Yukon Zinc, Procon must face charges: judge

Charges against Yukon Zinc Corp., Procon Mining Inc. and Procon Mining and Tunnelling, in connection with the 2010 death of Will Fisher, will stand, Yukon territorial court deputy Judge Deborah Livingstone ruled Friday.

Charges against Yukon Zinc Corp., Procon Mining Inc. and Procon Mining and Tunnelling, in connection with the 2010 death of Will Fisher, will stand, Yukon territorial court deputy Judge Deborah Livingstone ruled Friday.

The 25-year-old Kelowna, B.C. worker died in a cave-in at the Wolverine Mine on April 25, 2010.

The companies face a number of charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to the death.

Last month they asked the court to quash the charges, saying they were too vague to be able to defend themselves against.

Procon’s lawyers said if the charges weren’t quashed, they should be changed to include more detail.

The mine is owned by Yukon Zinc. Procon is the main contractor.

At the time of the accident, it was a big operation with many employees and equipment, which was why the charges need to be more specific, the companies had argued.

After Fisher’s death, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board inspected the scene of the death and also looked at the mine’s overall operations.

Citing case law from across Canada, Livingstone concluded on Friday that the charges were legitimate and did not need to be changed.

She said fewer details are needed now than years ago and quashing a charge is considered a last resort.

In almost all circumstances, judges should exercise their right to change a charge before they quash it entirely, she said.

If the companies need clarification to prepare their defense, they should speak to the crown, she said.

The case is scheduled to be back in court on March 27.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com