by the Premier’s interpretation of the legislation there is at least $1 million immediately available to help workers and communities.

“This RFP is too little, too late for the people of Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas who have watched good jobs disappear from their communities,” said NDP MLA for Flin Flon Tom Lindsey.

“Families need more than a plan to have a plan. They need support now.”

*Statistics Canada, Table 14-10-0023-01