July 30, 2014 2:18 pm

Harper announces $2.5M to train northern Saskatchewan miners

Watch above: Prime Minister Harper announces funding for mining school in northern Saskatchewan

AIR RONGE, Sask. – The federal government is committing $2.5 million to help train miners in northern Saskatchewan.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement at a training college in Air Ronge, a four hour drive northwest of Saskatoon.

“The rapidly expanding mining industry in Northern Saskatchewan is creating increased demand for local skilled workers,” said Harper.

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“Our Government’s investment for Northlands College will help students gain the training they need to access the jobs and prosperity being generated by the industry.”

The money will be used to purchase heavy equipment simulators and help create the Northlands College Mine School.

The school will include lab facilities which will allow the college to contribute to mining research together with the University of Saskatchewan and SIAST.

The college plans to recruit northern Saskatchewan residents and aboriginals for the training.

It is estimated that almost one in 16 jobs in Saskatchewan is supplied directly or indirectly by mining and will rise to one in five jobs by 2028.

“The support being provided today gives Northlands College the ability to increase and improve its program offerings so that more Northerners can secure good jobs in the rapidly growing mines sector and play an integral part in the development of the northern, provincial and national economy,” said Harper.

“The mining industry provides some of the highest paying jobs in the province, in fact, almost twice the weekly average wage and this investment will make sure that the people of northern Saskatchewan have access to the training they need to fill those jobs.”

Across the street from Harper’s announcement, 20 protesters held up signs urging him to do more to fight native poverty and environmental degradation.

Protesters gather in Air Ronge, Sask. on July 30, 2014 to urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do more to fight native poverty and environmental degradation.

Wendy Winiewski / Global News
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