Province Acts to Help Huckleberry Miners
Prince George, B.C. – There is already action being taken to help the workers at Imperial Metals’ Huckleberry Mine near Houston.
Imperial Metals announced yesterday that it was suspending opening pit operations at the copper mine because of slumping copper prices. The decision will see 100 workers laid off, another 160 will have work for the next few months milling the stockpile of ore.
“Losing a job is a very difficult circumstance for workers and their families and we want to make sure we are providing as much support as possible” says Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training..
She says as soon as the Ministry was made aware of the layoffs, Ministry staff “reached out to Huckleberry Mine, as well as the Mayor and the District of Houston. Ministry staff are establishing a worker transition team and are coordinating provincial efforts to provide direct support and services to affected workers, including helping them find other job opportunities.”
The provincial government provides support for resource-based communities experiencing significant job loss impacts. Supports and services are quickly mobilized in worker transition, economic diversification planning and social services, and are coordinated with other services provided by the local government and community agencies.
WorkBC has been in contact with the mine and is already providing supports. Anyone who is experiencing a job loss should contact the local Houston Work BC Employment Services Centre at:
Houston, BC V0J 1Z0
Federal MP for the area, Nathan Cullen, says he too has been in contact with Houston’s community leaders ““The wheels are already in motion to minimize the impact on Northwest communities.”
Cullen says information was being gathered on where the workers live and the expected length of the reduced operations “Any insight about the future of the mine will definitely help us to plan our next steps”.
The news of the layoffs is the second major blow to Houston in less than two years. It was May of 2014 that West Fraser closed its sawmill in the region, throwing 225 people out of work.