It no longer exists, but the company that owned and operated Lockerby Mine has been fined a record $1.3 million for the deaths two miners in May 2014. However, the widow of one of the miners said the financial penalty was meaningless, since First Nickel Inc. went out of business in 2016.
“It’s a joke,” Romeena Bisaillon, Norm Bisaillon’s widow, said in an interview after court closed Tuesday. “They (First Nickel) are not here. The company went bankrupt. There is no one to be held accountable for it …
“It doesn’t matter if it’s $1.3 million or $1.30. It’s the same thing. There is nobody going to pay for it.” Norm Bisaillon, 49, and Marc Methe, 34, who worked for Taurus Drilling Services, were killed in the fall of ground. First Nickel had hired Taurus Drilling for production mining work at Lockerby.
Ontario Court Justice David Stone, who imposed the fine, said Ontario needs to do a better job of protecting workers.
“Two men were killed suddenly and violently in the dark 2,000 metres below the Earth,” Stone in his sentencing decision. “Their losses will go on essentially forever. There is nothing these two men did or hastened to bring on their demise … When they were sent back into the mine, they went … “One death in the workplace is too many. Fifty, 60 (workplace deaths a year in Ontario) is a scandal. This is an area the courts would like to be put out of business.”
Stone found First Nickel guilty of six of the eight Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act charges it was facing, including allowing water to accumulate in an underground mine and failing to ensure an effective ground support system was in place.
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