·  Media release

Toronto City Council Endorses Stop the Killing Campaign

TORONTO - "This is a tremendous show of support for ending needless workplace deaths and injuries," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director. "Canada's largest city's near-unanimous vote to Stop the Killing sends a strong message to police and prosecutors dealing with workplace fatalities."

In a resounding show of support for workplace health and safety, Toronto city councillors voted 36-1 to endorse the USW campaign: Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law. Mayor Rob Ford was the only council member to vote against the motion for greater enforcement of the Westray law. To date, Mayor Ford is the only municipal politician in Canada to vote against a motion endorsing the campaign.

Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law is a USW campaign aimed at better enforcement of the Criminal Code amendments that hold corporations, their directors and executives criminally accountable for workplace death.

"We have the tools to save lives. Let's use them," said Mike Layton, City Councillor for Ward 19, sponsor of the motion. "Better enforcement will reduce the tragedy of worker deaths. That's why council supports Stop the Killing."

The motion passed by Toronto city council also will be forwarded to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which will be asked to support the national campaign.

The ‘Westray Law' was passed unanimously in Parliament a decade ago. It came in response to the horrific Westray coalmine explosion in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, that killed 26 miners on May 9, 1992, and after a strong lobby campaign to demand ‘No More Westrays.'

"One thousand workers die on the job every year. That's 9,000 Canadians who have been killed on the job since the Westray Law was passed, yet not one corporate executive has faced a single day in jail," said Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director. "We have never stopped fighting to ensure that families don't have to face the loss of a loved one."

Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law asks federal and provincial attorneys-general to take steps to enforce the Westray Law. The union has been making presentations to city councils across the country asking them to endorse the campaign.

Toronto City Council joins Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, in Ontario, Pictou County and Trenton in Nova Scotia and Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island municipalities in B.C. in endorsing the USW Stop the Killing campaign to end workplace death and injury.

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Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director, 416-243-8792
Sylvia Boyce, USW Health and Safety, 905-741-9830, sboyce@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, bgallagher@usw.ca

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