Court to rule on whether temporary foreign worker review will go ahead

The Canadian Press
November 22, 2012

VANCOUVER - A federal court judge is expected to rule today on whether two unions can seek a judicial review of the decision to grant temporary foreign worker permits to a northern B.C. coal mine.

Permits were granted for between 200 and 300 Chinese workers to conduct preliminary work at the Murray River mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

HD Mining International Ltd. says it wasn't able to find workers in Canada with the necessary skills for the underground coal mine.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union Local 1611 say there is no labour shortage, and the company is bringing in workers from China for lower wages than the going rate in Canada.

Lawyers for the company and for the federal government want the application for judicial review dismissed.

Court has heard that 17 workers have already arrived at the mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., and another 60 are expected to arrive in mid-December.