No criminal charges against Vale angers union head
Charges relate to deaths of miners at Stobie mine in 2011
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 7:23 AM ET
Last Updated: Sep 14, 2012 3:28 PM ET
United Steelworkers local president Rick Bertrand is angry that criminal charges will not be laid against Vale in connection with the death of two miners.
Last June, Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier died after they were buried by rock at Stobie Mine. The miners' deaths sparked several different investigations, including one by Sudbury police into possible criminal charges under what's known as the Westray provision, where company officials can be held responsible for unsafe working conditions.
Friday, Sudbury Police announced their investigation was complete and no crime was committed.
Bertrand said the union conducted its own investigation and reached a different conclusion about charges.
"The investigation that we did, we just don't see any reason why there wouldn't be any,” Bertrand said.United Steelworkers Local 6500 president Rick Bertrand said he will meet with the Crown to find out why criminal charges are not being laid against nickel mining giant Vale in relation to the deaths of two miners last year. (CBC)
“Under the Westray Bill, the Canadian Criminal code was amended to make [it a] criminal offence to ignore workers’ health and safety … and in this case, that's what happened."
Bertrand said the union's investigation revealed that Chenier had informed management about safety concerns at the mine.
He said he's going to request a meeting with the Crown to find out why criminal charges won't be laid.
Vale, along with staff supervisor Keith Birnie, still face provincial charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act — a case that is currently working its way through the courts.
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