To the Editor:
I am writing with regards to a lengthy article featuring the current premier once again blaming the previous government for his unwillingness to unlock funds specifically earmarked to help taxpayers in the mining industry when the communities experience downturns or, worse still, mine closures.
Sherritt, HBM&S, Hudbay and, yes, Vale, have a combined history of about 150 years of mining in the northern sector of our home, Manitoba. These corporations, until about 20 years ago, provided excellent wages and benefits for all of us in the mining industry. Based on a rounded-off figure, all four corporations have put $133,333 per year into this reserve fund. That is a whopping $365 per day between the four corporations, or $91 per day of production for each corporation.
I’m not criticizing the mining sector. I’m targeting Mr. Pallister’s attitude. In the ‘90s, the mining sector in this region was contributing almost $1 billion to the service and maintenance industries in Winnipeg, across Saskatchewan and in Alberta as well.
If you look at the province of Manitoba, Premier Pallister, you may observe that all roads lead to our capital, Winnipeg. Given this immense amount of money in our resources industries – i.e. mining, logging and Manitoba Hydro revenues – why is it your party is so reluctant to send some of that cash north?
Mr. Premier, after two years of whining about the previous government's mistakes, could you please get focused on the future and let us know your vision for mining in Northern Manitoba?
Oh, yes, before I end this letter, the trains are running to Churchill again, Mr. Premier, even though it was said that the non-citizens of that town “were not in your jurisdiction.” Humbug!