The Donkin area of Cape Breton is abuzz after learning that the owner of the Donkin mine is hiring, but many people are less than happy that Kameron Coal's first job fair was held not in Cape Breton, but in Alberta.
Kameron is looking to hire more than 100 skilled mineworkers. To that end, it set up a job fair this week in Grand Cache, Atla., where a mine recently closed.
Despite the location, Cape Breton regional Coun. Kevin Saccary said the company wants to hire Cape Bretoners.
"They indicated their target was former Cape Bretoners [who] worked in the Grande Cache mine and they were looking for those qualified individuals and hope to bring them back," he said.
Saccary, though, is one of many who hope for a local job fair too.
"I believe there should be a public process same as advertised in Grande Cache, Alberta," he said.
On the street, others agree.
"I think Cape Breton would be the choice for it with the mine right here," said Scott Buchanan.
And while Art Baxter was glad Kameron is looking for experienced miners, "There's experienced miners right here right on our own doorstep."
The Donkin mine was dug in the 1980s by the former Cape Breton Development Corporation, but was never operated and was eventually allowed to flood. It has changed owners a few times in recent years.
Kameron Coal is a subsidiary of American coal giant Cline Group. Since the Cline purchase, things have moved quickly. The mine is projected to begin operating in late spring.
The company says Cape Bretoners interested in working there can apply at the Gardiner Mining and Resources Ltd. office at the Peoples Mall in Glace Bay.