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MINES campaign reaches milestone as provincial mine safety review announced

Wednesday, December 4th 2013 2:54:21pm

(Sudbury, Dec. 4, 2013) Family and friends of two miners killed in an underground accident expressed gratitude for community support, the efforts of local United Steelworkers (USW), provincial Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi and Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle who all contributed to establishing a new provincial mining safety review.

Speaking at a media conference organized to announce the mining safety review, MINES (Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone’s Support) Chairperson, Wendy Fram (mother of Jordan Fram one of the miners killed in a June 2011 Sudbury area mining accident) explained that the "MINES committee was established by volunteers with the mission of protecting those working in the mining industry and to prevent further fatalities. Today's announcement is a huge leap forward towards ensuring the safety of the men and women working in this industry."

The MINES campaign was calling for a mining safety review in response to eight mining deaths since 2011 and the core piece of Ontario mining legislation not having had a major overhaul in 35 years. It also seemed like inquest recommendations tied to miners’ deaths did not seem to make a difference or get acted upon.

The formation of MINES was inspired in part by efforts of local community leader and businessperson Gerry Lougheed and the support of local United Steelworkers leaders. Lougheed had started an information postcard campaign before a 2011 Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony and was part of the conversation that resulted in MINES being formed.

Wendy Fram observed, "On behalf of all the dedicated MINES volunteers, I have been very impressed and humbled by the support MINES has received from the community of Greater Sudbury and the Timmins chapter of MINES. I would like to offer a special acknowledgement to the contributions of Efriam and Cheryl Dufoe (parents of Lyle Dufoe who died in a mine accident in Timmins) and George Staszak (Uncle of Jason Chenier who died with Jordan) and supportive people across Ontario and beyond."

She went on to say, "To all of the volunteers on the MINES Committee who have contributed hundreds of volunteers hours to making today's announcement possible, I am forever grateful, they deserve much more than applause. I want to give special attention to the dedication of Minsters Naqvi and Gravelle for keeping the promise they made to me at Queen’s Park and the tireless support of Rick Bertrand and the USW."

“We all know mining is a dangerous business which makes an important contribution to this province’s economy. Miners and their families deserve the respect and protection of up-to-date and appropriate safety legislation," stated Fram. She concluded by saying, "I truly believe that Jason Chenier, Lyle Dufoe and my son Jordan's legacy will be improved safety conditions for miners in Ontario."

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For more information or to schedule interviews, contact:
Briana Fram, Secretary, MINES Committee, 705-562-5940  OntarioMiningInquiry@gmail.com
www.mininginquiry.com

Don Huff, Environmental Communication Options, 416-972-7404, Cell 416-805-7720 or huffd@ecostrategy.ca