MARYSTOWN, NL— Travis Hann, a journeymen pipefitter from the Burin Peninsula said that in order for him to consider returning to the province full-time he needs steady employment.
“The last time I had steady employment in the province was from September 2013 to December 2015 on the Hebron DSM project at Cow Head," he told The Southern Gazette on April 12. “It's 2018 now - so almost three years.”
Hann, who is currently working in Grande Prairie, Alta., said it boggles his mind that government officials are having trouble seeing why people are leaving.
“Our unemployment rate is among the worst in Canada,” he said, “if not the worst.”
Hann said that a contract awarded to Kiewit Offshore Services, that could have meant employment for a number of people from the region is instead being carried out at Kiewit’s facility in Texas.
“That simply ain’t good enough,” he said. “The topsides could have been built in Marystown and Bull Arm. It would have provided a major boost to the economy and it would have closed thousands of EI claims with people back to work.”
Hann feels that something has to change in Newfoundland and Labrador if government hopes to retain skilled trades people, “or the province will be faced with a lot of people moving away.”
He said he left home on Feb. 1 to move to Grande Prairie where he is employed with Industrial Metalwork.
Hann, who was getting ready to fly back to Newfoundland for 12 days, was looking forward to spending some time with his wife Crystal and their two children.
“I can't wait,” he said.
"It’s a hard way of life but there’s nothing home and they need to be fed, clothed and have a roof over their heads.”