Ornge found not guilty in Labour Code trial

Public Prosecution Service Canada Press Release | November 13, 2017

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 2 seconds.

On Nov. 10 in Ontario Superior Court, ORNGE air ambulance was found not guilty of two offences of failing to ensure employee safety, contrary to s.124 of the Canada Labour Code Part II, for failing to provide pilots with a means to enable them to maintain visual reference while operating at night, resulting in the deaths of captain Donald Mark Filliter and co-pilot Jacques Dupuy.

In 2008, Ornge opened Critical Care Land bases in Ottawa, Peterborough and the Greater Toronto Area, including the Ted Rogers Paediatric Transport Team. Mike Reyno Photo
Following two deaths, ORNGE air ambulance was found not guilty of failing to provide pilots with a means to enable them to maintain visual reference while operating at night. Mike Reyno Photo

They were also found not guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees contrary to s.124 of the Canada Labour Code Part II by failing to provide adequate supervision for daily flight activities at Moosenee, Ont., by eliminating the position of base manager.

The charges were laid in 2014, following an investigation into the 2013 crash of an air ambulance helicopter during a night-time flight, resulting in the deaths of the pilots as well as flight paramedics Chris Snowball and Dustin Dagenais.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) has 30 days to decide whether or not to appeal the decision. The decision to appeal is made in accordance with the guidelines in the PPSC Deskbook, a public document.

The PPSC is responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.

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