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Mining association alarmed over B.C. port strike

Association calls on federal government to end strike
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Metallurgical coal -- B.C.'s second most valuable export -- moves through Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is calling on the federal government to step in and end a strike that threatens to paralyze ports in B.C.

More than 7,000 workers who load and unload cargo at B.C. ports have been on strike since Saturday morning, according to the Canadian Press.

Canadian minerals and metals account for a significant amount of the volume of commodities that move through B.C. ports, mainly Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Mining accounted for $127 billion worth of exports in 2021, the MAC estimates – 22 per cent of Canada’s total export value.

“B.C.’s ports play an essential role in Canada’s mining supply chain, serving as central hubs for the transport of the critical minerals and metals essential to businesses both domestically and internationally,” said MAC CEO Pierre Gratton. “Canada’s reputation as a trusted producer of these materials is in question if we are unable to rely on our transportation networks to get them to market.

“Immediate action from the federal government is required in order to minimize the serious negative effects to our broader economy and to maintain our standing as one of the key suppliers of the materials essential to the global energy transition and the needs of customers around the world.

“With the ongoing supply chain issues stemming from the war in Ukraine, extreme weather events, and regular labour disputes at transportation networks across the country, Canada’s reputation is at stake should work stoppages continue.”

nbennett@biv.com

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