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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Recent VBNC Decision Will Negatively Impact Labrador Economy

The following article originally appeared on the web site: Our Labrador and has been re-published here with the gracious consent of the author. If you would like to check out other interesting articles and general information related to the “Big Land” you can find a link to this great site in the NL SPECIFIC LINKS section on the right hand side of this page.

The Combined Councils of Labrador are appalled by the recent decision made by VBNC to pay for 80% of travel costs for workers living outside of Labrador to the Voisey’s Bay Mine Site.

The EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) Summary and Conclusions that was developed by Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company stipulated that six North Coast communities and communities such as Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador City, and Wabush would essentially become “Bedroom Communities” whereby workers from outside of Labrador would relocate to Labrador communities.

Ford Rumbolt is President of the Combined Councils of Labrador, “VBNC must be held accountable for this decision. If we are to have development in Labrador, then we need people to come and live in Labrador. Too many organizations and groups in Labrador have put too much time and effort into promoting the region, only to have VBNC negatively impact all that hard work.”

“The Combined Councils of Labrador request that VBNC revisit this issue and stick with the original agreement. If VBNC are permitted to make this change, then where will it end?”

Arthur Williams is the Mayor of North West River and Combined Councils of Labrador VP for Central Labrador, “As Mayor of North West River, I am very disappointed with VBNC’s decision. Communities of Labrador were supposed to be benefiting from the VBNC Project. Labrador Communities will lose a tremendous amount of revenue and the economy of Labrador will be destroyed”.

“It is my fear that we will revert back to a time when Labrador was a place to work and not a place to live. VBNC must stay with the original agreement”.

Jim Farrell is the Mayor of Wabush and Combined Councils of Labrador VP for Western Labrador, “I am very disappointed Labrador West will not be able to reap benefits from Voisey’s Bay that were clearly outlined in the EIS”.

Waylon Williams is the Executive Director of the Combined Councils of Labrador, “The decision reached by VBNC will have a negative impact on all communities in Labrador. VBNC would be better suited by promoting Labrador as a good place to live rather than just a place to work. Also VBNC should offer workers living outside of Labrador an aggressive relocation package rather than covering 80% of the travel cost.”

“The Combined Councils of Labrador are calling on all Labrador Communities to raise the alarm on this issue. There is too much to lose if this decision is not changed.”

By Waylon Williams, Combined Councils of Labrador

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