Call to Action: A criminal investigation of Ryan Konkin’s death and province-wide enforcement of the Westray Law
Ryan Konkin was killed in an explosion at a hazardous chemical facility in St. Catharines last January. He left behind his loving family and 24-year-old fiancée who said it was only a ‘matter of time’ based on health and safety violations in the workplace.
It was 6:30AM when Natalia pulled up at Ryan’s work. They kissed, said ‘I love you’ and he walked away with his lunch bag flung over his shoulder, blue thermos in hand, towards the gates.
Ten minutes later, the radio blared: ‘there has been an explosion at a chemical facility’. She raced back, to see flames swallowing the plant. She went from planning their wedding, to planning Ryan’s funeral.
Canada has the laws to criminalize workplace deaths; the police and justice system just don’t like to apply them.
But this month in New Brunswick, a supervisor was charged with jail time after his negligence killed an 18-year-old worker. And two weeks ago, court proceedings began for 84 orders against Ryan’s employer, Ssonix Products and its owners, under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
Sign this petition to send a message to the Niagara Police Department, Office of the Fire Marshal, and Attorney and Solicitor General that workplace deaths must be investigated using a criminal negligence lens. It’s the law – and it’s time to apply it.