The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Anyone with an opinion or idea about how to make mining safer and healthier is invited to attend public consultations in Sudbury next week that are part of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review.
People who want to present must register by Wednesday for the April 2 and 3 sessions, but written submissions will be accepted after that. The review, which is being conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, is being overseen by an advisory group headed by the province’s chief prevention officer, George Gritziotis.
So far that group has met twice in Sudbury, mostly to figure out the logistics of how its members will oversee a comprehensive review of mining practices in Ontario in less than a year. It will meet four more times in Sudbury.
John Perquin, who works for United Steelworkers’ international office in Pittsburgh, is vice-chair of labour for the advisory group. Businessman Fergus Kerr is vice-chair for employers.
Perquin said the advisory group isn’t sure what to expect at the public consultations because the first one won’t be held until March 31 in Timmins. But it is at those sessions committee members expect to get some of the best ideas to improve mine safety.
It is likely some presenters will be emotional.
“When a family member, someone who’s lost their husband or lost their father or their brother or uncle, when they start recollecting what happened, yes, it could be very emotional,” said Perquin.
“But we believe those are situations we need to hear about. We need to put the personal story to all of this.”
The review was prompted, in large part, by the call from United Steelworkers for an inquiry into mining practices in Ontario after two men were killed on the job June 8, 2011, at Vale Ltd.’s Stobie Mine.
Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, died after being overcome by a run of 350 tons of muck.
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