Listen: Understanding 'Gender Impact' in Canadian Construction Work
"Might not say what is a gender lens have to do with building this new highway or this new pipeline or something. Well, there are gender impacts. When you bring construction workers into a rural area, there are social impacts that was last year and Buenos Aires, and you may remember some of the immediate reaction. We don't think that you need to have some kind of gender-based analysis when two thousand people come to create jobs to work to support hotels and restaurants as small businesses and families. It's unbelievable to watch. This prime minister refused to acknowledge that his arrogant and self righteous comments are an insult to tens of thousands of Canadians who work in construction in our communities across the country. Here's what that all comes down to whether or not you support pipelines and dams whether you think Justin Trudeau is a modern progressive example for the rest of us or a fake feminist who doesn't understand the real world. These construction projects which employ thousands of out of area workers for months at a time to have an impact on the communities that host, and yes, some of that is a positive contribution to the economy and local infrastructure, and yes, some of that is negative and when it gets bad it can get really bad. There are a couple of ways that we can measure these impacts one is with numbers, and that's being done. The other is the old fashioned way. You send a reporter he talks to everyone. And he tells us what he found today, we have both of those things. So we're going to try to answer the question. What are the real costs of Canada's worker camps? Jordan, heath Rawlings. And this is the big story. Kyle Edwards is a reporter from mcclain's who spent time at a massive worker camp enforce Saint John and British Columbia. Tell me why you went to fort Saint John. Well, it started in. I think it was August twenty eighteen there was this story out in Manitoba. After kind of this arm's length and agency provincial agency in Manitoba had released. A report they're called the clean environment commission, and they had released a report that had gained a lot of media. Attention, basically detailed allegations of sexual abuse. Dating back to the nineteen sixties at a work camp up in northern town called Gillam, which is just east of a city called Thompson Manitoba, right? And the it was involving several first nations communities one in particular was the FOX like creation, and there were members they kind of detailed these horrible issue. These horrible stories of sexual abuse at the hands of. Manitoba hydro workers one person in particular had said that the RCMP organized gangs back in the nineteen sixties. And so it was this very explosive report. I guess I guess you call it. And it it gained a lot of media attention in in Manitoba last year. And so we were talking about it at McLeans. And we want us to do a story we actually discussed the idea of doing a story on industrial camps last year around the time the report came out, and so that was kind of the time that was kind of when I started thinking about it. And I put in some f allies and started asking people if this was an issue that they're really concerned about and that took me to fourteen John which is where it's a city that is known for having a very large transient population. Which is which basically means there are workers that go there for work. What do we know about what happens these camps, or I guess what's kind of the? The popular stereotype around them. Because the the reports detailing what allegedly happened in Manitoba is not kind of the only one of its kind. Yes. So in thousand seventeen a report from this organization called or this consulting group called the Firelight group. They released a report that basically raised a bunch of warnings about when there's a particular camp near in an area by other communities. There's a increase in issues like sex trafficking in the sex trade. There's an increase RCMP data and the report showed that there was a thirty eight percent increase in reported sexual assaults in Saint James fourteenth, James BC in two thousand and eleven and there were other issues like an increase in S T is in a particular area as well as other concerns regarding rampant drug. Use in alcohol use in in in a lot of these camps. And this is has been really as I kind of looked into it a little bit more. This was something that a lot of people have a lot of scholars and academics. Researchers had they've kind of looked into this issue for many many years. Yeah. And and it just seemed like it was nothing new and a lot of people kind of knew that there were a lot of social impacts to industrial camps. So that's really kind of drove the story. So you went to Ford Saint John to essentially see what the situation was like on the ground, and and what kind of social construct springs up around these camps. Exactly enforcing John. There's a huge strain on. So there they call them. They call it the shadow population. A lot of people that's a term a lot of people use the province of British Columbia is not really sure how many people are going to northeastern BC for work who live. Who live elsewhere who reside permanently? Elsewhere, right, and one of the challenges with that is s- things like health services and social services, the those those sort of things are funded by the province based on the resident population, and without taking into consideration, the thousands and thousands of people that most nearly double the actual population. When I got there. A lot of women spoke about a lot of indigenous woman, I spoke to you spoke spoke a lot about racism and sexual harassment and use and it was kind of alarming. Really? So can you tell me about some of the people you met in fort Saint John and some of the stories you heard so I"