TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2015 – NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is the only federal party leader to come forward to support a national campaign to enforce Criminal Code provisions that hold corporations, their directors and executives accountable for workplace deaths and injuries, says Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.
“Our Canadian directors signed a letter to all the party leaders and their campaigns to ask for their commitment and leadership on addressing the shameful enforcement record of a law that was unanimously passed by Parliament in 2003,” said Neumann, referring to Criminal Code amendments known as the Westray Bill.
“The law is not being properly enforced across Canada, despite the workplace deaths of more than 1,000 workers every year,” Neumann said. “That’s 1,000 families every year for whom justice has not been served.”
Only Mulcair responded to the plea by Neumann, USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Marty Warren, Quebec Director Daniel Roy and Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt.
“The government’s failure to enforce the provisions of the Westray Bill has been an absolute disgrace,” said Mulcair. “A New Democratic Party government will enforce the full provisions of the Westray amendments to protect workers and hold corporations to account.”
The campaign, called Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law, has been endorsed by dozens of Canadian municipalities, police associations, First Nations, and has been addressed in annual meetings of federal-provincial-territorial justice ministers.
“What has been lacking is federal leadership in ensuring that provincial and federal enforcement agencies investigate workplace deaths as potential crime scenes,” said Neumann. “Only the NDP has given that assurance.”