Ref: 53088

Mrs. Kristen Stevens
Dear Mrs. Stevens:

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the tragic death of your husband.  I appreciate you bringing the additional information to my attention. 

I have requested further information from ministry staff and a response will be forwarded to you in due course. 

Again, I am sorry for you loss.

Sincerely,

Iain Black

 

 


 

 

> Dear Mr. Black,
>
> Further to my emails of November 7th and December 2nd, attached please find
> the response received from the Federal Minister of Labour.  As you see, I
> have been redirected to Worksafe BC to pursue the lack of OH&S investigation
> into the deaths of four forest workers, including my husband David Stevens.
>
> I continue to await your response to my last email.
>
> Respectfully,
>
> Kirsten Stevens

 


 

 

Text Box: Dear Mr. Black,
 
Thank you for your reply.  As noted at the end of my November 7th email, there was a letter from the Federal Minister of Labour awaiting signature before the election, in which I was to be redirected to Worksafe BC in respect of an OH&S investigation for the provincially regulated workers.  Although Ms. Ellis had pointed out that an investigation for cause was the responsibility of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the TSB did not fulfill its mandate despite five worker deaths.  This resulted in Transport Canada also failing to do an investigation for cause or an OH&S investigation for the pilot - the only worker for whom they had responsibility.  I am attaching the letter which I sent to Mr. Ed Bates, legal advisor for Worksafe BC on the 12th of May, 2008, which more clearly defines our concerns and requests assistance.  To date, I have received neither an acknowledgement nor a response.  
 
I remind you of the correspondence (forwarded in my November 26th email) from Steve Hunt, the Worker Representative for Worksafe BC’s Board of Directors, responding to my November 7th email.   Mr. Hunt agrees that this case has slipped through too many cracks.
 
If, in fact, Worksafe BC has no jurisdiction in federal workplaces:  

         to investigate, or observe a federal investigation, for cause;  and
         to act on findings in that investigation as they apply to provincial workers;  or
         to investigate once that federal investigation is complete and/or in concurrence with the federal regulator (who is only responsible for the federal workers); and
         to make recommendations to prevent future injuries and deaths to the provincial workers; and
         to impose sanctions when CLC infringements have been identified by either a federal or provincial regulator, 

then it behooves the Provincial Minister of Labour to recommend an alteration to the existing legislation in order to protect the right to a safe workplace for provincially regulated employees who use federally regulated services.  This amendment should allow Worksafe BC to work in conjunction with the federal regulatory and investigative bodies, and to report, sanction and make recommendations with respect to the provincially regulated workers.

It further behooves the Provincial Minister of Labour, until such an amendment is legislated, to ensure that an OH&S investigation showing cause, a report, sanctions and recommendations for past accidents are completed such that the provincial workers’ rights are protected.  We would, therefore, appreciate your guarantee that you will ensure an investigation into the working deaths of Dave Stevens, Fabian Bedard, and brothers Doug and Trevor Decock, will be completed by Transport Canada, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Worksafe BC or any combination thereof.
 
In the meantime, we would appreciate being directed to the exact part of the legislation which absolves Worksafe BC of its obligations, as we have been unable to locate it in the Act.

We look forward to your response, and having our concerns adequately addressed.

Respectfully,

Kirsten Stevens
On behalf of Stevens, Decock, Feast and Bedard/MacDonald families
 
(250)287-2725
 

Text Box: ----- Original Message -----

Text Box: Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 9:31 AM

Text Box: Subject: 52909 - Response letter from the Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services

Ref: 52909

Mrs. Kristen Stevens

Dear Mrs. Stevens:

Thank you for your email of November 7, 2008 regarding the tragic death of your husband on February 28, 2005.  As Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services, please allow me to extend my deepest sympathies to both you and your family.

I understand my predecessor, the Honourable Olga Ilich, had been in contact with you on this matter.  As you were advised at that time, aviation is outside of the legal jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC.  It is a federal matter and WorkSafeBC cannot conduct an investigation.  Roberta Ellis, Vice President of Policy, Investigations and Review Division of WorkSafeBC, has written you regarding WorkSafeBC’s involvement in these circumstances.  I also understand that WorkSafeBC has had many conversations with you on the issue of jurisdiction and that WorkSafeBC’s legal counsel section  has been involved in the process to ensure that all due diligence has been observed in providing you with the legal response to your concerns.

I am advised that WorkSafeBC did provide a grant of $10,000 to the families to support their search for the plane’s missing engine on the basis that WorkSafeBC is interested in the general issues that might lead to knowledge that could prevent harm to workers.

I appreciate that you have taken the time to write and express your continued concern, and wish to reiterate my sincere condolences to both you and your family.

Yours truly,

Iain Black
Minister

Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 12:19 PM

Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 2:27 PM

Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 9:37 AM