Baffinland makes first court appearance on safety violation charges

Mining company faces 16 charges under the Mine Health and Safety Act

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. made their first court appearance, before a justice of the peace, on Jan. 9, 2020, in relation to charges laid against the company under Nunavut’s Mine Health and Safety Act. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. made its first appearance—before a justice of the peace—on Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Nunavut Court of Justice building in Iqaluit, in relation to charges it faces under the territory’s Mine Health and Safety Act.

The mining company, which operates the Mary River iron mine outside Pond Inlet, faces 16 charges under Nunavut’s Mine Health and Safety Act. Those charges stem from a rock truck crash at the mine that killed one worker in December 2018.

The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission filed the charges at the Nunavut court on Dec. 5.

None of these charges have been proven in court.

Appearing before Justice of the Peace Nicole Sikma, Crown prosecutor Larry Reynolds spoke to the courtroom over a speakerphone.

“I’ve spoken with my friend and we’re in the process of providing him with disclosure and we would like to have this matter put over for four weeks,” Reynolds said.

Baffinland’s lawyers agreed, also speaking to the courtroom over the phone.

According to a news release issued by the commission, the charges include failing to supervise, instruct and train as is necessary to protect the health and safety of workers and failing to provide and maintain healthy and safe worksites.

Baffinland’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 9:30 a.m by phone at the Nunavut Court of Justice building.

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