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The words “mining” and “mining town” are synonymous with this part of Canada.
But that’s not the case for the people of St. Albert.
The town of about 1,200 people is home to many of the most important jobs in Canada’s mining industry.
The most important job is mining itself.
A mining town, as it’s called, is a mining town and is an integral part of the economy.
The people of this area work in mines, dig out ore and ship it out to customers.
The jobs are often high paying, but also difficult and dangerous.
“It’s a really important job,” says Rick Oakes, who’s the president of the St. James, Alberta, Mining Association.
“There are hundreds of jobs here.”
Oakes says the mining industry’s contribution to St. Louis is huge.
“We’ve had a lot of job losses,” he says.
“Some of the companies that are losing a lot more than they’re making.”
Oaks says the industry employs about 6,000 people in the area, which is the largest in the province.
“I can tell you right now we have over 800 employees working in our mines and our mills,” he said.
The industry’s importance in St. Marys community is evident in the way it’s depicted in films and television.
“St. Mary’s is the mining town that everybody knows about,” says resident Terry Hagerty.
“Everywhere you look you see a miner’s head.”
Hagerts son is a former miner and has worked for the St Marys mining company for almost a decade.
“When he’s in there he’s always smiling and laughing and doing everything,” says Hagert.
“The biggest thing that people have in common is that they want to be here.”
The town also has its own television show, The St. Michael’s, hosted by former St. Thomas student and mining industry analyst David Karras.
Karres and his crew visit the mines and interview workers about their jobs.
The program has attracted attention for its interviews with the people who make the jobs in the mines.
“They’ve really been great to us,” Karrs says.
Karchan, a St. Paul native who’s also an analyst with Mining Reports, says he feels like he’s part of a larger story in St Louis.
“This is something that we’re all part of,” Karchany says.
He adds that he believes the industry has a good track record in St Mary’s.
“Everyone I know here is a miner,” Karpany says, “and they know the drill.”
It’s an industry that has a lot to offer.
The mining industry is booming in St Charles County, and the area is a magnet for tourists.
“If you go to a mine site in St Joseph County and you go up to the front door of the house you’ll see people wearing the mine jackets and they’re smiling and having a good time,” Krasher says.
It’s a job that can pay well.
“You’re talking about $100,000 dollars in earnings a year,” says Oakes.
“And if you do that right you can go to school for two years and earn that money,” says Karr.
The unemployment rate in St Paul is 6.7 per cent.
But some people are hoping the economic downturn can bring about a change in the industry.
“People here are just trying to make ends meet,” Kachnak says.
For Karr, the industry’s success is a blessing.
“For the next 20 years to come we’re going to see an economic boom here in St.”
Louis,” Karran says.