May 9th, 2023
NDP Statement on the 31st anniversary of the Westray mine disaster
NDP MP Matthew Green (Deputy Labour critic) made the following statement:
“On the 31st anniversary of the Westray Mine Disaster, let's remember the 26 miners who lost their lives due to a preventable workplace tragedy. Their lives were cut short, and the devastating event forever changed their families and communities.
The Westray Mine disaster was a catalyst for change in legislation, the Westray Act. It created a legal framework for workplace health and safety and imposed serious penalties, including criminal prosecutions, on employers whose negligence led to workplace deaths. But still - to this day - the Liberals have not taken the proper steps to educate law enforcement on enforcing the act and as a result, few employers are being held accountable.
Nearly 1,000 workers die on the job each year. Hundreds of thousands of claims for lost time due to workplace injuries are made each year. This is shameful. We have a responsibility to workers and their families to do more, and ensure employers are taking every step possible to prevent deaths and injuries.
The Westray Act finally needs to start being enforced because when a worker is killed on the job - it’s not an accident, it’s a crime. And New Democrats will continue to honour the 26 miners who lost their lives by keeping up the fight for safe working conditions for all Canadians.”