As we head into Christmas, B.C. workers have been given a lump of coal from the Liberal government. Instead of a commitment to hiring locally for the first large dam built in B.C. since 1984, BC Hydro spokesman David Conway stated this week B.C. workers can’t count on jobs from the biggest Site C contract.
B.C. Energy Minister Bill Bennett then said our concerns were simply “sour grapes.” The building trades make no apologies for lobbying to protect the interests of British Columbians.
We do not think it’s enough on a $9-billion project to simply “hope” B.C. workers can find opportunities, or claim “lots and lots” of British Columbians will work on the site. It’s also not enough to say job fairs will be held to “try”to attract local workers. British Columbians need concrete assurances the jobs will go to our people.
The goal of 60-per cent local workers on a giant project where the Liberal government has complete control speaks to the obvious: either they don’t really care about the B.C. workforce, or the structures they use for maximizing values are broken.
So no, Bill Bennett, it’s not sour grapes — it’s simply good policy to put British Columbians to work before anyone else.
Business manager, IUOE Local 115