A sentencing hearing in the case of a 2009 fatal boiler explosion in Ottawa will go ahead without an independent report of current conditions inside Ottawa boiler plants.

Judge David Paciocco said Wednesday in court both the federal department and Crown lawyers have already agreed Public Works and Government Services will face the maximum fine of $300,000. The only outstanding issue is whether Public Works will also face probation, he said.

Last fall Public Works pleaded guilty to three Canada Labour Code health and safety violations in relation to the explosion.

On Oct. 19, 2009, one of six boilers exploded at the Cliff Central Heating and Cooling Plant, which sits along the shore of the Ottawa River near the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill.


Peter Kennedy, 51, was killed after the explosion on Oct. 19, 2009. (CBC)

Peter Kennedy, 51, was trying to reignite the boiler when the explosion happened and a steam tank burst. Kennedy suffered severe burns to 60 per cent of his body and he died in hospital early the next morning.

Two other workers were injured.

Wrangling over review of boiler operations

Sentencing was originally scheduled for today but it was delayed because the department and the Crown had not been able to agree on the hiring of an independent consultant to review current operation of boilers in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Public Works had recommended the hiring of SNC Lavalin for the independent review, but the Crown complained the company had a conflict of interest because it manages two of the eight boiler plants in Ottawa.

The study did not go ahead, but Paciocco said the proceedings have dragged on long enough and said sentencing will go ahead without the independent report.

In court on Wednesday, both sides argued over whether the federal department should be placed on probation, and if it is, who or what body would be in charge of enforcing the probation.

The court will resume July 10 to set a date for the sentencing.