Roger LeBlanc, a retired miner who blames his illnesses on working in underground mines, came to Fredericton today, May 15, 2015 from Eel River Crossing in northern New Brunswick to protest the injustice of miners like himself not being awarded compensation for workplace disease. He spoke with some MLAs and the media outside the NB Legislature.
A miner for 34 years of his life, LeBlanc says he is suffering from illnesses as a result of his work in an underground mine in northeastern New Brunswick. The 72-year-old man from Eel River Crossing spent half of those 34 years working at the Brunswick Mine, one of the world’s largest underground zinc mines.
Lead, copper and silver is also extracted from the mine, which was owned by Noranda during Leblanc’s employment and today is owned by one of the world’s largest mining companies, Xstrata.
LeBlanc carried a sign that read that the court of appeal found the appeal tribunal process for his case unfair. After several legal battles, LeBlanc has given up that option as a way to get compensation and justice.
He would like to see the laws changed so that WorkSafe NB compensated workers like himself who suffer from heavy metal poisoning, silicosis and other industrial-related disease.
Tracy Glynn is a board member of the NB Media Co-op.