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Supporting, Protecting, and Respecting Canada’s North

Supporting, Protecting, and Respecting Canada’s North

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Published by PeggyNash

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Published by: PeggyNash on Feb 05, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Supporting,Protecting, andRespectingCanada’s North
Fighter. Builder. Leader.
 
2
Peggy Nash Campaign
for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party
Fighter. Builder. Leader.peggynash.ca
 At Issue
Natural resource industries are integral to the economy o Canada’s Northerncommunities. However, our mining, orestry, and other industries in the North are acingsevere challenges.Many o Canada’s important natural resource companies have been taken over by oreigninvestors whose actions indicate a lack o respect or workers’ rights. Plant closuresand massive layos in the region have had a ripple eect on small businesses. Youth areleaving Northern communities to fnd work elsewhere, while Aboriginal peoples acesignifcant barriers to education and housing.As the cost o living in the North rises steadily, wages have stagnated. Meanwhile, too ewcommunities in the North have adequate health resources. A severe shortage o amilydoctors and increasingly long wait times at medical acilities are leaving amilies in direstraits.Crisis ater crisis has been ignored by successive Liberal and Conservative governments.We can do better.It is possible to build a strong economy while protecting the environment and supportingall Canadians with smart social policy. Doing so with an eye to the North is crucial.Northerners deserve no less.
 
3
Peggy Nash Campaign
for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party
Fighter. Builder. Leader.peggynash.ca
In Context
Jobs and the Economy in the North
The importance o the natural resource industry or the livelihood o our Northerncommunities cannot be ignored, yet the Harper Conservatives have allowed poorly-regulated oreign takeovers and tax cuts or large corporations to negatively aectNortherners. They have let the orestry sector be worn down by a lack o a comprehensiveorestry strategy and have chosen not to properly invest in innovative clean and renewableenergy in the North. These missteps hurt local economies and in turn aect smallbusinesses and lead to youth outmigration.Many oreign takeovers o Canadian companies have led to signifcant job losses whilea lack o respect or hard-won collective bargaining rights throw workers into urthertrouble. For example, hundreds o Northern jobs were lost when Swiss mining giantXstrata bought Falconbridge Ltd. It slashed 686 jobs rom its Greater Sudbury operationand shut down the Kidd Creek Metallurgical site, costing Timmins 670 jobs.When Brazilian mining company Vale purchased Inco Ltd, it introduced a plan to shutdown the smelter in the city o Thompson, costing 600 jobs. The same company thenorced thousands o Canadian workers into a yearlong strike (18 months in Voisey’s Bay)to protect their pensions and the rights o uture workers, having a negative impact on theeconomy o many communities.The Investment Canada Act should ensure Canadians beneft rom oreign ownership, yetthe Harper Conservatives continue to hide behind the smoke screen created by the Act’srigid confdentiality provisions and reuse to enorce the Act in deense o Canadian jobsand communities.Meanwhile, sixty thousand jobs have been lost in the orestry sector alone. Closure aterclosure o pulp and paper mills in the North have thrown communities like Kitimat, Jonquière, and Dubreuilville into peril. Workers recently laid o rom the Terrace BayPulp and Paper mill represent jobs that are no longer contributing to the local economy.And now, the Harper Conservatives have cut back on the Forest Sector Initiative,an initiative with the goal o creating sustainable natural resources development andenhancing long-term economic opportunities or Canada’s orest sector.Instead o cuts to research and development, Canada needs a national orestry strategy toprotect value-added jobs in Northern communities.

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