Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Public Works Canada Placed on Probation?

How does the federal government, in the form of Public Works Canada, get put on probation?

Public Works and Government Services Canada has pleaded guilty under the Canada Labour Code in the gruesome, October 19 death of 51 year old Peter Kennedy.

Kennedy, an engineer at the Ottawa River, Cliff Central Heating & Cooling Plant, was trying to fire up a boiler than had undergone asbestos removal.  It exploded, engulfing him in steam and hot gasses.  He later died.

PWGSC pleaded guilty to counts under the Canada Labour Code including failing to have a health and safety policy and provide necessary training and supervision about the use of boilers, not adequately training managers and not having a hazard prevention program.

Prosecutor Andrejs Berzins said he’ll be asking a judge to put the department on probation.

Probation?   Just who exactly gets put on probation?   Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada?   Her representative, the Governor General?   The minister of Public Works?  Canada?   And what do we do if they breach probation?   Toss the public service in the Greybar Hotel?

Sorry but I can't recall the federal Crown ever pleading guilty in a wrongful death case before.


bcwaterboy said...

Very troubling that a government agency wouldn't hold itself to high safety standards, even covering the basics of a safety policy, and adequate supervision.

The Mound of Sound said...

Budgets are being cut, BCW, and a chill seems to have set in among federal civil servants.

Cabinet ministers in this authoritarian government don't seem to have much sway, particularly in departments like this that don't contribute to Harper's energy agenda. Second-stringers like whoever is the public works minister (I honestly don't have a clue) probably reflect the lack of depth generally in Harper's caucus.

Even Harper's AgMin, Ritz, was exposed as a total bungler.