Following the announcement from the B.C. Coroner’s Service identifying the three workers killed in a tragic workplace accident in Fernie earlier this week, CUPE BC President Paul Faoro and National President Mark Hancock issued the following statement:

“It was confirmed by the B.C. Coroner’s Service this morning that two of the victims in Fernie were CUPE members— Chief Facility Engineer Wayne Hornquist, a member of CUPE Local 2093 (City of Fernie,) and Director of Leisure Services Lloyd Smith, who was also a paramedic (off-duty at the time of the tragedy) and a member of CUPE Local 873 (Ambulance Paramedics.)  The third worker who lost his life is contractor Jason Podloski of Turner Valley, Alberta. Our deepest condolences go out to their families, friends and co-workers, and to the entire tight-knit community of Fernie.

“CUPE’s focus this week has been ensuring that our members in Fernie have the support they need, and that will continue to remain our focus as authorities investigate this tragedy,” said Faoro. “We also thank the first responders who not only handled the emergency with expertise and helped ensure no further casualties or injuries, but also experienced the loss of one of their colleagues.”

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of these deaths. On behalf of CUPE members across the country, our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims, their friends, and coworkers,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock.