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Judge delays decision in case of 2014 deaths of workers at Lockerby Mine

Fall of ground cost two men their lives; Justice David Stone says he needs more time for 'calm and sober consideration'
Then First Nickel CEO Thomas Boehlert speaks with the media shortly after the 2014 incident that claimed the lives of Marc Methe and Norm Bisaillon. (File)

It will take at least another month before the families of two men killed in a 2014 fall of ground at Lockerby Mine to find out if the mining company is found guilty of charges laid by the Ministry of Labour.

Justice David Stone had originally planned to have a decision by 2 p.m. on Jan. 18; however, under the encouragement of Ministry of Labour prosecutor David McCaskill, Stone will take more time to come to his conclusion.

“Maybe I bit off more than I could chew in trying to arrive at an answer by 2 (p.m.),” Stone told the court as he wrestled with his decision. “I recognize the need to not jump at answers and give it calm and sober consideration.”

After another hour of deliberation, Stone returned and advised the court that he was adjourning the matter over until Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. in Courtroom C of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Stone said he will do his very best to provide a written decision that day.

Marc Methe, 34, and Norm Bissaillon, 49, were killed on May 6, 2014, by a fall of material in Lockerby Mine. Both men worked for Taurus Drilling Services. 

The Ontario Ministry of Labour laid 13 charges in the case. 

First Nickel, which is no longer operating, is charged with failing to prevent the accumulation or flow of water, failing to ensure an effective ground support system was in place and failing the requirement that a written report be made of all dangerous work conditions.

Taurus Drilling was originally charged with five offences; however, the Crown dropped one at the start of the trial. The four remaining charges include failing to ensure safe ground condition programs were created and implemented, and failing to ensure proper communications about ground stability.