HD MiningGreat news out of the courts this week – HD Mining successfully defended its case against two big unions for the right to bring in temporary foreign workers to do test work on the Murray River Project underground coal mine.

ICBA raised its voice on the issue in the past because the project – like all resource development projects – means plenty of work for our members who win contracts on the project, as well as all the economic spinoffs felt in local communities.

ICBA weighed in with a letter to the editor that ran in today’s Province newspaper. The full letter is below:

Let B.C. do its biz!

HD Mining’s victory in the Federal Court over legal challenges from big labour sent a powerful message to potential investors – B.C. is still open for business.

In the case of the Murray River Project underground coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, the judge rejected every claim made by the Construction and Specialized Workers’ Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers in court and incessantly in the media.

Sadly, the case pushed the issue of temporary foreign workers into the headlines, and the now-rejected arguments by the unions had large impacts. The miners were sent home, test mining was delayed and the entire project was thrown behind schedule.

What’s especially galling about the affair is there are plenty of mining projects in B.C. with temporary foreign workers that have escaped court challenges from organized labour because of their union status. Using the courts as an organizing tool is hypocritical and damaging to the kind of investments B.C. needs to attract for our future.

Philip Hochstein, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.