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Mining info crowdfunding campaign reaches goal

GoFundMe campaign aimed to raise money to access WSIB documents
Janice Martell started the McIntyre Powder Project after her father, Jim Hobbs, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001. She is now seeking information from the WSIB to help shed more light on the compensation claims system.

The McIntyre Powder Project has reached another milestone.

On March 15, an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money that will go toward accessing information from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) reached its goal, collecting $7,967.

Launched on Feb. 25 by Janice Martell, the woman who started the McIntyre Powder Project in 2014, the GoFundMe campaign reached the halfway goal in just nine days.

By March 15, it was $2,757 shy of its goal when the Sudbury Mine Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 598 UNIFOR stepped in and agreed to pitch in the remainder of the money.

Martell expressed her appreciation on the McIntyre Powder Project Facebook page.

“I am completely overwhelmed and deeply grateful for the solidarity from all who have donated, all who have encouraged, all who have stood up and said ‘No' to an institutional oppressor of working people,” Martell wrote.

“If my dad were alive, his eyes would be smiling right now, and his heart would be as full as mine. Thank you!”

Martell’s father, Jim Hobbs, inspired the project after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001.

He revealed he had been exposed to a finely ground aluminum dust called McIntyre Powder while working underground at mines in Northern Ontario, and Martell believes the exposure is a direct cause of her father’s illness and that of other miners.

She’s hopeful the information she’s seeking from the WSIB will reveal pertinent information to help fill in the history of McIntyre Powder and the WSIB compensation claims system for miners who were impacted.