first_imgNEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – According to a Freedom of Information request made by the BC Building Trades in December, only 65 per cent of the 482 construction workers on the Site C project in November were from B.C.The response from BC Hydro came in 103 days after the request was filed. BC Building Trades says Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett made claims to the Vancouver Sun in December that 75 per cent of the workers were from B.C., before this request was made.Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director of the BC Building Trades, says the early figures presented justify the concerns had by many that BC workers are not being given the priority they deserve on the project.- Advertisement -“Over 5,000 people attended the job fairs in northern BC hoping for an opportunity, perhaps they should have applied at the Petrowest Head Office in Calgary Alberta,” he said.Sigurdson continues, noting that there is no shortage of workers who could have done the ground clearing, excavation, road work and camp construction that was done in November.“If contractors are already drawing 35 per cent of the workforce from out of province at this stage in the project, who knows what will happen as the project moves forward.”Advertisement In light on that incident, Sigurdson questioned why a Site C contractor would hire someone to search for temporary foreign workers when there are many skilled British Columbians still looking for work. Also requested by BC Building Trades was information on the number of apprentices on the Site C project. That response revealed that only 26 apprentices worked on the project out of a total workforce of 482 in the month of November 2015. BC Building Trades says that’s 5 per cent of the workforce, and well below the government’s stated goal of 25 per cent on public projects.“On behalf of the British Columbians who are unemployed, the Minister should explain how it is his numbers were so drastically wrong,” Sigurson added.BC Building Trades also raised concerns last month when Peace River Power Partners placed the ad on a Fort St. John jobs website that described the human resources assistant duties as ‘assisting in the Temporary Foreign Workers processes’ for the project.The references to temporary foreign workers in the advertisement were edited out in a subsequent posting.Advertisementlast_img read more