QUEEN’S PARK - Ontario NDP Education Critic Peggy Sattler issued the following statement regarding the coroner’s inquest jury recommendations, released on November 24:
“On August 1, 2013 Elisa Kilbourne’s son Jeremy Bowley dropped her off at work in London before heading to his summer job. She had no idea that this was the last time she would see him alive. At the age of 21, Jeremy died when a tent pole at his work struck an overhanging power wire.
A Ministry of Labour investigation later found that none of the six workers on the crew – all 25 years of age or younger – had received safety training, and no one from the company had assessed the site in advance.
Elisa’s journey since that day has been remarkable. In the face of unimaginable grief, she became involved with Threads of Life, and is a strong advocate for workplace safety.
She has also been closely involved with the coroner’s inquest jury into Jeremy’s death, which last week released recommendations to prevent more young workers from dying on the job. These include new high school curriculum on occupational health and safety and the rights of students to refuse unsafe work.
Speaker, with the expansion of experiential learning across all Ontario schools, colleges and universities, occupational health and safety training for students has never been more critical.
I call on this Liberal government to immediately adopt all of the coroner’s inquest jury recommendations, and especially mandatory workplace safety training for young people in Ontario.
This is the least we can do for Elisa Kilbourne, and every parent like her who has lost a child to workplace death.”