Gil McGowan, the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, accuses CNRL of trying to derail the inquiry and with it the broader concerns for workplace safety in Alberta's oil patch. "People should look at this inquiry and be angry," McGowan said Wednesday. "Several successive Conservative governments had an opportunity to use this accident to learn some important lessons about how we keep workers safe in Canada — and we missed out on those opportunities." Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan says a fatality inquiry is needed in tank collapse. (CBC News) The decision to limit the inquiry to the hospital trip came after CNRL argued there was no need for an independent comprehensive inquiry into the deaths of the workers. "Here we are nine years later and the only issue that is going to be addressed by the inquiry is whether the ground transportation from the work site to the hospital was adequate," McGowan said. "I mean that's absurd." CNRL declined to comment about Friday's inquiry. In June 2009, Occupational Health and Safety laid 53 charges against CNRL and the contractors that employed the labourers. All 29 charges laid against CNRL were stayed or postponed. The 21 charges against Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Ltd. were withdrawn. Two workers died and five others were injured when an oil storage tank which was under construction, collapsed. (CBC News) The three remaining charges were laid against SSEC Canada, a subsidiary of the Chinese-owned Sinopec. The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker and paid $200,000 in fines and $1.3 million to the Alberta Law Foundation.
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