Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario

June 27, 2013 11:04 ET

Historic Human Rights Hearing on Migrant Worker's Death Enters Final Day; Decision Could Trigger First Migrant Work Inquest in Canadian history

Final arguments to be heard into death of migrant worker Ned Livingston Peart

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 27, 2013) - The widows of the 11 Peruvian migrant workers killed in the Hampstead ON tragedy will be at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on June 28th to hear final arguments into the death of migrant worker Ned Livingston Peart. The decision could trigger the first public inquest into the death of a migrant worker in Canadian history.

Who: Family of Ned Livingston Peart, Migrant Workers including surviving family members of the Hampstead deaths, Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) and community allies.
What: Hearing at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal regarding the death of migrant worker Ned Livingston Peart.
Where: Ontario Human Rights Tribunal 655 Bay at Elm. St. (between Dundas St. and Gerrard St.) 14th Floor.
When: June 28th, 2013, Press Briefing at 12:30 outside of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal; Tribunal is from 9:30 am to 4:30pm.

Mr. Peart was crushed to death in a workplace accident on a tobacco farm near Brantford, Ontario, on August 22, 2002. He was one of the over 30,000 migrant workers that toil under the auspices of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, a government program that brings farm workers from Mexico and the Caribbean to farms across Canada. Migrant workers and their allies are mobilizing to ensure their presence is felt during this historic proceeding to improve workplace conditions for all migrant farm workers.

The Peart family sought to have a coroner's inquest held into the death because Mr. Peart had raised concerns with them over dangerous working conditions on the farm prior to his death. In fact, there has never been an inquest into the death of a migrant worker. The Office of Chief Coroner denied the request. Working with Justicia for Migrant Workers' organizers, the family then brought a complaint to the Human Rights Commission in the summer of 2005 claiming that the Coroners Act violates the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Coroners Act provides mandatory inquests for certain types of workers while excluding others, which causes adverse impacts on Mr. Peart and all migrant farm workers in Ontario. Community members, migrant workers and members of the Peart family will be attending the tribunal proceedings on Friday, June 28th, and they will also participate in a rally and press briefing that will be held outside of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (655 Bay St.) at 12:30pm.

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