Charges could have been laid under the Westray Bill, which makes organizations criminally liable when they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries and deaths on their property.
Insp. Todd Zimmerman of the Greater Sudbury Police said police “conducted a thorough investigation, and we did not reach a threshold of criminality."
There was “no criminal negligence found on the behalf of anyone," he said.
Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier were killed when a run of muck unexpectedly came out of the ore pass close to where they were working at the 3,000-foot level of the mine, burying them and killing them instantly.
Bertrand said his union did an eight-month-long investigation, “and we found many disturbing facts about what went on at Stobie Mine.”
In the days before the accident, water had pooled in many areas of the mine, in some cases as much as four or five feet deep, partly because drain holes were plugged, the Steelworkers' report, which was released in February, said.
When too much water saturates the ore, this creates sticky muck, a mixture that can plug an ore pass.
Chenier, a supervisor at Stobie Mine, had erected double guardrails at the 2,450- and 2,600-foot levels of the mine to prevent miners from dumping any more ore into the ore pass.
These guardrails were removed under management's direction and reinstalled up to three times over the course of two days, the report said.
Chenier also sent two emails to his supervisors, telling them that the company should not be dumping in the ore pass until the water situation was under control.
Steelworkers investigators believe the miners were in the process of trying to clear the blockage in the ore pass when the accident occurred.
“There's many facts that we found, and to hear that there won't be any criminal charges is just unbelievable,” Bertrand said.
He said he plans to meet with the Crown attorney who worked with police in the investigation to see why they decided against laying any charges.
“I need more understanding on why wouldn't charges be laid, and how did the police and the Crown determine that,” Bertrand said.
Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said in an email statement the decision not to pursue charges “is one that is supported by our own internal investigation,” which was released in January.
“While we are satisfied with this decision, it doesn't minimize the loss experienced by our community, and most importantly, by the Chenier and Fram families,” she said.
“The best way to honour the memories of Jordan and Jason is to continue to ensure control measures are put in place across our operations to ensure this kind of tragedy is never repeated. That remains our focus.”
After the Steelworkers released their report, they also asked for an inquiry to be held into the state of mining. The province has since stated it's not currently planning to launch such an inquiry.
The union also requested that charges be laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Fifteen Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against Vale and supervisor Keith Birnie were laid May 31, and are currently working their way through the court system.
Meanwhile, Greater Sudbury Police said it will only get involved again with the case in the event of a coroner's inquest, "which we assume will take place, but is directed by the Chief Coroner's Office," Zimmerman said.
With files from Arron Pickard