Media Release: Momentum grows in Timmins for an investigation into Ontario mine safety

March 25, 2013

New chapter of MINES (Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone’s Support) established in Timmins and new website revealed: www.mininginquiry.com

(Timmins, March 25, 2013) Wendy and Briana Fram, mother and sister of Jordan Fram who was killed in an underground accident two years ago, led a delegation of seven Sudburians to meet with Timmins citizens equally concerned about the lack of attention being paid to mine safety legislation in Ontario.

The approximately 40 attendees in McIntyre arena heard from the Sudbury MINES delegation that there have been eight mining deaths since 2011 in the province and that the core piece of Ontario mining legislation has not had a major overhaul in 35 years. They also explained that inquest recommendations tied to miners’ deaths do not seem to make a difference or get acted upon.

MINES co-chair Jodi Blassuti also described how changes in the speed, volume and mechanization of mining are at odds with the now outdated legislation.

Speakers from Timmins included friends and relatives of miners killed or injured on the job, MP Charlie Angus and representatives of the United Steelworkers (USW).

As a summary of the messages of all the speakers, Briana Fram observed, “We all know mining is a dangerous business which makes an important contribution to this province’s economy. Miners and their families deserve the respect and protection of up-to-date and appropriate safety legislation.”

Before the meeting ended, the decision was made to elect an interim chair for MINES Timmins. The interim chair will be supported by eight board members.

Both the Sudbury MINES chapter and newly formed Timmins group are planning to travel to Northwestern Ontario, perhaps Red Lake or Thunder Bay, in the near future. Plans to meet in Kirkland Lake were also discussed. Briana observed that, “We have been successful in educating people about the problem and the need for reforms. Just last week the issue was brought up in Question Period at Queen’s Park by NDP MPP Michael Mantha, and I believe the Wynne government and her Ministers have been paying more attention in recent weeks. MINES is all about getting the problem fixed and together we can do this.”

In Briana’s closing comments she reminded the crowd about the new website www.mininginquiry.com and asked them to sign the online resolution. She thanked the people who had donated time and money to make the meeting a success. She also thanked MP Charlie Angus, the President of the USW Local 7580, Health and Safety Leader for USW National Gerry LeBlanc, the many USW members in attendance, the crowd of interested and concerned citizens, and of course the new board of MINES Timmins.

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For more information or to schedule interviews, contact:

Briana Fram, Secretary, MINES Committee, 705-562-5940
OntarioMiningInquiry@gmail.com
www.mininginquiry.com

MINES (Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone’s Support) Committee has been established to protect those working in the mining industry and to prevent further fatalities. It is has been 35 years since the last inquiry was completed.

TOGETHER WE STAND AS A COMMUNITY, NEIGHBOURS, FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES AND URGE THE GOVERNMENT TO COMMISSION AN INQUIRY INTO ONTARIO MINES.

NOW IS THE TIME.

MINES Committee is urging the government to call an inquiry for the following reasons:
• No public review or update of the Mining Health and Safety Act has occurred in over 35 years.
• There have been eight deaths in Ontario mines since 2011.
• Changes in workplace safety have not kept up with changes in technology.
• Ownership of the mining sector has become international.
• Environmental issues have been identified in workplace disease and community health from mining operations.
• Need for review of relevant legislation and criminal liability in the workplace.
• Recommendations made from inquests and investigations in previous deaths or accidents are not established as policies in all workplaces.

Images from Timmins meeting available upon request.

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