OTTAWA – On the 20th anniversary of the deadly Westray explosion that killed 26 miners in Nova Scotia, the Canadian Labour Congress has released a guide for investigating corporate criminal negligence in the workplace.
“Parliament passed legislation in 2004 holding employers criminally liable if they willfully fail to protect the lives and safety of their workers, but the provinces and territories hardly ever enforce that law,” says Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “The guide that we have written provides practical information to police about how they can do that.”
Following the Westray mine explosion in 1992, the labour movement worked tirelessly in lobbying Parliamentarians. Bill C-45 made amendments to the Criminal Code, but since they came into effect in 2004 only two provinces have used them to lay charges.
“The intentions of Parliament and the language of the amendments is clear, but the enforcement is lax and that has to change,” says Hassan Yussuff, CLC Secretary-Treasurer. “If an employer willfully neglects health and safety, knowing that someone can be injured or killed, they should be held criminally responsible. Our guide shows how that can be done.”
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Contact: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: Tel: 613-526-7431.
Cell/text: 613-878-6040. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org