The Financial Post reports in its Tuesday edition that Northern miners have told the federal government that the wage subsidy program brought in to get the country through the COVID-19 pandemic leaves them out in the cold. A Canadian Press dispatch to the Post quotes the Yukon Chamber of Mines saying in a letter to Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, "We urgently request the federal government take the unique circumstances of Canada's North into account and ensure the companies active in its most important and largest private sector industry are provided the supports they need to survive." Tom Hoefer of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines said Monday that the program is a poor fit for the Northern mining industry. Mr. Hoefer points out that mining companies are squeezed between falling prices for commodities and increased COVID-19-related expenses. More than 1,200 northerners have been sent home to their remote communities, many still on the payroll. The biggest problem for the industry is the requirement to show a 30-per-cent loss in revenue from this time last year, since earnings can be uneven. Also, indigenous companies that service mines also have equally large seasonal income swings.
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