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MoL's fight against city's acquittal for Cecile Paquette's death starts tomorrow

Court had ruled Ministry of Labour failed to prove corporation was constructor and employer on project
The Ministry of Labour will begin its appeal of the acquittal of the City of Greater Sudbury in the 2015 death of Cecile Paquette, who died after being run over by a grader at the corner of Elgin and Beech streets. (File)

The Ministry of Labour and the City of Greater Sudbury head to the Superior Court of Justice on May 24, as the ministry is appealing the city's acquittal in the 2015 death of Cecile Paquette.

Paquette, 58, died Sept. 30, 2015, at the corner of Elgin and Beech streets when a grader operator ran her over, killing her.

The City of Greater Sudbury pleaded not guilty to seven charges from the Ministry of Labour, which attempted to prove the corporation was the constructor and the employer of the project, and therefore culpable in the circumstances that led to Paquette's death. One charge was dismissed on the first day of trial at the urging of the Ministry of Labour. 

Following the trial, Ontario Court Justice Karen Lische ruled the city was not acting as either the constructor or the employer on the Elgin Street project. Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour failed to show the city was the constructor, she said.

“It is crystal clear, according to the evidence at trial, the owner was the city and constructor was Interpaving,” Lische said. “This is not a case where the city is attempting to evade its statutory duty. This court finds that the MOL has failed to show that the city assumed the role of constructor or assumed control over the Elgin project.” 

Interpaving, the contractor on the job that employed the grader operator, was convicted in March 2018 of failing to provide a signaller during the operation of a moving machine in a workplace while the operator’s view was blocked. The company was fined $195,000.

The appeal begins at 10 a.m. in Courtroom C.