Details were announced Wednesday by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, at Workplace Safety North’s 2021 Virtual Mining Health and Safety Conference.
“Mining has been the backbone of Northern Ontario’s economy for generations and we owe it to workers to make sure they come home safely to their families every night,” McNaughton said in a media statement. “As more mining sites come into operation, this funding will ensure we can provide the resources and training needed so more brave women and men can re-enter mines in emergencies and save lives.”
Headquartered in Sudbury, the Ontario Mine Rescue Program supports eight rescue stations across the province and ensures they have appropriate emergency response capabilities. The program also delivers training to volunteer first responders, certifies rescue equipment and provides advice during mine emergencies.
The additional funding will allow the Mine Rescue Program to increase training hours for volunteers and develop specialized programs to better support rescue capacity for all surface mines and mining plants, including at newly expanded and newly opened sites.
“Ontario is home to a world-class mining sector, known for its safe and responsible mining practices,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “Our mining industry operates according to the highest standards and is subject to the strictest rules and laws. By strengthening our mine rescue capacity, we are sending a strong signal to the world that Ontario is a safe and ideal jurisdiction for mining activity.”
Over the past year, Ontario’s health and safety inspectors have conducted more than 2,250 field visits in the mining sector, issuing more than 5,100 orders and requirements during those visits.