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Smelter death highlights need for review: Horwath

By: Jonathan Migneault - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Apr 10, 2014 - 12:43 PM |
NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she was concerned public consultations for the Ministry of Labour's mining health and safety review have not been properly advertised. File photo.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she was concerned public consultations for the Ministry of Labour's mining health and safety review have not been properly advertised. File photo.

NDP asks for review to be well-resourced

The workplace death of Vale millwright Paul Rochette on Sunday has highlighted the continued need for the Ministry of Labour's ongoing review of mining health and safety, said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in an interview with NorthernLife.ca today.

“Yes, this most recent incident does highlight that there continues to be a real safety problem in mining, but let's not forget there have been a lot of changes in the mining sector over those 30 years,” she said.


Horwath said the review needs more resources to reach out to mining communities and hear from a wide array of mining stakeholders.

“When we found out there had been no advertising, no promotion, nothing with the Timmins and Kirkland Lake meetings we were shocked,” Horwath said about the review's early consultations.

“How do you conduct a mining review and not invite mining families, miners and community people from mining towns in to have that discussion?”

During the first mining review public consultation in Sudbury, Myles Sullivan, the United Steelworkers' area co-ordinator for northeastern Ontario, brought up the same concerns.

George Gritziotis, the mining review's chair and Ontario's chief prevention officer, responded that the Ministry of Labour contacted local media to advertise the public consultations in those communities.

Gritziotis added that all stakeholders had a responsibility to get the word out about the review.

While both the NDP and the United Steelworkers called for a mining inquiry, instead of a review, Horwath said she will wait and what recommendations come out of the review before passing judgment.

“We're certainly going to give the review a chance and see what comes of it,” she said.

The mine safety review has a mandate to focus on six main topics: the role of health and safety system partners; the internal responsibility system; technology and the management of change; training, skills and labour issues; health and safety hazards in the mining sector; and emergency preparedness and mine rescue.

The review will recommend amendments to government regulations where appropriate.
Jonathan Migneault

Jonathan Migneault

Staff Writer

@jmigneault

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