On August 22, 2002, Ned Peart, a native of Clarendon, Jamaica, was working at the Vilaca Tobacco farm in Brantford, Ontario. He was in his second year in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker’s program when he was crushed to death by a tobacco kiln. In 2005 the coroner’s office concluded Peart’s death was accidental and ruled against an inquest. His family believes precarious working conditions faced by migrant workers played a significant role in his death and finally the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal will hear a discrimination case brought by the family against the coroner’s office. Peart, 38, was the father of six children when he was killed. Family members have said they have heard “different versions” of the death and many questions remain unanswered.
Chris Ramsaroop of Justice for Migrant Workers said the case is “significant” and could benefit the more than 15,000 migrant farm workers brought into Ontario each year. The Tribunal convenes April 17, 28, 24 and 25 and concludes June 28, 2013.