Chinese company to face Canadian court

Chinese engineering, procurement, and construction management company Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company (SSEC) could face charges in a Canadian court after a decision handed down yesterday by the Alberta Court of Appeal.

In a decision released yesterday, the court found that SSEC could be held accountable for the deaths in 2007 of two temporary foreign workers at the Horizon Oil Sands project in northern Alberta, operated by Canadian Natural Resources.

The Canadian company is due to face court over the matter in 2012, but SSEC had argued that it did not come under the jurisdiction of the Alberta court as it had no official presence in the nation or any Canadian employees.

The Appeal court's decision upheld a previous ruling finding that this was not the case.

Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan applauded the decision in a statement.

"Today's ruling makes it clear that if international companies want to do business here, they have to not only respect our laws, but also be accountable when they violate them," McGowan said.

"It is incredibly frustrating and distressing that this company tried to dodge justice by dragging the process out as long as they have. We hope these workers' families will see justice as soon as possible.", Thurs Nov 24 2011

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