OFL decries lack of criminal charges in the 2016 workplace death of Olivier Bruneau, calls on police to reopen investigation

TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ontario Federation of Labour is calling on the police to reopen the investigation into the 2016 workplace death of 24-year old Olivier Bruneau. Bruneau died on March 23, 2016, after he was crushed by a block of ice on the worksite.

Other confirmed facts from the worksite include that another worker sustained injuries after being struck by falling ice; two companies – Claridge Homes and contractor Bellai Brothers Construction Ltd. and their site supervisors were found guilty of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

“When a worker is killed because the employer did not ensure a safe worksite, criminal charges must be laid, and the employer should go to jail. Anyone who saw the accident should come forward and make a statement to the police, even if the information has already been provided to the Ministry of Labour,” said OFL President Patty Coates.

It is in the power of the police to re-open the case if new evidence is brought forward. This new evidence can include witness statements.

“This employer should be facing criminal charges. There is ample evidence that this was an unsafe workplace. From falling ice incidents in the weeks leading up to Bruneau’s death, to the fact that a large excavator had to be used to shield the first responders who worked to save Bruneau after the injury, the evidence is clear. For the police to fail to lay criminal charges by saying there were not enough witnesses is both disingenuous and irresponsible,” said Sean McKenny, President of the Ottawa & District Labour Council.  

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Meagan Perry
Communications Director
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca | 416-894-3456