MLA urges inquiry into David Fifi death at Vale’s Thompson smelter

WINNIPEG, Man. – The provincial Liberal party of Manitoba is demanding an investigation into the Nov. 2008 death of David Fifi, a 52-year-old boilermaker who worked at the Vale smelter in Thompson. Jon Gerrard, the Member of the Legislative Assembly for River Heights, brought up the case in the province’s legislature on May 31. Although the cause of Fifi’s death was deemed to be a heart attack, his widow strongly believes that he and other workers were exposed to toxic gases at the smelter (COHSN, May 23). “On behalf of David Fifi’s widow and other employees who many [sic] have been exposed to a toxic, unsafe workplace, Manitoba Liberals urge the government to open a full inquiry,” stated a press release from the party, “to see if the concerns raised and the allegations of a cover-up have merit and to make recommendations with regard to future protection of workers.” The release added that there is evidence that “both the company and NDP government were aware of the leaks, but did nothing to stop the exposures or protect the workers and allowed them to continue operating, knowing full well how dangerous it was.” Vale Canada announced on May 16 that it will close its Thompson nickel-mining operations this autumn.

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