Fine Reinstated Against Ontario Company

A major fine levied against a Sudbury, Ontario mining firm for safety and health violations was recently reinstated to stress deterrence.

The full C$250,000 ($167,000) value of each of two fines levied against Sudbury, Ontario, nickel mining firm Inco Ltd. for health and safety violations was reinstated recently to confirm the importance of the deterrence principle, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

The Ontario Court of Appeal restored the full fines assessed against Inco for two violations of Ontario''s Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to the 1996 death of a miner, said the ministry.

Inco''s appeal of the fines led to a court-ordered 50 percent reduction.

"This is the first time the Ontario Court of Appeal has addressed the issue of deterrence in sentencing under the Act since the maximum fine for a corporation was increased in 1990 from C$25,000 ($16,750) to C$250,000 ($167,500)," the ministry said.

"In a 1982 decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that deterrence is of ''paramount importance'' in sentencing under the Act."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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