ALBERTA

Kevan Chandler Killed In Grain Elevator: Alberta Family Gets Compensation Six Years Later

11/01/2012 09:05 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
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EDMONTON - The Alberta Liberals say it's taken six years but Lorna Chandler, whose husband was killed in a grain elevator accident, has finally received compensation for her loss.

Lorna Chandler's husband, Kevan, died on Father's Day in 2006 when grain from a silo fell and smothered him.

Since then Lorna has had to raise their two children on her own while fighting the feedlot owner in the courts for compensation.

Liberal critic David Swann says the case is an example of why his party has been pushing for the Workers Compensation Board to cover agricultural operations.

Swann says that's a travesty, given that an average of 18 Albertans a year die in agricultural mishaps.

A public inquiry into Kevan Chandler's death made several recommendations, including that paid employees on farms should by covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and that training programs be set up by the Department of Agriculture.

At the time, the United Food and Commercial Workers said it was concerned and frustrated by the unwillingness of then-premier Ed Stelmach to take any action regarding the inquiry's recommendations.

Swann said the government of current Premier Alison Redford "is afraid to offend rural voters by doing its duty to bring agriculture regulations into the 21st century."

He said Redford's government refuses to provide "even the most basic protections for paid farmworkers, their families and for the legal protection of owners."

Earlier this fall, the Farmworkers Union of Alberta pressed Human Services Minister Dave Hancock to say when the province would improve protections for migrant farm workers and put in place age restrictions.

Hancock replied that the government was studying the issue.

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Kevan Chandler Inquiry