OHS vacancies blamed on labour market woes

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Natural Resources Notebook

The issue of a lack of occupational health and safety (OHS) officers in Labrador, with positions vacant for three years, has been raised twice now in the House of Assembly since the start of the fall session — first by Liberal MHA Randy Edmunds and, on Tuesday afternoon, by NDP Leader Lorraine Michael.

Xiuli Wang was invited to speak at a luncheon event at Holiday Inn in St. John’s Nov. 4, addressing the topic of natural gas transport. Wang’s presentation was part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers distinguished lecturer series.
— Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

On Tuesday, Minister of Service Newfoundland and Labrador Dan Crummell pointed, once again, to labour market issues in Labrador as the reason why — the same region where private mining companies and the province’s own Crown corporation have been hiring.

“The labour market in Labrador, we know how hot that is right now. We are not the only government agency or organization that has seen these kinds of difficulties, but we do have people on the ground on a regular basis,” he said.

Crummell said inspections provincewide “have gone up phenomenally” in the last decade. “The incident rates in the workplace have gone down by 50 per cent since 2003 because of this increase in inspections,” he said.


Proof is in the ... scaffolding?

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Nov. 4, Clyde Jackman made mention of the Progressive Conservative government’s encouragement for women to enter non-traditional fields of employment, particularly in the natural resource sectors.

Jackman offered a pair of examples of the result.

“One I heard last night, of a young 30-year-old female ... she is a single, young woman who is a welding tech inspector who is in the business right now of purchasing a $300,000 home, and she did not need anyone to co-sign for her, or anything else. She is standing on her own, Mr. Speaker,” he said.

“Mr. Speaker, another example, the second example, is a young lady who is a pipefitter. I was sitting down the other day and she was sitting down, and she pulled this handful of stuff out of her pocket. I said: ‘What are those?’ She said: ‘Those are some of the connectors that we use in scaffolding.’ I am thinking this is very different from the situation for young women 20 years ago. Think about where we have come.”


New CFO at Vulcan

Sharon Dunn officially stepped into her new role as chief financial officer for Vulcan Minerals on Nov. 6.

A chartered accountant operating a public practice in St. John’s, Dunn is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan.

Dunn takes over from Dawn Bishop, who has departed as Vulcan’s CFO after five years. The departure was to pursue other career opportunities, according to a company statement.


On the shale revolution

Dr. Xiuli Wang, the vice-president and chief technology officer of XGas — a natural gas conversions and transportation company in Houston, Texas — spoke on the topic of natural gas transport at a luncheon event in St. John’s on Nov. 4.

Her address was delivered as part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers distinguised lecturer series and provided insights on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas-to-liquids markets.

Wang described the United States as the new player in LNG, poised for further growth. In 2010, she said, LNG accounted for about 23 per cent of total gas production in the United States. It now stands at approximately 30 per cent of the total and is forecast to reach about 49 per cent of the total. “So it’s very interesting we still call shale gas unconventional gas,” she said.


The Natural Resources Notebook

is compiled by reporter Ashley Fitzpatrick.

Do you have news from the resource sectors?

Let us know at afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com.



Organizations: Vulcan Minerals, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan.Dunn Society of Petroleum Engineers

Geographic location: Labrador, United States, Houston, Texas

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