Company must pay more than $1M for fatal sawmill fire, critics not satisfied

An April 23 blast at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George, B.C., killed two. (YouTube screen...

An April 23 blast at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George, B.C., killed two. (YouTube screen grab)

Jeremy Nuttall, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

VANCOUVER — Babine Forest Products must pay more than $1 million for an explosion at its sawmill in Burns Lake, B.C., that killed two workers in January 2012.

Robert Luggi and Carl Charlie died in the disaster, which damaged the economy and psyche of the small northern town.

In a press release Thursday, WorkSafeBC stressed the fine isn’t meant to put a value on the lives of those killed.

“The dollar value of a penalty or levy does not and cannot reflect the loss of lives, and the pain and suffering of workers and families,” the workers’ compensation board’s release says.

The punishment breaks down to a $97,500 administrative penalty and a $914,139 claims cost levy.

NDP Leader Adrian Dix said the fine portion of the penalty isn’t sufficient and accused WorkSafeBC of being “fundamentally broken.”

Dix said the penalties indicate WorkSafeBC’s priorities are cost-recovery and spin rather than workers’ lives.

“Put simply, killing two workers and injuring 19 others will cost the company $97,500. That’s the value WorkSafeBC has put on human life,” Dix said in a statement.


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