Concern raised over retirement of Units 4 and 5 at Boundary Dam

The editor:

In the July 10 article in the Estevan Mercury on Units 4 and 5 at Boundary Dam to be retired, there was a comment made by SaskPower that, in my view, tried to “sugar coat” this whole announcement.

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They admitted that by retiring Units 4 and 5, it would cause about a 40-job decrease yet it would not cause layoffs, as those individuals would move to other areas in the company. I am assuming that most of those jobs will not be in Estevan.

But the real factor they left out, is there will be more than 40 jobs lost over this announcement.

What they did not tell you was obviously they will not be mining as much coal as they needed in previous years once this retirement happens, so that will lead to a 80-100-person layoff, possibly at the local coal mine that supply’s Boundary Dam, which will have a huge spinoff in the community of Estevan and surrounding area, because a lot of local businesses rely on the coal company to stay in business.

If those businesses can’t afford to stay in business, they shut down, in turn laying off their employees. This impacts the whole area and the whole province.

If anybody reading this does not think this announcement is going to affect them in some way or another, you’re wrong. SaskPower is doing some great things to keep fossil fuels alive in this province and keep the power prices low, but if things were to change and we get away from low power prices nobody will be able to afford a future in the province.

SaskPower, and the Province of Saskatchewan in my opinion, were the leaders of the world in clean coal technologies, and it is a shame to throw that all away when we have an abundance of coal at our fingertips.

We just had task force meetings on how to transition the workers to other industries from the coal fired generation and coal mines in the area, and what it sounds like to me the federal government has all this funding for training and transitioning. Why not use those funds towards carbon capture and storage and keep the people working where they choose to call home? Not only that, it builds our country.

 

Jody Dukart

International Rep

United Mine Workers of America

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