BRITISH COLUMBIA

Aquilini Blueberry Farm Safety: Canucks Owners Fined For Safety Violations

09/05/2012 12:14 EDT | Updated 11/04/2012 05:12 EST
CP
B.C.’s Aquilini family — the owners of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks — have been fined a second time by WorkSafeBC for allegedly recurring problems with working conditions on a blueberry farm in the Fraser Valley.

In July 2010, WorkSafeBC inspectors visited Golden Eagle Ranch, the Aquilinis' blueberry farm in Pitt Meadows. The officials reported they had found vehicles used to transport workers in serious disrepair and that some employees driving the vehicles did not have valid licences.

Some workers were also reported to be transported while clinging onto flatbeds on the backs of trucks as they bounced along with unsecured loads. Those infractions prompted $60,000 in fines.

The same amount was also levied for a worker injured and allegedly not given timely access to first aid.

The Aquilinis appealed the fines but lost.

WorkSafeBC reported this week that a subsequent inspection found that the worker safety issues at the farm had not improved and in February imposed a further administrative fine of $125,000.

It's one of the largest fine handed out by the provincial government agency so far this year.