United Steelworkers Statement on Recommendations of Coroner's Inquest into Lakeland Sawmill Explosion

BURNABY, BC  - Stephen Hunt, Director of the United Steelworkers District 3, released the following statement in response to the recommendations of the Coroner's Inquest into the Lakeland sawmill explosion:

"We thank the jury for their diligent work on a very difficult case. We are pleased with a number of recommendations that affirm actions that our union has been calling for, specifically an emphasis on the rights of workers - including the right to refuse unsafe work - and training for police on investigations of criminal negligence in workplace deaths.

"The recommendations also underscore the need for a public inquiry into the sawmill explosions to deliver on the promised accountability and justice for victims and their families. The Premier made that commitment; despite the fact that by its very nature an inquest is unable to provide it.

"A glaring example is the failure of the Inquest to assess the flawed investigation by WorkSafeBC and why the agency did not enforce safety regulations.

"There are now even more outstanding questions that need to be answered and British Columbians are left wondering how long they must wait until they are answered. This has been very hard on the families who lost loved ones, and at the very least, they deserve to see the Premier to live up to her government's commitment of justice for victims."

- 30 -

For further information:

Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director, 604-816-2554
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-313-9185, bwest@usw.ca

Press Inquiries

Thank You

Thank you for contacting us. We will try to get back to you in a timely manner.

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Shannon Devine
416-544-5946 or

Communications Department:
Nicole Desnoyers

Communications Department - Québec
Clairandrée Cauchy

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
234 Eglinton Ave. E., 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4P 1K7