Best On-Call Mining Services Company 2023 – Western Canada

Bears Paw

Established in 2006, Bearspaw Contracting (BPC) exists to help people, especially young workers, to gain the skills they need to secure jobs in the mining industry, while providing clients such as its primary partner, Teck Coal with skilled work and reliable service. In light of the company’s success within the Canadian Business Awards 2023, we learn more about its offering.

Ian Benson co-founded Bearspaw Contracting after 18 years of working within the mining industry. He began his career as haul truck driver, moving on to mine rescue, to being on the blasting crew, and finally in the processing plant – meaning he has extensive experience of all things coal mining. Ian also owned and operated several local businesses over these years.

It was in the mid-2000s that Ian opted to share his vast expertise of the industry with future generations by co-founding what would soon evolve into dynamic labour company, Bearspaw Contracting, offering a variety of outstanding services. Speaking of the work the company does, Ian says, “Our goal is to maintain a high level of labour services to our clients. As well, provide opportunities for our employees to experience the new industrial setting to further their employment careers.”

He adds, “We take pride in training our young and new workers to this industrial/heavy equipment environment.”

BPC has in almost two decades gone from hiring eight employees to around 165 at its peak, all of whom receive complete training and skills development, opportunities for advancement, and a full benefit package. Its people have the opportunity to work in picturesque, often remote locations, making it the perfect line of work for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hunting, fishing, and everything that the Elk Valley and Southern Alberta have to offer.

All that is required from an individual to join the team at BPC is a good work ethic, a positive attitude, and the ability to work physically. The company is always training new workers to provide a wide range of 24/7 on-call labour services specific to the mining industry at some of the world’s largest coal mines. Specifically, these services include assessment, monitoring, and stand-by rescue in confined spaces; fire watch; industrial cleaning; and janitorial services.


Confined Space

Employees at BPC receive certified confined space training, enabling them to work safely in tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, and pipelines. These areas aren’t necessarily designed for people, although they can accommodate workers to perform certain tasks, and they often only have one-way entry and exit, so this is why it is important to be trained to work in these spaces.


Fire Watch

Hot work such as welding or grinding can produce sparks, which can ignite fire – especially in areas where methane gas is present. BPC trains and provides vigilante fire watch personnel to observe the location, and if hazards arise, they can extinguish the fire and follow industry procedures to make sure everybody onsite is safe.


Industrial Cleaning

The BPC team are also trained to deliver comprehensive cleaning services to efficiently remove dust, dirt, rust, and grime on equipment prior to routine maintenance and/or repair. A proper pre-clean can make it safer and easier for technicians to perform their tasks, and can also extend the life of equipment and machinery.


Janitorial Services

Lastly, BPC’s trained people help clients to maintain safe, healthy working environments by providing an array of services in the form of general cleaning, laundry services, conveyor belt cleaning, and cleaning of highly mechanised areas.

BPC remains keen to continue bringing more recruits on board, with Ian stating, “We are always accepting resumes as we take great pride in creating opportunities for people from all over, an opportunity to expand a career they may not even know is there for them.

“Our goal is to entice new people to our area to experience a new industry with vast opportunities for everyone.”

Of course, as BPC’s team members complete their work, it is of the utmost importance that they know how to keep themselves and others safe. Every project is closely assessed and employees undergo regular and ongoing training on industry standard safety procedures.

Meanwhile, alongside the company’s devotion towards training young people and delivering top-notch services, it also has a passion for helping the community. With the belief that success should be shared, BPC’s “Community First” Society (BPCCFS) ( was formed, a non-profit charitable trust which assists with important projects for community betterment in the Elk Valley. These projects include but are not limited to covering health, education, and community.

The Society’s core event is an annual golf tournament and fundraiser, which last year raised an incredible $300k for Angel Flight East Kootenay ( and the Elk Valley Safe Homes.

Ultimately, it’s easy to see how Bearspaw Contracting has come to achieve such success within the Canadian Business Awards 2023, with its extraordinary commitment towards giving back, whether it’s in the form of providing employment opportunities or its charitable contributions.

If you are interested in employment with Bearspaw Contracting, or if its services could help you, please get in touch.

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