Huckleberry Mine workers

The approximately 200 workers that had been kept on to mill stockpiled ore lost their jobs on Aug. 31, 2016.

The approximately 200 workers that had been kept on to mill stockpiled ore lost their jobs on Aug. 31, 2016.

Black Press asked the provincial government what they have been doing to support affected mine workers in the region.

John Rustad, Nechako Lakes MLA, said the province has been working with other companies such as the Brucejack Gold Mine Project to create opportunities for workers in the region.

The Brucejack Mine, located approximately 65 km north of Stewart, expects to employ at least 300 full-time workers in the near future.

“There’s certainly opportunity for some transition [at Brucejack],” said Rustad. “That’s going to be a great project for years to come.”

Rustad also mentioned a B.C. Hydro program announced earlier this year to allow companies operating metal and coal mines to temporarily defer a portion of their B.C. Hydro’s electricity payments.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to help Huckleberry, but it is in place for other mines,” said Rustad.

“It is sad news that the [Huckleberry] mine is closing down; there will be opportunity in the future for that mine to reopen, but with copper prices being where they are and the market where it is at, it’s a very challenging time,” he added.

Shirley Bond, B.C. Minister of Jobs, said in a statement that her ministry has undertaken a number of initiatives to provide supports for the community.

She said that since Huckleberry’s suspension announcement in January, her ministry has organized and held eight worker transition calls – with representatives from government, the District of Houston, the Town of Smithers, local WorkBC offices and local colleges.

She said subsequent information sessions were held on July 19-20, 2016 to deliver presentations as well as individual planning sessions for workers. All workers that received layoff notices attended the sessions.

WorkBC has also been engaging with impacted workers from Houston and providing workshops on how to prepare for, find and maintain employment.

“The ministry will continue to facilitate worker transition discussions, coordinate impacted worker transition services and work with the communities and service organizations to determine when and where supports will be most effective,” added Bond.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Liam and Tyler Spaans, (L-R), are two of the current lifeguards at the Houston Leisure Facility. (Houston Leisure Services file photo)
Leisure facility anticipates need for lifeguards

Has been challenged in the past

Residents rank snow removal as a high priority within District boundaries. (Houston Today file photo)
Road work and snow removal ranked as important in citizen survey

But residents also expressed dissatisfaction with each

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read