May 15, 2015
VICTORIA – New Democrat labour spokesperson Shane Simpson released the following statement in response to the decision of the coroner’s jury investigating the Lakeland Mills tragedy.
“On behalf of our Leader, John Horgan, and all New Democrats, I want to extend my condolences again to the victims of this tragedy and their families.
“The decision by the coroner’s jury into the catastrophe at Lakeland Mills in Prince George is a stirring indictment into the failure of WorkSafe BC and further evidence that a full, public and independent investigation is needed.
“The fire and explosion three years ago killed two workers and seriously injured 20 others. WorkSafe’s bungled investigation meant that no criminal charges were ever laid.
“No worker should ever go to work worrying if they will make it home safely. That’s the role of WorkSafe; their failure to properly investigate this tragedy shows they are unable to reassure any workers in this province.
“While the 33 recommendations made by the inquest are welcomed, the record of the regulator and their non-binding nature does not offer a lot of reassurance. The inability by the coroner’s inquest to find fault makes this process incomplete and fails to bring closure to the victims.
“New Democrats stand in support with the victims and their families and we echo their call for the Liberal government to launch a public inquiry into this tragedy. Only through a full public inquiry will the families get justice and will workplace safety be enhanced.”