Fram brings [mine safety] message to Timmins – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – March 25, 2013)

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

TIMMINS — The shadow cast by the McIntyre No. 11 shaft headframe is a long one, encompassing the life, history and culture of this city.

Less than a kilometre away, a small, humble miner’s memorial may cast an even longer shadow over this Northern Ontario mining community. Etched in marble are the names of the miners who lost their lives in the cold and unforgiving darkness found in the stopes and drifts thousands of feet under-ground.

It was fitting then, that in the shadow of these monuments, a grieving Sudbury woman brought the issue of mine safety to Timmins, hoping to spur the kind of change that saves lives.

“My brother Jordan was 26 years old when he passed away at Stobie Mine (in Sudbury) on Oct. 8, 2011,” said Briana Fram. “He was a miner for a number of years and he was a huge part of our family. He was a great man and when he passed away, it broke all of our hearts and we knew there was something that had to be done.”

Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier, 35, died when they were buried by tonnes of muck — mine water and rock — at the Vale mine.

As a result of their deaths and others, Briana Fram and other families who have lost a loved one underground formed the Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone’s Support (MINES) committee.

MINES is calling for a provincial inquiry to look at both the health and safety sides of mining, something that would have ramifications for employees in all workplaces. So far, the provincial government has refused to call one.

“On Oct. 11, 2012, we established the MINES committee,” said Fram, the secretary treasurer for MINES. “From there we have been working on bringing our message across Ontario, driving home the point that change needs to happen now.”

For now, MINES is based in Sudbury, but Fram and her committee want to develop chapters in other mining communities across the province, while appealing to Queen’s Park for change.

“Last Thursday, our cause and our concerns were mentioned in the halls of government,” said Fram. “The government announced they do support our committee, which means that we are making progress in our fight to take a sincere look at the outdated health and safety laws, practices and procedures that haven’t been changed since the Hamm Commission in 1978.”

MINES supporters say 35 years later, Hamm Commission’s findings are outdated because mining has changes, with new technology and new methods.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: