March 4, 2008
Transport Canada: Merlin Preuss, Dave Nowzek (RDMIS# 3845196, Docket# AAR2006G097207)
Transportation Safety Board: Terry Burtch, Bill Yearwood (A05P0039)
Ministry of Labour: Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Scott Streiner
Worksafe BC: Roberta Ellis
Re: Workplace Deaths of
To Whom It May Concern;
By now you should be fully aware of the concerns of the families with respect to an investigation into infringements of the Canada Labour Code (Part II) which may have resulted in one or more fatalities in the accident of aircraft mark C-GAQW on February 28, 2005 (please refer to this letter for particulars: http://www3.telus.net/public/t9232724/home_files/TCCA_Preuss.htm).
Given the cause of death for my husband, Dave Stevens, and the facts surrounding the accident, including but not limited to the lack of adherence by MJM Air and its representatives to the Emergency Checklist as described in the Operations Manual, the families expected a full investigation into the companys practices with respect to safety. As you know, in provincially regulated industries (such as forestry, in which the four passengers were employed/contracted) this responsibility would normally fall to Worksafe BC. As this was an aviation accident, the responsibility for this investigation would instead normally fall to the federal regulator, Transport Canada. Transport Canada, however, refuses to investigate, citing a lack of information and no cause of death for the pilot (whose remains have never been recovered).
I must say, it is very disappointing that in light of five men dying on the job:
a) information was not volunteered explaining that jurisdiction would not fall to WorkSafe BC;
b) information was not volunteered explaining that Transport Canada was not investigating or why they would not investigate;
c) information was not volunteered explaining who was responsible to investigate.
It has only been through our continued questioning, pressure and research that we now, three years later, come to question if in fact the responsibility for an investigation into infringements of the Canada Labour Code should have fallen to the HRSDC-Labour Program, and if they have been kept abreast of this investigation and our concerns as required by the Memorandum of Understanding HRD/TC (http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/commerce/ohs/mou/menu.htm) and the Memorandum of Understanding HRD/TSB (http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/commerce/ohs/mou/menu1994.htm), if Transport has followed their Policy Letter #124 (http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/commerce/policy/PL124.htm), and if HRSDC have followed procedures as described in 700.5 Operations Program Directives (OPDs)/Interpretation, Policies and Guidelines (IPGs)( http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/lp/lo/opd-ipg/opd/700-5.shtml).
At this time we request your assistance in clarifying whose responsibility this investigation was/is, and ensuring that an investigation has/will be completed.
On behalf of the Stevens, Decock, Feast and Bedard/MacDonald families
492 South McPhedran Rd
Campbell River, BC
M.P. Catherine Bell
M.L.A. Claire Trevena
NDP Transport Critic Brian Masse
NDP Labour Critic Libby Davies
B.C. Coroner Rose Stanton
R.C.M.P. Roger Collins
U.S.W. Steve Hunt
Note: Copied to the media