Save the Met Site Coalition Formed

January 14, 2010, 10:00 AM EST

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A Timmins, Ontario area coalition has been formed to fight for the 670 jobs at the Xstrata Kidd Metallurgical site, the many indirect jobs it supports and to stop Ontario's natural resources from being shipped out of the province.

Mayors from many Northern Ontario communities, union and business leaders, as well as concerned citizens have formed a coalition called the 'Save the Met Site Coalition.' The slogan 'Our Resources Remain Here' was selected at a closed door meeting January 11.

Xstrata Copper Canada announced December 7 it planned to permanently shut down its copper and zinc metallurgical plants at the Kidd Site in Hoyle in May 2010. CAW Local 599 represents 615 workers at the facility.

CAW Local 599 President Dennis Couvrette said there was tremendous support expressed at the January 11 meeting. "Everyone recognizes what this means to Timmins, the surrounding communities and the region."

"People from all walks of life are rallying to fight with us like I've never seen before," Xstrata Chairperson Ben Lefebvre. "I think we're going to win this battle!"

The public is being urged to come out in support and to get involved in the fight back. A public meeting is planned for the McIntyre Arena ballroom in Timmins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 17.

The coalition wants to make sure the Ontario government is held accountable for how its resources are developed. MP Charlie Angus also said there is a petition circulating that requests that the signed agreement between the federal government and Xstrata be made public.

"This is going to be because of the will of a region saying enough is enough," Angus, NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay, told the Timmins Daily Press.

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