This story from yesterday hasn’t apparently reached mainstream media — not that I can see yet anyways. The Tyee and the PEA Blog (Blogging for Professionals across BC) are reporting it though:
Employees in the ministry of forests and range, ministry of energy, mines and petroleum resources and the integrated land management were to be told today they would be lose their jobs, according to an email circulated within the government by deputy to the premier Allan Seckel.
Government emails provided later in the day show that 204 people were cut from the forest ministry, 52 from EMPR and 38 from ILMB. The cuts included 43 people in management positions, 52 members of the Professional Employees Association and 199 BCGEU members.
Sheez, nothing like losing your job by email…
Having worked with (not for) all of these ministries quite extensively in various capacities over the years — especially the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and the other stuff — I’m left wondering how much more “streamlined” various approval processes will become on exploration and full on mining projects? And how much less consultation will be done with the general public and First Nations?
For example, in 1.5 years on a contract with a northern BC First Nation with a mass of mineral exploration claims and activities in their Traditional Territory my colleagues and I dealt with at least eight different “Aboriginal Liaisons” with the Ministry of Mines in that time. I’ve heard recently that at least three more have circulated through the position. It is so bad now, that the Ministry has to fly staff from Victoria to Prince George to even attempt consultation with First Nations and local communities.
What is the cost of a flight from Victoria to the BC Interior — flying up in the morning and flying back in the afternoon — Add in meals, overtime, etc.? Do this at least once a month, or twice — 12 to 24 times a year. Does that not pay for an actual staff person in the interior, or maybe a part-time?
And what about actually meeting with community reps in their home communities?
Is this cost effective decision-making…?
On other fronts — does this present a friendly investment climate for the Province? Does this instill confidence in potential investors that government bureaucracies can process potential development applications?
Does this instill confidence in the public that appropriate balances can be found between development and conservation? Investment and long-term sustainability? [enter other buzz-words here]