Letter: Still waiting

When will Minister Bennett respond directly to the critical issue of Ministry exodus to private sector foreign corporations...

When will Minister Bennett respond directly to the critical issue of Ministry exodus to private sector foreign corporations outlined in my letter to the editor in The Free Press, May 1, 2014?

Bennett’s only retort thus far is his reference to a May 5 Globe and Mail article by Brent Jang about the rosy outlook for coal. In doing so, the Minister of Energy and Mines has simply revealed he can’t tell the difference between thermal and metallurgical coal.

Then in the same breath the Minister attempts to blame the mysterious actions of the “free market” for the current slump in coal prices, yet goes on to give BC Liberal policies credit for their eventual recovery – which hasn’t even happened yet.

This bizarre world of magic the Minister has constructed for himself might normally be quite amusing, yet we still have 700 plus coal miners laid off in B.C. while Chinese companies bring in their own temporary workers to extract B.C. coal.

Whether the Minister likes it or not, I am simply informing East Kootenay working families that B.C. Liberal short-term economic policies are not in their long-term best interests.

Like gutting the Industry Training Authority in 2002, which closed offices and laid-off the public sector employees responsible for ensuring we didn’t end up with the shortage of skilled trades which we now experience in mining – triggering the temporary worker issue.

Like the Minister supporting the temporary worker system designed to drive down wages and safety standards, as we watch wages exported out of our economy by workers who are denied their rights as immigrants!

Like the stealthy privatization of BC Hydro, shifting a profitable public corporation into private hands, further defunding the government and dumping a debt burden of $70 plus billion back on taxpayers.

In fact, I oppose all current policies that mismanage what’s left of the vastly underfunded public sector as we are forced to choose between employment for ourselves, or keeping schools open for our children.

No wonder public servants from Mr. Bennett’s Ministry are jumping like rats from a sinking ship.


Alex Hanson

Fernie, B.C.