Mines safety review hearings underway in Sudbury

The mines safety review comes after the Steelworkers and families pushed the government for an inquiry in the wake of mine workers' deaths.

The mines safety review committee will hear from the public in Sudbury today.

The panel was formed after pressure from the Steelworkers Union, and the families of two men killed on the job in 2011.

Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier died in a slide of mud and rocks at the Stobie Mine. Their deaths didn't spark the first call for safety reform, however.

Lyle Dufoe was killed at the Kidd Creek Mine in Timmins in 2007 when his tram fell down a hole.

His parents unsuccessfully petitioned the government to review safety.

Laurentian School of Northern Development labour studies professor Reuben Roth said the mines review committee has unionized representatives on the panel — but there is no one for the non-unionized workers like those at Kidd Creek.

“They absolutely deserve to be heard, to have a voice at this review,” he said.

“But there is no process of selecting or compensating non-union employees who would want to be represented at this review.”

But Roth said they will still reap the benefits of any safety reform.

Dufoe said he doesn't know if safety standards would have been higher if the mine had been unionized, but he continues to fight for a safe workplace for all.

“If I can help save a life, I've done a good job,” he said.

“Every person should be able to go to work and come home. And make a half decent living working. But the hazards in the workplace have to be taken care of.”

The mines review committee will meet at the Holiday Inn in Sudbury today (Wednesday) at 2:30 p.m. An evening session will be held at 6 p.m. To make a presentation, people have to be pre-registered.

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