Forum hears why Saskatchewan seen as best place for mining investment in Canada
- EFN Staff | April 07, 2017
The world loves the Canadian mining industry, and Saskatchewan is a giant amid this landscape. Delegates at the Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum this week heard about many of the boast-worthy attributes that the province’s mining industry has to offer. Recently given first place status for mining investment in Canada by the Fraser Institute, also beating Australia for number one position globally, Saskatchewan is a bright example of what happens when the mining industry and provincial policies work together to get things right.
Co-hosted by the Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA), Saskatchewan Ministry of Economy and the Saskatchewan Industrial & Mining Suppliers Association (SIMSA), the forum welcomed more than 1,000 delegates to share in success stories, learn of updates in the industry, the forecasted economic outlook, and visit the 200 suppliers at the sold-out Trade Show.
In a recent poll conducted in conjunction with SMA and SIMSA, 97% of Saskatchewan people viewed mining as an important part of the provincial economy, contributing to 30,500 jobs, which translates to $2.5 billion in wages, goods and services annually. As a contributor of 6% to the Canadian GDP, the Saskatchewan mining industry is also the number one industrial employer of indigenous people.
Industry and Indigenous suppliers gathered at the opening of the event during the Navigating the Industry Supply Chain Forum to hear from Indigenous contractors and entrepreneurs about what it takes to succeed in the sector. Panel speakers included William Lavallee - Four Souls Cleaning Inc., Brad Darbyshire - STC Industrial Contracting (formerly Lynco Eagle), and Durwin Herrington – Power Chief Scaffolding.
Each company story shared a similar theme: the good old Saskatchewan values of relationship building, perseverance and hard work are the key ingredients to achieving success. William Lavallee looked at the gaps in the service sector, and quickly realized the best way to build a company that employs Indigenous people was through janitorial services. He knew from his professional experiences that process and structure were of utmost importance, so he set out to build his company based on those ethos. He didn’t approach the industry with the attitude that he should be given the work to check a box. He came forward and said “We’ll do a better job.” William sees the environment in which his company operates as a wheel, of which he is just a spoke. His dedication is driven by his passion to empower people through employment.
“People who work have self-worth. Nobody can give that to you. Talk is cheap, we need to go that extra mile to employ our people and treat them like the important contributors they are.”
Finding ways to build culture into Power Chief Scaffolding has been central for Durwin Herrington.
“We have gone so far as to build an industrial teepee on our sites, and have included a morning smudge into our tailgate meetings. Elders are brought out to bless our site, and spend time talking with our crew. This keeps our young people focused on living clean and sober lives, which ultimately contributes to everyone’s safety.”
Picking the right partner is another important aspect that determines the success of your company. Brad Darbyshire of STC Industrial Contracting suggests, “When looking at partnerships, ensuring that there is an alignment of values is key. You need to share a vision of what success looks like. For us, that’s providing dependable, high quality services that result in prosperity and opportunities for Indigenous people. It takes creating a relationship with partners that understand the environment in which they are operating and that can withstand changes in the economy.”
Additional forum presentations were delivered throughout the conference from AREVA Resources Canada, Cameco Corporation, Fortune Minerals Ltd., Gensource Potash Corp., K+S Potash Canada, Mosaic, PotashCorp, SaskPower, Westmoreland Coal Company, Glacier Media Group, and University of Calgary, Des Nedhe Developments, Pinehouse Business North, FHQ Developments, EDC and STEP.