Co-operation needed to move Donkin along
The announcement from Xstrata that it intends to employ 200 in well-paying jobs at the Donkin mine is a very good thing. The economy of our island could use the jobs. There is expected to be another 800 indirect jobs.
This is an excellent opportunity for economic growth and development but we must keep in mind the commercial fishery in the area of the proposed barge site, which is a vital part of the fishery. Hundreds are employed in this industry as well.
Along with the many fishers in the area, there are two fish plants where many make a living.
We must find a way to make the two industries work hand in hand. When Xstrata had planned to mine thermal coal there were no issues affecti ng the commercial fishery because the plan was to send the coal by truck or rail. But Xstrata has now chosen to mine coking coal to be shipped worldwide, thus causing this conundrum.
Although the mining of coal in Cape Breton once again would be a good thing, we cannot do it at the expense of the fishing industry. I think that if all involved put their efforts into this, we would come up with an economical solution that would be viable for all.
Surrounding communities have been very supportive of Xstrata’s efforts to date and will continue to be in the future. Now that a problem has been identified, let us not fail. Let all of us be a part of the solution.