Politicians offer sympathy for Wabush residents

James McLeod
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Across the political spectrum, leaders were offering sympathy and support for the people of Wabush in the wake of news that the Scully Mine in Labrador West wil be mothballed.

Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said very clearly, as far as he’s concerned, the mine has been idled, but it isn’t closed forever.

“It’s an idle. It’s not a closure,” he said. “The concerns, obviously today, are for the people of Wabush.”

Dalley will be travelling to Labrador West along with Premier Tom Marshall to meet with residents and talk about the situation.

He indicated there’s more to the story, and more information to come out about the situation, but he said that before he does any talking in the media, he wants to sit down and speak to residents in the area.

“To be fair to the people of Wabush, particularly the steelworkers’ union and the town, we’re going in there tomorrow to have conversations with them around a number of issues, and I’d prefer to have that with them before you write it out today,” Dalley told The Telegram Wednesday.

“Talk to me tomorrow after I’ve had a chance to meet with everybody.”

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball also said that as far as he’s concerned, the story isn’t over for the Wabush mine.

“The thing is that there’s still a key asset in Lab West with Wabush Mines right now. We still have ore in the ground. We still have a very skilled workforce,” he said. “So we’re not giving up there. We’re still optimistic that something can happen positive for Wabush mines.”

Ball said he was surprised by the abruptness of the announcement.

So was New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael. She said she’s not sure what exactly the government’s role should be in the fallout of the mine being idled, but it needs to listen to residents of the area.

“I think the role for government is to sit with the leadership — the union and municipal leaders — and try to work out to see what the role in this particular situation should be,” she said. “I think they all have to sit together to figure out in this context what that might be.”

Organizations: Lab West

Geographic location: Wabush, Labrador West

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Recent comments

  • James
    February 19, 2014 - 14:29

    Very well put Mr. McGregor I myself moved my wife and three small children from rural Nova Scotia to Labrador about 2 years ago. I am 34 yrs old and was raised in a small rural Nova Scotia fishing community. Coming from rural NS means that a man is well aware of the hardships of growing up with only what is needed and doing without many of the frivolous items that I see adults and even children playing with. I am doubtful that many of the working generation in Labrador West know what hard times are like and no a short shut down or a strike that may last a few weeks does not count. Before moving here I was unemployed which lasted over a year and top rate EI is a whopping 450.00 a week. It boggles my mind why two income families feel the need to indulge in extras and live a very high end lifestyle instead of saving half or more of the second income to prepare for the inevitable and teach their children the value of a working income. From what I see the founding members of this town knew the value of hard work but today three generations later we see people who desire to work very little and live a lifestyle reserved for the rich and famous. To make matters worse local home owners saw their lack of material wealth and decided to triple or quadruple the value of their 50 year old kent home and sell it to someone trying to make a fresh start driving them over half a million dollars in debt for a house not worth anywhere near the selling price but I suppose a generation given everything has no real concept of reality. It is interesting when you view Lab West as a social experiment and how lack of control results in a society with very little monetary common sense. Have we never read the tale of the grasshopper and the ant. So it appears that after years of plenty the larder is now empty and we have not prepared our families for the oncoming famine. Sadly, as it went with Mr Grasshopper so goes it now. A fool deserves a fools reward.

  • Michael McGregor
    February 13, 2014 - 11:07

    Hello all, My Family were one of the founding families of Wabush Labrador and we moved there when there was only a campsite. My brother John firstborn in Wabush is still there. I was shocked to hear the closure plans for Wabush Mines, But in the same vein it must be understood most mines become extinct eventually when the mineral runs out or in the case of Wabush it is too expensive to extract. The reasons for the expense are multifold with some complications and some just the investors seeing the end nearin and notupgrading the Mill to be able to produce in an effective cheap manner. With all the other Mines and exploration happening in the area I am sure if the people affected will just be positive they will land another job soon . dont look back and dont rely on the politicians to resolve your need to work to survive . These guys are talking heads and are just doing a show. In a situation like this you can see their ability to do very little for their constituents. You are on your own and in the end depend on your own wits to pick youself up and get on with your carreers and good luck to all affected. God bless Michael McGregor

    • gordon rea
      September 03, 2015 - 19:18

      My mother always told me that I was actually the first baby born in Wabush as I was born in the bunk house hospital Sept 1st, 1962.