by Jane Gaffin
From the 1976 forewarning files…
Over the years, the United Nations Agenda 21’s insidious, ever-expanding tentacles have reached out globally in every direction to surreptitiously encapsulate every facet of people’s lives while they weren’t paying attention.
Agenda 21 — which simply means a blueprint as to how a New World Order will dictate how society will live and behave in the 21st Century — didn’t get a serious toehold on its radical scheme until its 1992 environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro where the ultimate plan of action was concocted to take humanity backwards into another Dark Age.
To save planet earth from destruction meant the elimination of all human activity, plus, as a little sidebar, the pogrom called for the extinguishment of middle-class society and the extermination of at least three-quarters of the world population.
One of the initial steps to successful implementation was the dismantling of industrial civilization and, in Marxist fashion, relieving individuals and corporations of their right to own property — whether that be an expansive farm, a plot of land for a house, or mining claims — and the withdrawal of all leases and licenses to government-controlled lands for grazing cattle, big-game guiding, placer and hard rock mining, and any other private enterprises.
Below is a prophetic article, Who Gets the Blame? Hit by Strikes Yukon Economy Suffers, that appeared September 30, 1976 as the lead in the Toronto-based Northern Miner, the Bible of the worldwide mining industry. It demonstrates in spades the enormous international ramifications and ripple effect of how society suffers the backlash when governments and a few power-hungry individuals start toying with industrial civilization “for fun”.
At the relevant time, the Yukon was blindsided with a severe blow said to be a protest to the Anti-Inflation Board.
The Anti-Inflation Act was a contentious parliamentary act passed in 1975 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government in Ottawa supposedly as a measure to slow down inflation that was blamed on an out-of-control increase in commodity prices and wages government and companies were paying to employees.
The unpopular law was met with an angry counterblast from virtually every sector of society. The populace is just now beginning to comprehend what is really in store for the future.
No ordinary person could fathom what evilness invisible global elitists were plotting behind closed doors 38 years ago. By now, there is no doubt. And the draconian fallout from Agenda 21 is not going to be pretty as it continues coiling conspiratorially around us everyday like a big sneaky snake stalking its unsuspecting prey.
What a mess!
Worried Yukoners tough-sledded through the summer when labor disputes crippled the $228 million mining industry, the Yukon’s No. 1 support.
Now the 22,000 residents face an uncertain winter under guidance of a new commissioner, an anemic economy dropping faster than the mercury in the thermometer at $100,000 per day, and the provincehood issue crescendoing.
Things got hot in the summer. Simultaneously, United Steelworkers (USW) closed three of the Yukon’s four operating mines, plus the Cassiar Asbestos mine in Northern British Columbia, near the Yukon border.
Labor disputes disrupted operations at Whitehorse Copper, United Keno Hill Mines (UKHM) at Elsa, and Cyprus Anvil Mining at Faro.
As temperatures dipped into September, United Keno finally reached a settlement with the union. The miners are getting back to work and production is up to 40 per cent of normal, but the agreement has yet to be ratified by the Anti-Inflation Board. At Cyprus Anvil, no thaw is in sight and the mine is still shut down, while Whitehorse Copper workers are back on the job earning a base hourly wage of $6.10.
The only mine uninterrupted by labor problems was Clinton Creek Mine, northwest of Dawson City, eight miles from the Alaska border.
The Clinton employees are Canadian Mine Workers, their negotiations concerned with severance pay and move-out allowances.
Owned by Cassiar Asbestos, Clinton has been exhausted of commercial-grade fibres, and a permanent closure is expected early next year.
In mid-September, the Cassiar subsidiary of Territorial Supply, an International Harvester franchise in Whitehorse, closed after 25 years of service. The Transport Division is continuing to haul fibre from Clinton to railhead at Whitehorse.
THE COMPLEX ISSUE
The Cyprus Anvil lead-zinc mine, the Yukon’s largest mine, is directly responsible for half the Yukon’s economy. When the 10,000-ton-per-day operation is immobilized, two-thirds of the territory is paralyzed.
Major strikes have erupted there three times this year, and helped start the economy on its roller-coaster path nine months ago.
In late July, the 400 United Steelworkers members entered their latest strike, ostensibly a protest against the Anti-Inflation Board’s substantial roll back in their wage and benefit contract from 36 to a 9 per cent increase in the first year.
