Former miner whose illness led to anti-McIntyre Powder campaign passes away

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – Jim Hobbs, a retired nickel and uranium miner who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001, died on May 24 at the age of 76. An online obituary from the Elliot Lake Funeral Chapel & Cremation Centre stated that Hobbs had passed away at the Espanola Nursing Home after having “faced his illness with dignity, a positive attitude and strength.” Hobbs’ daughter, Janice Martell, believed that his illness had resulted from McIntyre Powder, a type of aluminum dust that miners once inhaled on the job, as employers believed it would protect workers from silicosis; this led Martell to found the McIntyre Powder Project in 2015. The Project includes a voluntary registry of information on miners who had inhaled McIntyre Powder on the job and documents their health issues. Hobbs left behind his wife, Elaine Burns, four children including Martell, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, according to the obituary. Hobbs’ funeral and reception are scheduled for the morning of June 3 at the Massey Arena in Massey, Ont.

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