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NEWS: Harper doing a ‘bad job’ of protecting the environment from the mining sector

Postmedia News reports, “Opposition parties again pushed the Tories to define the parameters of ‘suitable employment’ in the House of Commons on Wednesday, demands prompted by the finance minister (Jim Flaherty’s) claim last week there ‘is no bad job’ for a Canadian. …When pressed further to define what constitutes suitable employment, (Minister of State for Finance Ted) Menzies highlighted a mining company in St. John’s, Nfld., that’s hiring 1,500 people through the temporary foreign worker program. ‘There are 32,500 people looking for work right now (in Newfoundland),’ he said. ‘That’s why we’re trying to make EI more effective, to help these mining companies get people to employ.'”

“NDP MP Peggy Nash said Monday said it would be a ‘colossal waste’ of skills and training if Canadians were underemployed and forced to accept any job in order to receive EI benefits. …NDP MP Anne-Marie Day said Mr. Menzie’s philosophy would see teachers and psychologists sent down into the mines, and again prompted the Tories to explain the scope of the changes to the definition of a suitable job.”

It is also the case that the Harper government is doing a “bad job” of defending our water commons from the extremely consumptive and polluting practices of the mining sector (whether that be in Canada or around the world), apparently preferring the permanent damage of the environment over the creation of permanent, full-time, well-paying jobs.

The Council of Canadians has joined with more than 40 groups calling for stronger envrionmental assessment laws http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13860, job creation in the renewable energy sector http://canadians.org/blog/?p=8669, and an end to job-killing conservative economic strategies http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15081 and austerity measures http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11467.

The impacts of the mining sector on water, human rights and Indigenous peoples will be the focus of the upcoming ‘Shout Out Against Mining Injustice’ this coming June 1-2 in Vancouver, http://canadians.org/shoutout.