[Mining] Inquiry ‘the right thing’ – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – May 2, 2013)

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

Ontario’s NDP leader repeated her call for a public inquiry into mine safety during Question Period on Wednesday.

“Nearly two years ago, Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier were buried in a run-of-muck accident at the Sudbury Stobie mine,” Andrea Horwath told the provincial legislature. “Their families are still waiting for answers about why they died in a preventable accident.

“When will the premier do the right thing and call a public inquiry into this tragedy so that no more lives are lost on the job?”

In response, Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi stopped short of calling an inquiry. He told the legislature that he and Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle met last week with Fram’s mother, Wendy.

He said he and Gravelle committed to working with Wendy Fram “to ensure that we are taking steps that no other sons or daughter are lost in a mining accident in our province.” Chenier, 35, and Fram, 26, died June 8, 2011, when they were struck by tons of rock and water. Vale and a super visor have been charged in connection with their deaths.

Since the deaths, the union representing Vale miners in Sudbury, the Steelworkers, and family members have pushed for a public inquiry into mine safety in the province.

They are part of a group called MINES — Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone’s Support — that has collected thousands of signatures on a petition asking the provincial government to call for an inquiry.

On Sunday, Hor wath attended Day of Mourning ceremonies in Sudbury, where she announced the NDP would support the call for an inquiry.

“The miners who earn their living underground in this province deser ve peace of mind and their families deserve peace of mind,” Horwath told the legislature.

“Families of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier deser ve answers, as do the families of the other nine miners who have lost their lives over the last five years, and in fact the person who was killed yesterday in a mining accident about 50 kilometres outside of Wawa.”

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