Editorial – Elk Valley Job Losses

This week's editorial on job cuts and challenging economic times throughout the Elk Valley.

I have had the displeasure of writing more than one somber headline in the past month regarding job losses in the Elk Valley. With Finning announcing that they are closing their Sparwood facilities and Teck announcing the loss of 1000 more positions worldwide, it’s hard not to feel depressed at how this could impact the area.

And its affects are already being felt. I visited a friend at the local craft fair this weekend and she had booths at the Elkford craft fair on Thursday, the Sparwood craft fair on Friday and finally the Fernie craft fair on Saturday. She said that people in all communities are a little more reluctant to part with their cash, resulting in lower sales than normal. People are tightening up, causing a ripple effect that will penetrate other industries, not just mining in the Elk Valley.

The Elk Valley isn’t the only area feeling this. The once-booming oil metropolis of Fort McMurray may be the hardest hit, as their economy is directly contingent on the health of coal prices, which have been dropping since the start of the year. A CBC report said that their local food bank has been forced to cut their rations in half in order to keep up with the demand. More families are in need of subsidies, resulting in less for everyone. Again, one industry fell on hard times, resulting in all industries feeling the impacts

Economies, like most things in nature, are cyclical, and ebb and flow at their own speed. One of my economics instructors said that most industries and economies go through seven-year cycles, and if a boom lasts longer than that, the imminent downfall will be harder on everyone. It would be easy to use a cliché to make the situation seem better – you can’t have the rain without the rainbow, or something equally as sentimental. But I have never been a fan of clichés. The current situation that many families are facing – job losses, less disposable income, stricter budgets – is a terrible situation. It’s a simple as that.

I heard Sparwood Mayor, Cal McDougall, on the radio last week, talking about how the two announcements will affect his community. He reminded people to rely on friends, neighbours and the resources in the area and I would like to echo that statement. EK Employment in Fernie is a great place to look for information on job opportunities in the area, and other resources to help gain employment.

While it may be scary and uncertain times, no one is alone in it. It’s a reality that we are all facing, and it will be better if we face it together


Just Posted

Fernie local apprehended after break and enter

Elk Valley RCMP Early in the morning of Saturday, March 17, an… Continue reading

Former Riders coach reflects

Mohr looking for new opportunities after contract ends

Athletes ready for world stage

Three Fernie athletes to compete in the world’s biggest junior freeride competition.

Hydro prices to surge

Elk Valley businesses brace for 3 per cent Hydro rate increase.

Elk Valley rallies for car fire victim

Aussie loses everything in car fire

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Sparwood skaters impress

Club farewells coach

Army cadets test survival skills

Cadets endure -18C conditions

Exhibition builds compassion

Opioid use in focus

Medicinal cannabis patient shares story

Fernie mom spreads compassion

Epic deal for FAR

RCR signs new partnership

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Most Read