Ask Your MLA – Myth Busters – October 26, 2012

I had similar questions and now here is the answers. Thought some of you may be interested.
This email was sent to subscribers of MLA Shirley Bond E-Newsletter, as well as people she has met out in the community.
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  A Message From Shirley
Myth Busters
Hello everyone,
There has been a lot of discussion in recent weeks about temporary foreign workers. This is an important topic, and one that certainly should be discussed. It is important to separate myths and facts, however. One of the common myths we hear is that it is easy to find people who want to work in underground coal mines. The fact is, before permits are granted to hire temporary foreign workers, a company has to go through a process, managed by the federal government, which requires them to demonstrate that they have made efforts to hire Canadians for the jobs. This includes demonstrating that the wages being offered are comparable to similar jobs, that working conditions meet provincial labour standards, and that there is an economic benefit to hiring foreign workers, such as the transfer of knowledge and of skills from foreign workers to Canadian ones, or the development of a new industry.Another myth is that the company rigged the process to hire temporary foreign workers, and used Mandarin as a language requirement. In fact, the company, HD Mining, went through the required process for advertising the jobs for Canadian workers, including advertising through the company’s and BC Mining Association’s websites, as well as local and provincial job boards, newspapers and fairs. Mandarin was not a language requirement for any of these jobs, and the federal government determined that there were no qualified workers available before allowing the jobs to be advertised for temporary foreign workers.Yet another myth is that Chinese workers are being hired because they are cheap. Once again, the facts are different; Chinese workers are being hired because there are no workers in Canada with the necessary training in long wall mining. In fact, Grand Cache Coal in Alberta, the only other underground mine operating right now in Canada, also uses temporary foreign workers, because of the lack of workers with the right skills and workers willing to work in underground coal mines. The company advertised these jobs at a level of pay equal to or higher than Grand Cache Coal. It is important to realize that a lot of what we hear is myth, and we need to look at the facts. At the bottom of this page, you can find a link to learn more about the myths and facts regarding temporary foreign workers.This week, as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, I had the privilege of announcing the first ten steps we will be taking towards transforming British Columbia’s justice system. This reform is a project that I have been working on for a long time, and which is very important to me personally. We will be reducing backlog, improving access to justice services, and increasing transparency throughout the justice system. After a great deal of consultation with stakeholders and with the help of input from the public, we have come up with a plan that will improve timeliness and balance through sustainable reforms. I hope you’ll take the time to read about the steps we are taking through the link below, and I will continue to work towards implementing these important changes.Moving from justice to emergency relief, this week our government made an agreement which is one of the first of its kind in Canada. We will be working with the Canadian Red Cross Society to deploy disaster management personnel, equipment, and infrastructure more quickly in response to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. When major events strike, like the tsunami in Japan last year, local responders can sometimes be overwhelmed. It is exactly at times like these that the Red Cross can use its resources and expertise to help out, and through this agreement the Red Cross can bring in national or international trained personnel and equipment that can be ready to go in 24 to 48 hours. Through this partnership, our ability to respond to disasters is greatly improved.Turning closer to home, if you want to get a sneak peek at the new BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North before it opens, there will be an open house this coming Monday, October 29, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. This will be the sixth regional cancer centre in B.C., and you can tour this brand new facility, with its state-of-the-art radiation therapy unit, before it begins treating patients. It is something Northerners have been waiting for and I am thrilled that families requiring radiation treatment will now be able to do that closer to home surrounded by their families and friends!A busy weekend ahead including participating in federal and provincial ministers meetings and constituency work! I look forward to seeing you out and about . . .Until next week,


  Contact Shirley   Connect With Shirley 
Tel: (250) 612-4181
1350 5th Avenue 
Prince George, BC, V2L 3L4
Fax: (250) 612-4188


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