The union insisted it wasn’t a strike against the company, therefore Cyprus Anvil tried to avert the work stoppage by offering to join the union in an organized approach to the Anti-Inflation Board about the revision decision.
A local news analyst, Don Sawatsky, reported an ebullient spirit in Faro, with campers packed before the union opted to strike. He said they just didn’t realize the seriousness of that decision.
The new contract, retroactive to October of last year, was for an hourly base rate of $7.
Not only did the strike decision drastically hamper the Yukon, but Faro activities can be felt many places. Skagway, Alaska is the port-of-call where ships load ore concentrates destined to customers in Japan and European countries.
While 1,500 residents from the Yukon’s second-largest community are fishing, a lot of people are sitting around in wide-eyed amazement wondering where the concentrates went.
Ironically, Faro, constructed in 1969, hasn’t been inked onto many maps. But the little town sure packs a wallop.
Presently, Yukoners have lost track of who’s mad at whom, what the strike’s all about. This week the Canadian Labor Relations Board handed down its decision that a new agreement would have to be negotiated meeting the requirements of the Anti-Inflation Act. Thus, the obscure and complex issues are still unresolved.
Cyprus Anvil is the biggest customer for the Northern Canada Power Commission (NCPC). With the mine down, NCPC reported a loss of $200 thousand a month. The federally-owned utility company by an Act of Parliament can’t operate in the red, and requires consumers to pick up any deficits.
Yukoners fear they’re cradling another price hike in their palms. Within the last year, NCPC has raised wholesale power rates by 80 per cent to defray a $30 million override for the new 30-megawatt Aishihik power project, 80 miles northwest of Whitehorse.
Since the rate-increase protest launched by Yukoners in January, James Smith has stepped down from his 10-year service as Commissioner and turned full attention to chairmanship of NCPC.
Mr. Smith said that he’s keeping the federal people apprised of the current situation in the north, and is hopeful of a realistic solution to the problem.
He doesn’t want the federal government coming back to the Yukon this time with an excuse of “not knowing what was happening.”
The Yukon could sell stock in its northern winters. The price always promises to double. Gas pumps glared with the third petroleum increase within 13 months, gas retailing for $1.05 a gallon in Whitehorse. Outlying areas are looking at 50 cents tacked onto that. Heating fuels went as high as 64.2 cents a gallon.
“It’s like gold,” a Gulf wholesale representative said, “except going the opposite direction!”
The economic pressures are high, and many people from the work force of 10,000 envisage a jobless winter. Some, not taking any chances, planted “For Sale” signs in their front lawns. Even school enrollment was down by nearly 200.
And marginal-profit companies are getting more uptight by the minute about the constant increases in overhead, and wages being pushed to the hilt. They’re waiting for the inevitable — the twain to meet and drive small businesses into oblivion.
The $20 million mineral exploration industry was quiet this field season. Inactivity was blamed partially on crews having to curtail work at minesites that were embroiled in labor disputes. Another speculation for the slow-down is that large companies have been given encouragements to return to British Columbia under the Social Credit government, and companies want to search for minerals where they get the most for their shopping dollars.
This field season consisted mainly of regional follow-ups, with relatively few grassroots projects initiated in the Yukon. And helicopter operators, diamond drillers and expediters were all feeling the pinch. One helicopter pilot reported a mere 10 revenue hours flown by June 21. Normally, by that time, the exploration people would be queued up for aircraft service.
The largest Yukon transportation firm had only a skeleton fleet of diesels trickling the gravel network of roads. White Pass and Yukon Route laid off 90 per cent of the 133 drivers, and a total lay off of 287 employees.
Five men were rehired to service at Whitehorse Copper and Cassiar Asbestos when the two mines returned to work in late summer; however, it’s expected to take time to regain full mining operations.
White Pass ship and train schedules slackened. Ships sail the west coast from Vancouver to Skagway, Alaska with commodities destined the 110-miles farther to Whitehorse by White Pass narrow-gauge rail.
The Chamber of Commerce has been beating the bushes for answers to the economic strife. Local entrepreneurs reported a 15 per cent reduction in business, and blamed the decrease in their profits on the labor situation in the mining industry.
However, tourism was also down considerably this summer.
The Chamber president said, “We’re at a loss as to what to do. It’s a delicate situation. Hopefully, the unions and managements can get started on some meaningful dialogue.”
