Representatives of International Union of Operating Engineers and the Construction and Specialized Workers Union both claim HD Mining granted work permits for the Chinese after rejecting numerous Canadians with exemplary qualifications. The high court, however, sided with a decision by immigration authorities to allow the workers into the province.

HD Mining International praised the decision. “This is a complete vindication of our company,” HD Mining officials said in a statement, “but it has come at a great cost and raised significant questions in the international investment community.” Moreover, in months of litigation, the unions “made allegations in court and the media, which we frankly found appalling,” the statement said, citing a “political agenda” requiring a “Canadian court to reject these claims—it has taken a long time, but today is that day.”

Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Diane Finley issued a brief statement saying the government respects the court’s decision.