These charges were laid July 29, 2011, almost two years to the day after the stage collapsed. This delay is fairly typical in Alberta.
How could a two-year long investigation have missed something so significant that all 33 charges would be withdrawn? It is unlikely we’ll ever know.
“After careful review and consultation with Occupational Health and Safety investigators and counsel for the defendants, the Crown concluded that there was not a reasonable likelihood of conviction on any count,” Alberta Justice spokesman Josh Stewart said Friday afternoon.
“It was a complicated case and a number of factors were considered in the course of the ongoing review. Because this case is still before the courts and there exists related civil litigation, it would be inappropriate to get into more detail about the case or the investigation.”
A more troubling question is what message this sends to employers who already know that they stand virtually no chance of being fined when they seriously injure or kill a worker.
-- Bob Barnetson