Mining firm rejects union claims Canadians were qualified for B.C. coal project

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A company criticized for hiring temporary foreign workers for a northern B.C. coal mine is dismissing allegations that it rejected the resumes of several Canadian applicants who were qualified to do the job.

The statement by HD Mining is the latest development in a dispute with two unions over the hiring of about 200 temporary foreign workers for the Murray River coal project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

The unions filed documents in federal court on Friday outlining some of the qualifications found within the resumes of about 300 Canadian applicants.

The unions claimed there were several qualified candidates for jobs at the mine, but the company says the unions' documents aren't accurate, and HD will file an official response in court by Feb. 15.

The company is also reiterating arguments it has previously made, specifically that no other mine in Canada is currently using the methods it plans to employ at Murray River.

A judicial review of Ottawa's decision to issue the temporary foreign-worker permits has been tentatively set to be heard in April.