It’s virtually impossible to estimate accurately a figure of revenue loss in the territory, especially through taxes lost in unpaid wages and the congealment of cash flow to the retail market. However, one of the largest sources of income to the territory is through fuel taxes. A half million has been lost from the trucks that are being mothballed and aren’t bringing in the 16 cents per gallon road tax.
Regardless of when industry resumes full-speed-ahead productivity, it’s predicted to take two years to wash away the stickiness after being in the jam jar.
Merv Miller said, “Even when the economy rolls again, there’ll be a long-term impact for both government and industry.” The assistant commissioner said he thinks labor and management must reach the common denominator goal — earning money. But returning to work still squabbling with each other won’t solve anything, he remarked.
“Mines shouldn’t take all the blame,” Mr. Miller continued. “The economy peaked in July last year and has been on a plateau since that time.”
He said, “There’s little we can do now, except wait.”
The territorial government is waiting to the tune of $150 thousand per month direct revenue losses.
Dr. Jack Hibbard, a member of the Yukon’s legislative assembly (MLA), said, “The Yukon can’t withstand the pressure of the work stoppage any longer. If legislation is the route, let’s take it.”
But he’s apprehensive that legislation will further alienate labor, management and the Anti-Inflation Board.
He suggested that Commissioner Art Pearson make representation to the federal government, unions and mine managements. The Commissioner will be sitting in on negotiations as a non-partisan observer to obtain original information, instead of the second-hand knowledge that has been prevalent in the past.
Dr. Pearson was appointed Commissioner by the Liberal government and succeeded James Smith in July.
Faro union members said they’d quit if forced back to work by legislation, and threatened that the Yukon wouldn’t be able to hire tradesmen under the current rates.
“Cassiar’s getting more an hour than we are,” complained one United Steelworker member at Faro. Cassiar went back to work with a base wage of $7.30 an hour.
In March, at a United Steelworkers mining conference in Whitehorse, a personal contest developed between two local presidents.
Bob Yorke and Stu McCall, the meeting chairman, had a succinct discussion over which union local would get the highest contract in the shortest negotiating time.
Mr. Yorke, USW local president at Cassiar, said, “Cassiar’s not worried about matching Faro. We’re going to do it in less than nine months. We’ll do it in two months.”
He asked that all unions stick together to ensure good contracts for all mines.
At Faro for six years, Mr. McCall, who’s recently resigned as local president, turns the Yukon’s economy on and off like a faucet. The Englishman, also an elected member of the Yukon’s legislative assembly, was a machinist in the paper trade before coming to Canada.
“I don’t like mining,” he said. His plans are to stay until the mine’s finished to be sure that development is done properly.
“The mining industry is immature,” he commented. “It takes risks, gambles, and is financially greedy. That makes it difficult to fight inflation in the North, because of that greed from top to bottom.”
Mr. McCall said that the company had intended to shut the mine down for the winter anyway — strike or not.
But spokesman for Cyprus Anvil, Barry Redfern, refuted the accusations. “We want to get the mine fully operational as soon as possible.”
Bob Hilker questioned the righteousness of 400 Steelworkers taking on the Anti-Inflation Board. The consulting geologist said, “It’s fishy!”
Mr. Hilker, with his Whitehorse firm, R.G. Hilker, Ltd., is vice-chairman of the local chapter of the CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy).
“Labor is getting too expensive,” he remarked. “It’s going to put Canada’s minerals out of the market.”
He said, “There’s no way the Yukoners can continue to pay revenue losses for a multi-million dollar industry. The Yukon needs legislation with teeth in it.”
He thinks provincehood may be the answer.
The undaunted Erik Nielsen, the Yukon’s Member of Parliament, continues tabling resolutions for Yukon provincial status in Parliament. This session will be no exception to the rule for Mr. Nielsen’s endeavors. As usual, resolutions aren’t expected to pass.
MLA Fred Berger said that the Yukon can raise only 80 per cent of the gross revenue needed to run the territory. Mr. Berger, leader of the Yukon’s NDP (New Democratic Party), said, “Provincial status is the wrong issue. It’s responsible government we want, the running of our day-to-day affairs.”
Commissioner Pearson is sympathetic to the concept of self-government for the Yukon. In November, the new commissioner will sit for the first time with the 12 elected members when the Yukon legislative assembly reconvenes.
Stay tune, as they say! The whole Yukon issue may be the survival of the fittest!
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