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Industry in brief

Ford recalls 850,000 vehicles for airbag glitch

Last week the Ford Motor Company issued a safety recall for approximately 850,000 vehicles across North America because of an electronic glitch that could affect airbag deployment.

“If a short circuit occurs, the airbag warning indicator will illuminate. Depending on the location of the short circuit, the deployable restraint systems (e.g., airbags, pretensioners, side curtains) may not function as intended in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury. The short circuit may also affect the function of other systems that use data from the restraints control module, including stability control,” Ford said.

The Michigan-based automaker said in a statement Friday that it is recalling some 2013-14 Ford C-MAX, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ vehicles in North America for an issue with the restraints control module. Dealers will replace the restraints control module at no cost to the customer.

The company says it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.

Ford estimates that the recall will affect 82,962 vehicles in Canada.

Provincial government announces $900,000 investment in mining safety

Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Sudbury last Friday to announce that the government is investing in mining industry research that will create jobs, reduce operating costs and enhance miner safety.
The province is providing support through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for the following two projects led by Sudbury-based research organizations:

• The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation is creating a mobile canopy system to enable mining companies to develop tunnels faster while keeping workers and equipment safe. By speeding up the development of deep mineral deposits, the provincial investment will help make it more cost-effective to open new mines, leading to more mining jobs in Northern Ontario.

• The Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization is testing filters to protect miners from pollutants from underground diesel equipment. By reducing the volume of fresh air ventilation needed in mines, it will lower operating costs, which will help companies extend mine life and retain jobs. It is estimated this will indirectly create as many as 20 jobs and could retain as many as 500.

First Nation leaders call for halt on Ring of Fire permits

In a resolution passed by the leadership of the nine communities in the tribal council on Sept. 17, the chiefs of the Matawa First Nations want a regional protocol developed with the Ontario government before any further approvals are granted for mineral exploration activity in the James Bay region.

The chiefs said the province is moving forward on permitting companies which have not consulted with area First Nations. This, they say, breaks the spirit of a regional framework agreement signed last March between the chiefs and Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle. The agreement is supposed to be a foundational document to guide future mining and infrastructure development in the Far North.

The chiefs believed the document was an acknowledgement by the province of their traditional territories and that development wouldn’t proceed without local consent, accommodation and compensation.

In July of this year, the chiefs signed a Unity Declaration that stated, in part, that they would work together to do “whatever is necessary in order to protect our land, our water and our resources for future generations.”

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