B.C. port strikes disrupt mining supply chain: MAC

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) said it is alarmed by the adverse impact ongoing strikes at ports throughout British Columbia are having on the mining industry and the broader Canadian economy.

“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 President & 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.” 

Since July 1, roughly 7,400 port workers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada and employed at more than 30 ports in the province have been on strike due to wage, outsourcing and automation concerns. The mining industry is a major user of Canada’s ports, accounting for 22% ($127 billion) of the country’s total domestic exports in 2021.

“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,” concluded Gratton. It is estimated the strikes are costing the Canadian economy at least $500 million per day.

At press time, talks between the union and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association have resumed but an agreement has not been reached. 

Sources: Mining Association of Canada and Global News

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