Baie Verte miners deserve better treatment from government
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the former Baie Verte miners suffering from asbestos-related diseases should get be getting more consideration from government. She is particularly appalled the cabinet minister who should be helping them conveyed his decision to the media rather than directly to the workers.
“Last month the Baie Verte Miners’ Registry team of miners, experts and community representatives wrote to the Minister of Service NL asking that miners’ claims for all asbestos-related diseases be eligible for Workers’ Compensation,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.
“Today the Minister announced publicly that he will not make a decision. He will just let the process unfold. I ask the Speaker, why did the Minister choose to go out in public to make his announcement rather than give the team the courtesy of a reply to their letter?”
The former Baie Verte miners continue to deal with the aftereffects of their work almost two decades after the mine’s second, and final, closure. Their road to compensation has been long and arduous.
“Most Baie Verte miners received more exposure to asbestos in months than the law permits for a lifetime. But only 36 per cent of miners who registered with medically verified asbestos-related diseases have been compensated,” Michael said in the House.
“Why does the Minister continue to deny former miners the right to compensation for diseases recognized as caused by working in the Baie Verte mine?”