Employee Profile: Christopher Catholic
Keeping people and property safe and secure is an important part of any industrial site, and security personnel are often the first people met by visitors. Working at a remote mine site, such as Cigar Lake Mine in Northern Saskatchewan, adds a unique aspect to this role. Beyond the friendly wave at the front gate (or not so friendly, depending on your purpose at the site), and the marked mobile patrol that provides a highly visible deterrent, there are people working hard behind the scenes that helps keep a site secure and running smoothly. One of these people is Christopher Catholic, a Site Security Supervisor from Black Lake.
Christopher has spent his entire life living in Black Lake, and has many friends and family who live there. “The best part of living in Black Lake is the people,” he says, “It’s a small community, but there’s so much family, cousins, people you grew up with.” Being able to live in his home community is very important to Christopher. Through his position with Athabasca Basin Security, Christopher has found a rewarding, long- term career that allows him to support his family and participate in his community and in traditional activities. “I love spending time with my girlfriend Joanne and my two daughters Cheyenne and Joanna,” he says, “and also hunting and fishing with my buddies is fun and helps save lots of money, which is important because groceries are so expensive here. I work one and one (one week in and one week out) and work is close to home, so I have time for all that and can support my family too.”
For a man living in a small remote community, Christopher has a job that’s fairly close to home. A twenty-minute drive takes him to Stony Rapids, and from there, a half hour flight takes him to Cigar Lake, where Christopher stays at a camp for the weeks that he is working. “It’s really close, and the camp has everything you need,” he says, “and the week goes by quick. But during my weeks off, spending time with my girlfriend and my girls, my week goes by even quicker!”
Christopher started with Athabasca Basin Security back in 2009 as a casual employee at McClean Lake. With his hard work ethic, he was quickly moved to a full time position at Cigar Lake in 2010, and has been supervising for the past three years. “I review what the other guards do,” he says of his current role, “I oversee my guards, ensure they are doing their jobs properly and following procedures, correcting what they do, teaching them.”
Looking into the future, Christopher plans to stay with Athabasca Basin Security. “Themcompany I work for is great,” he says, “I plan to do the best I can, and keep working for this company for a long time.” He would also recommend his career path to others. Unlike many security companies, Athabasca Basin Security offers benefits and pension plans to security officers, as well as ongoing training to help employees advance, which has lead to the company having many long term employees in an industry known for its high turnover. “I really want to encourage others in the region to take courses like WHMIS, First Aid, Security and your drivers licence, and then apply for a job here,” he says. “We try to look for people from the region and we do
work in the region. There’s often job openings in casual; that’s how I started. But it’s a great start.”
Since 2002, Athabasca Basin Security has provided the Canadian mining industry’s top companies with a full range of industrial security services in some of the country’s most remote areas. For more information, visit www.basinsecurity.com