16 years old
The closures are affecting my friends. A lot of their parents work at the smelter and the refinery. Itâ€™s hard because weâ€™ve all been friends for a while, and the announcement got everyone shook up.
Thereâ€™s some talk about it at school. It kind of sucks. You just donâ€™t know if youâ€™re going to see your friends next year because their families might have to move. I donâ€™t know where theyâ€™ll all be by the time the smelter and refinery close down.
My friendsâ€™ parents are looking to get transferred or to move to Winnipeg, or to leave the province all together to find new jobs. It will mean all those friends will be separated and it will mean taking a trip to meet up with them again.
In school, lots of my friends have been taking chemistry and biology so theyâ€™d be able to work at Vale. Now you could say they feel different and just donâ€™t know for sure what theyâ€™ll do. The future feels iffy.
When all these people leave, Thompsonâ€™s not going to be the same. Itâ€™ll be deader around here. The largest city in Northern Manitoba will be a lot more like a ghost town.