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'There's still no answers and still no closure' (8 photos)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   by: Donna Hopper

Yesterday across the country, labour unions and employees observed National Day of Mourning, a time to remember workers killed or injured while on the job.

Yesterday also marked the beginning of a coroner's inquest into the death of James Vecchio who died in April 2009 after being crushed by a crane at the Fifth Line City landfill site.

Paul Beauchamp (pictured), president of CUPE Local 3, spoke to those gathered at the Grand Gardens yesterday about the incident.

"This tragic incident left many people asking why, who's responsible, what happened," he said during his address. "Years go by and another trial happened. The company plead guilty to a lesser charge and the court systems finds a human life worth $70,000. There's still no answers and still no closure."

Speaking with following the commemoration ceremony, Beauchamp said the City workers did nothing wrong that day.

When it comes to tendered contracts, he and his fellow workers want assurances that those operating hired equipment are properly trained, and that the City holds those operators and pieces of equipment to the same standards as those employed by the City in terms of maintenance and quality.

"The city has one of the highest maintenance programs but they don't enforce that situation on hired equipment," Beauchamp said.

"It's always important to remember those we lost. Hopefully speaking about someone we lost will trigger a push forward and strive to make things better so it doesn't happen again."

The Vecchio coroner's inquest is expected to last two weeks with as many as 20 witnesses involved.

Beauchamp hopes new evidence will come to light that could result in additional fines or charges.

Other speakers at yesterday's National Day of Mourning hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie and District Labour Council included Celia Ross, Joe Krmpotich, Mayor Debbie Amaroso, and Mike DaPrat.

National Day of Mourning was officially proclaimed by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991.

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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
asp 4/29/2014 2:42:46 PM Report

That guy is an idiot, did you notice him on T.V. last nite pretending he was crying when the cameras were on him, but before that he was fine. LOL
right wing 4/29/2014 3:31:10 PM Report

Cross training is a must.
Does the city do this with their employees?
If not they should.
As an example for my trade I had to take an upgrade course some years ago on rigging and hoisting.
In my trade we do no rigging or hoisting of any sort but we are at times around cranes, hoists, etc. that are.
The advantage of cross training is if you have some knowledge of how cranes, hoists and operators are supposed to operate in their safety parameters it can make the difference in you becoming the dead one.
rider_ 4/29/2014 3:39:33 PM Report

woah asp it's almost like when you edit camera footage for television, there are necessary omissions

what's more, for those of us with even the most limited of imaginative powers, "filling in" those daunting ambiguities is not really so difficult. object permanence is a tough one to get your head around boss.

but ya keep being snide and deflecting from the tragedy and its implicit second tragedy that our bogus kangaroo court is incapable of addressing anything but a f#*@ing envelope.

Hatch 4/29/2014 8:27:33 PM Report

ASS....I mean asp: I was friends with the last two employees killed at Essar. The memory of these accidents can be haunting on the best of days let alone on a day when we're asked to remember.
Keep up the good work Paul!!
rockbanger 4/29/2014 8:32:10 PM Report

The government always protects the employer.

How many deaths have occurred and then how many employers have been significantly disciplined?

Ontario is a fascist-province that cares little for the working person.

Pakadeva 4/30/2014 12:37:10 AM Report

*Ahem, you might wanna read your own post again...he was fine before the cameras were on him...ok, if the cameras were NOT on him, how in heck would you know such a thing? If you look at that slide show, EVERY person was quite somber, no smiles in that room. If this was your co-worker, son, brother, neighbour, would that be funny?
It's not a situation to make mockery of. God Bless the families of all those involved AND their co-workers.
arch44 4/30/2014 9:55:23 AM Report

Hey "ASP" you are clearly an ASS...keep up the great work more workplace tragedies
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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