Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Afternoon In Snookland...Blame The Regulators.


Remember when our Premier threw Work Safe BC under the bus in the wake of a decision not to proceed with a criminal investigation into sawmills that keep blowing up for no good reason at all (i.e. because the owners of such mills can't be bothered to clean up the explosive wood dust on the floor).

Well, just in case you don't, here's a primmer from a piece by Gordon Hoekstra in the VSun published back in February:

...The premier said Thursday there will be no inquiry.

Clark took exception with WorkSafeBC’s handling of its investigation into the Babine Forest Products explosion on Jan. 20, 2012. The wood dust-fueled explosion killed Robert Luggi Jr., 45, and Carl Charlie, 42, and injured another 20 workers.

“I am deeply disappointed with how WorkSafe conducted this investigation,” Clark told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. “WorkSafeBC should have known what was required by the criminal justice branch in order to proceed with a case to court.”...


Now, just two months later we have this from Justine Hunter in The Globe:

The owners of the Lakeland sawmill in Prince George invested millions of dollars in recent years to boost production, but didn’t put the same effort into safety measures, an investigation into the explosion that killed two workers has concluded.

Greg Stewart, president of the company that owns Lakeland Mills, said Tuesday his company will embrace a culture of safety when a new replacement mill opens this fall, but maintained management “did everything reasonable to ensure our mill was safe.”...


No need for an inquiry here, no siree.

And certainly no need for more regulation, which Snooklandian jobs minister Shirley Bond also pooh-poohed back in March.


Just move along folks, 'cause we've gotta make sure we have the safest sawmills on earth.

Safest on earth for the cronies that is.

If you are interested in such things, you may want to go read the old Hoekstra piece, in full, as it contains some notable names in terms of blue ribbons and independent investigators and such...



Anonymous said...


Wonder what the sawmill owners that are in compliance with safety regulations think about the kid glove treatment given to one of their competitors?

cfvua said...

Way back when highest of commissioners, the Gordnone, hijacker of railways was in charge, his crony group insisted on " results based" regulation for Worksafe rather than the tried and proven "prescriptive" regulation where an inspector could write a violation order. Profits will always trump safety with these people. Unless like natural gas producers have done in instituting vendor management schemes that are said to be safety prorams but are merely kickback schemes. For a laugh, google ISN or Complyworks. Schemes which charge employers to satisfy a list of producer conditions in the name of safety. All of which become moot if the producer chooses a certain "friendly" contractor from out of province. Huge money being generated with no explanation of lack of value received by employers. Producers like it for some rea$on.

e.a.f. said...

Clark and her cabal have never provided any evidence they are concerned about worker safety. don't expect them to start anytime soon. Much of this is not given much publicity, only the "lead when it bleeds stuff". The general public is not informed as to why these "accidents" occur.

One reason corporations like "temporary foreign workers": they don't know the rules regarding work safety and their employers aren't going to tell them. The government certainly isn't going to enforce safety standards for Canadian and/or foreign workers.

it will be interesting to see, if and when the mill is re-opened who actually goes to work there. "safest sawmills on earth", for investors only. Workers are expendable. They can easily be replaced. Until the MSM starts to do their job, not many in the province will even be aware of poor working conditions. Its, blame the workers, now move along there, nothing to see.

People in B.C. ought to realize, this is just another example of what the lieberals think of the citizens of this province. Now just imagine how they will treat this province and its people, once there is even more money at play, i.e. oil and gas pipelines, oil tankers.

The lieberals hve done nothing about having the highest rate of child poverty in Canada for 9 out of the last 10 years. Now did anyone thing the B.C. lieberals would treat adult workers any differently. We are only a means to an end; high profits for corporations and the christy cabal. 10

Anonymous said...

Don't miss Makin on the Tyee.

RossK said...

Got it Anon--

Uncle Bob beat me to the third man.


macadavy said...

I worked in the forest industry for many years. As a First Aid Attendant you'd better believe I fought for safety first, 'cause I got to care for the casualties when things went awry.
Still we regularly killed between 40 & 50 loggers and mill workers every year and mangled many more! Can you imagine the outcry if that had been our casualty rate during our Afghan misadventure?
Yet in BC it was just 'a cost of doing business' - tragic!

RossK said...


In my opinion it's worse than that.


Because here in BC they don't even have to pay.