1992 – The Westray Mine Tragedy, Nova Scotia
- A methane and coal dust explosion destroyed the Westray Mine in Nova Scotia.
- 26 miners were killed.
Curragh Resources Incorporated was indicted with 52 criminal charges, 34 of which went to court, regarding mining operations that did not meet safety regulations.
Two mine managers were accused of 26 charges, including criminal negligence causing death.
Failure to convict
- The Crown did not present evidence in accordance with the requirements of the Criminal Code.
- Therefore no conviction was ordered by the court.
- The Nova Scotia government launched a royal inquiry commission into the Westray Mine.
- The report recommended a complete review of existing provincial laws on mines and working conditions.
- Lobbying began after the failure to convict.
- The Canadian Labour Congress and its allies launched lobbying efforts to change the Criminal Code of Canada.
- Goal: To make directors and officers of companies criminally liable for failing to take measures to protect employees’ health and safety.
On the 5th attempt, Bill C-45 (the Westray Bill) became law. Federal government modifies the Criminal Code
Federal government modifies the Criminal Code
- Changes included imposing criminal liability for organizations and individuals in the area of occupational health and safety.