The Westray Bill was created as a result of the 1992 Westray coal mining disaster in Nova Scotia where 26 miners were killed after methane gas ignited causing an explosion, and allows criminal charges to be laid against companies.
But no criminal charges were laid against Vale under the provisions of the bill for the 2011 deaths of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier at Stobie Mine.
“A run of muck happens when a torrent of water and ore flood the drift where they were working,” Gravelle said during what’s called a late show debate in Parliament, asked for by a MP unsatisfied by a government answer in Question Period.
“I suggest it is time this government stopped mucking around with workers’ safety.”
Gravelle quoted a Facebook note from Chenier’s mom, Barb Staszak, noting she found “as time passes on, people forget and life does go on and that is what those companies and government count on, the silence and forgetting.”
“If a law is on the books and it is not enforced, then no wonder the companies ignore it,” Gravelle said.
“Is this what the Conservative government is choosing – silence, and forgetting the Westray Law?”