Cameco layoffs: need for northern economic diversification

Cameco layoffs: need for northern economic diversification

Postby Oscar » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:34 pm

Cameco layoffs underscore need for northern economic diversification: Belanger

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ALEX MACPHERSON, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX January 19, 2017

Cameco Corp.’s decision to cut 120 mining and milling jobs at its northern Saskatchewan facilities reveals a flaw in the government’s plan to rely on it to supply northerners with jobs, according to an NDP politician representing the province’s uranium-rich north.

The Saskatoon-based company’s recent struggles makes Premier Brad Wall’s 2013 statement at a Prince Albert dinner that “the best program for First Nations and Métis people is … Cameco” seem shortsighted, said Buckley Belanger, MLA for Athabasca.

“This is a good example of what could go wrong when you don’t do strategic investments in other sectors of the economy when your economy is hot and when the opportunity to do so is very present,” Belanger said.

Cameco said Tuesday that it plans to cut about 10 per cent of the workforce at its Cigar Lake and McArthur River mines and Key Lake mill as it works to reduce costs amid an oversupplied global uranium market.

These are not the first cost-cutting decisions Cameco has made in response to tumbling uranium prices. Last year, the company shuttered its Rabbit Lake mine at the cost of about 500 jobs and cut about 10 per cent of its corporate workforce, mostly in Saskatoon.

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