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May 9th, 2019

NDP Statement on the 27th Anniversary of the Westray Mine Disaster

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP, made the following statement:

“Twenty-seven years ago today, 26 miners went to work underground at the Westray Mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia and never returned home to their families. Our thoughts are with the families and community impacted by this tragedy, in particular those still left without the justice they deserve.

Today, New Democrats honour the memory of those who lost their lives in this preventable workplace disaster. It is a solemn occasion for us all to reflect on what we learned that day – how poor oversight and disregarding worker safety can be a deadly combination.

The Westray Mine disaster was a catalyst for change in legislation that allows for the criminal prosecution of employers for negligence leading to workplace deaths.

Even today, almost 1,000 Canadian workers die on the job every year, and only a few charges have been laid. And only one prison sentence has been handed down.

We have a responsibility to do more.

Canadians have a right to know that they and their loved ones will be safe at work. New Democrats recognize this right and will continue to fight to improve workplace health and safety in Canada and ensure that laws protecting workers from accidents, illness, and death are enforced.”