Attacking the hand that feeds

I couldn’t help but notice recent attack ads by the United Steelworkers Union slagging Bill Bennett and the Christy Clark Government.

I couldn’t help but notice recent attack ads by the United Steelworkers Union in local newspapers slagging Bill Bennett and the Christy Clark Government. It is ironic that a union so closely associated with the mining industry would even consider attacking the BC Liberals given their positive track record with relation to the mining industry, one of B.C.’s most important job and revenue generators.

As a geologist and business leader, I have been directly involved with mining and the mineral exploration industry in British Columbia for over 25 years and can confirm that mining in BC under an NDP government has suffered in the past, and in all likelihood, would do so again. The NDP chased mining to South America the last time they were in government. B.C. lost 5,000 mining jobs and 36 per cent of the industry disappeared because of the mining-unfriendly policies of the NDP. A Fraser Institute survey released in 2001 (the year Bill Bennett and the BC Liberals were elected), revealed that BC under an NDP government rated last for “Government Policy Relating to Mining” in all 45 global jurisdictions surveyed, this despite being rated sixth in the world for “Overall Mineral Potential.” Today, after 12 years of positive policies, mineral exploration spending hit $463 million, compared to just $29 million in 2001. New mines are now opening in B.C., creating high-paying jobs to support families.

At recent mining industry conferences I have attended, there is a palpable fear that the dark days of mining in B.C. could return should the NDP form a stronghold in government. I would suggest that all individuals, union or otherwise, who rely on mining and mineral exploration in B.C. keep this in mind as they head to the polls next month.

 

Tim J Termuende, P.Geo.

Cranbrook