October 13, 2017
Dr. David Cameron
Regional Supervising Coroner Office - Sudbury
199 Larch Street, 2nd Floor
Sudbury ON P3E 5P9
Dear Dr. Cameron:
We are writing to call for an inquest into the deaths of ORNGE Paramedics Dustin Dagenais and Chris Snowball as a result of the crash of the Sikorsky S-76A helicopter they were working with-in on May 31, 2013.
Both of these men were members of CAW Local 2002 - now Unifor Local 2002. The work that they do falls under provincial jurisdiction. Unifor has raised questions regarding the absence of an Ontario Ministry of Labour accident investigation.
As you may know, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigated the accident. In May, 2014 ORNGE was charged with 17 offences under the Canadian Labour Code. Court documents disclosed that the charges included permitting pilots to fly the S-76A helicopter "without adequate training in the operation of that specific aircraft", failure to provide the pilots with "a means to enable them to maintain visual reference while operating at night" and so on.
There was little to no recognition of any issues that may have resulted in the deaths of the paramedics.
Unifor is concerned that there may be unidentified circumstances that can be improved upon to enhance the safety of our members working in the cabin of these aircraft.
We believe it would be important that your office conduct an inquest to answer the questions and concerns of the families, co-workers and National Union to prevent further deaths in similar circumstances and that this situation conforms to the criteria under Sections 10, 19, 31 and other related sections of the Coroner’s Act.
We appreciate your consideration of this request.
Unifor Director of Health Care
Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President
Anthony Dale, Lawyer and Director of Legal Department
Sari Sairanen, Director of Health Safety and Environment
Ken Bondy, National Coordinator Health-Safety-Environment
Kelly-Anne Orr, National Representative