CBC News - North - Living costs highlighted in N.W.T. miners' survey
The high cost of living in the North, along with proximity to their families, are key issues for people who work in the Northwest Territories' diamond mines, according to a survey released this week.
The N.W.T. government survey, tabled in the territorial legislature this week, was based on surveys of 1,705 mine employees last year on how they felt about working and living in the territory, which is home to three operating diamond mines.
Diamond mining is considered to be the N.W.T.'s most important economic driver, but a longstanding concern has been how best to have more northern residents in the mining workforce.
Steve Walsh, who heads the union local representing workers at BHP Billiton's Ekati mine, said the informal social chatter among workers confirm what he's seen in the survey.
"Definitely, the closeness to family, as well as the cost of living and the cost of housing are key points," Walsh told CBC News.
According to the survey, workers identified good jobs and plenty of recreational activities in the N.W.T. as advantages of working in the territory.
For workers who reside in the territory, they like the close proximity to their families, the survey said.
Workers from outside the N.W.T. who come north on two-week shift rotations, said it's been difficult to be so far from their families. Those same workers also identified high housing and utility costs as major problems.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/02/26/nwt-diamond-survey.html#ixzz0gw7w1d5B