3 miners employed for Metanor were trapped 485 meters below the ground and their bodies were not discovered for days. Metanor was convicted of violating provisions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. …..Metanor is being prosecuted under s. 22.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada (“CCC”), also known as the ‘Westray Bill’, the law introduced after the catastrophic explosion in a Nova Scotia mine in 1992, killing 26 workers. This section, if proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the crown, will hold Metanor liable as a party to the offence of criminal negligence cause death. Canada has historically adopted a relaxed prosecutorial attitude towards companies in favour of deferring convictions and penalty to the respective provincially regulated Occupational Health and Safety legislation. The result of this trial will be precedent-setting. A conviction would signal a turn towards Americanizing the way the Canadian legal system manages corporate behavior. That might not be such a bad thing.
Originally Published in The Lawyer’s Daily on Friday, March 24, 2017