Judge refuses to let Ottawa off the hook for documents in Chinese miners case

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A Federal Court judge isn't letting Ottawa off the hook when it comes to producing documents in the case involving the use of Chinese miners in a proposed British Columbia coal mine.

Two unions are challenging the government's decision to allow HD Mining to bring about 200 Chinese miners to work in northern B.C., rather than hire Canadian miners.

A judge ordered Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to turn over documents from HD Mining related to temporary foreign worker applications, but the government has said the company is refusing to provide the documents.

Federal government lawyers argued there was nothing they could do and asked the court to change the order to reflect that.

But Judge Michael Manson says the order stands, and he has ordered Human Resources Minister Diane Finley to reconsider whether she can do anything else to force HD Mining to turn over the documents.

The judgment doesn't say just what the government needs to do, but it says whatever action it takes must happen by Jan. 21.