Group takes [mining deaths] probe pitch north – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – March 4, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The Sudbury committee struck to lobby the province to conduct an inquiry into mining practices in Ontario will take its campaign on the road next month.

MINES (Mining Inquiry Needs Support) has been invited by United Steelworkers speak to its members in Timmins on March 24. Local 7850 members work for Goldcorp Porcupine and Hollinger mines.

Everyone’ Local 7850 The MINES committee formed after a United Steelworkers investigation into the June 8, 2011, deaths of two men at Vale’s Stobie Mine called for an inquiry to review an industry that hasn’t been under the microscope in 30 years.

Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, were killed while working at the 3,000-foot level of the century-old mine when they were overcome by a run of 350 tons of muck. The USW investigation found that excess water was a problem in the mine and that safety warnings by Chenier a day or two before the accident were not addressed.

Briana Fram, Jordan’s sister, is secretary of the committee chaired by her mother Wendy. MINES launched a postcard campaign last year to convince then Labour Minister Linda Jeffrey to order a mining inquiry.

Thousands of postcards were printed and sent to Queen’s Park, and Briana Fram said the committee has another 2,000 signed cards it is holding back until the new Labour minister, Yasir Naqvi, gets settled into the job.

MINES is stepping up the campaign with a petition on the website Change.organd a Facebook page, both designed to appeal to people outside Sudbury who believe it’s time to review the safety of mining.

For people the committee can’t reach with a postcard, “this is an excellent way to send their message and to show the ministry it’s not a local issue,” said Fram. “This is something the entire province supports.”

The petition may be signed by going to

A month after being established, more than 375 people have signed the petition.

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