NDP questions coroner's decision not to hold inquest into deadly van crash

TORONTO - Ontario's New Democrats are questioning the chief coroner's decision not to hold an inquest into a crash that killed 10 migrant workers and a truck driver last year.

The NDP's labour critic says he doesn't buy interim chief coroner Dan Cass's argument that an inquest likely wouldn't generate recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.

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Taras Natyshak is urging Cass to reconsider his decision, saying lack of regulations on the transportation of farm workers is a serious problem.

The deaths were determined to be the result of driver error, and Cass said the circumstances of the crash mean it's not the right case to hold an inquest to address those issues.

Premier-elect Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday the government has already taken steps to protect migrant workers, but needs to balance further safeguards with the needs of the agriculture industry.

She declined to comment on the coroner's decision but said the crash was "tragic" and the province wants to ensure "such a thing doesn't happen again."

The horrific crash occurred after a van carrying 13 poultry farm workers, most of them from Peru, drove through a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming truck in the tiny hamlet of Hampstead, near Stratford, last February.

Only three workers survived.

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