The Mayor of Colonsay says the future of his town is in limbo after the idling of the Mosaic potash mine indefinitely.
Jim Gray says the roughly 80 workers who have been laid off has forced businesses to close within the community. The only business that will remain in good shape is the Co-op as it sees highway traffic.
Gray said he can’t see the community returning to normal any time soon.
“We got about 20-24 houses in town that are affected by this and if you haven’t got money, you don’t get money,” Gray said. “I would say that it’s going to hurt for a long time. It’s starting to hurt already.”
Gray said the only way the town can recover is if people move to Colonsay.
“I think there’s 12 houses for sale, you’re not just going to sell them right away and get people in them,” Gray said. “These jobs that are being lost are high-priced jobs, and I don’t know where they’re going to find them to replace the money they’re losing.”
Gray said people not directly associated with the mine are feeling worried as well.
“Let’s face it; your neighbour just lost his job, you’re not going to be happy for him,” Gray said. “It’s just not a good thing, and I can’t see in the foreseeable future it ever starting up again.”
As for the the municipal government, Gray says the town is owed $100,000 in taxes that likely won`t be paid, and Colonsay will also be missing out on $50,000 in potash sharing revenue.