As you are aware, there have been several mining tragedies in the north, including in our hometown of Sudbury.
The consequences of mining accidents affect us all and have had devastating effects on our community. Each time a workplace accident occurs, the repercussions ripple throughout the job site, the company, the union, the affected families and into society as a whole.
Decisions have been made in Toronto that negatively impact the health and safety of our local miners. Little respect for our need is being demonstrated. Worse, there has been no support provided to surviving family members who are asking for answers.
There appears to be no intention of making improvements to the mining industry in the north.
Many of us in the community are extremely concerned about health and safety in the mining industry. Some of us are miners, some of us employed in other industries, but feel passionately about the issue of health and safety.
Some of us are family and friends of miners who have lost their lives to workplace tragedy. Together, we are united in our solidarity and believe that stronger actions need to be taken in order to prevent further injury and loss of life.
We are writing to you today to invite you to a public forum which will take place Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. At the Steelworkers Hall. Our forum will include members of the community at large and members of families impacted by injury and accidental death. Gerry Lougheed Jr. will be chairing the event.
The purpose of the forum is to discuss the request for a mining inquiry for Ontario while respecting the legal processes of a coroner’s inquest and the Ministry of Labour’s investigation.
Each time a workplace injury or accident occurs, there are consequences for mining companies, from work stoppages and formal investigations, to injury of employees and loss of life. Simply put, we believe that we can make a difference.
The benefits of working together – industry and community – cannot be understated. Together, we can effect positive change. We realize we cannot undo accidents that have already occurred, nor can we reverse the damage to individuals who have suffered injuries, nor can we hope to make whole the families who have lost their child, their spouse, their sibling or their parent to a mining tragedy.
While we cannot undo what has happened, we do have the will, the ability and the power to turn the lessons learned through loss into positive change for the future.
By working together, we can approach health and safety in a proactive manner. If by working together we prevent even one future injury or accident, we will have reason to celebrate.
As community members, your presence at this meeting will be noticed. Your knowledge, experience and input is extremely valuable to the process as we move forward in our shared goal of improving health and safety in the industry. We welcome your participation at this forum.