The first Nova Scotian charged under the so-called Westray Bill won't make his first court appearance until January. 

Elie Hoyeck is charged with criminal negligence causing death in connection with an explosion that killed his employee Peter Kempton two years ago.

Kempton was a mechanic at the auto shop run by Hoyeck called Your Mechanic Auto Corner. Defence lawyer Joel Pink is representing the 41-year-old Milford man. Pink appeared in court Tuesday to set a date for the next court appearance. 

The Westray Bill, used to charge Hoyeck, targets employers in cases where workers have been killed or injured. 

Alex Keaveny is the prosecution lawyer in the case. Keaveny said Hoyeck is the first Nova Scotian charged under the bill, which became law in 2004. 

"The law around criminal negligence — there aren't a lot of reported cases," Keaveny said. "So this, like any case, has the potential to answer some of those legal questions."

Peter Kempton's two daughters were in court for Tuesday's proceedings. 

"They understand it's going to be a long process," Keaveny said of Kempton's family. 

Hoyeck is scheduled to appear in Dartmouth court Jan. 11. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Elie Hoyeck is the first person charged under the Westray Bill. In fact, Hoyeck is the first Nova Scotian charged under it.
    Oct 06, 2015 3:25 PM AT