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Supreme Court nixes Chinese company’s appeal in oil sands worker death

Two temporary workers died in 2007 when a storage tank collapsed at Horizon project.


July 13, 2012
by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA: The Supreme Court says it will not hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that says a Chinese state-owned corporation should face charges in the deaths of two oilsands workers in Alberta.

Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Co. was seeking to challenge an Alberta Court of Appeal judgment that ordered the company to stand trial on 53 health and safety charges.

Two temporary workers from China died in 2007 near Fort McMurray when a storage tank collapsed at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Horizon project.

Sinopec Shanghai, which brought the workers to Alberta, argued it has no official presence in Canada and therefore could not be charged.

Alberta Justice says Sinopec and two other companies, Canadian Natural Resources and SSEC Canada—a Sinopec subsidiary with just one employee—are to stand trial on the charges on Oct. 1 in St. Albert provincial court.

As is customary, the Supreme Court of Canada gave no reasons for its decision.