WorkSafeBC is seeking jail time for contractor Arthur Moore

WorkSafeBC is seeking jail time for contractor Arthur Moore

Jail term sought for asbestos violator

Contractor repeatedly exposed workers to hazardous materials, says WorkSafe BC.

A WorkSafe BC lawyer is seeking a jail sentence of six months to a year for a notorious demolition contractor who repeatedly exposed his unprotected workers to asbestos contamination.

Last year, Arthur Moore defied repeated orders from WorkSafe BC and then continued his Surrey-based asbestos and drywall removal business in violation of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction granted last August that indefinitely barred him from operating. He was found in contempt of court.

“Asbestos kills. It was the leading killer of workers in British Columbia in 2009, responsible for 44 per cent of deaths arising from employment,” said Scott Nielsen, who is representing WorkSafe BC in the case.

Nielsen asked the judge to consider weighing Moore’s sentence against the possibility that his contempt could result in the “eventual death of those he knowingly exposed to asbestos.”

WorkSafe BC inspectors found that Moore used teenagers as young as 14 to demolish asbestos-laden houses without providing them with any protection. He recruited young students in need of cash and hired recovering addicts from recovery houses in Surrey.

According to court evidence, Moore quoted low rates to demolish old houses – a fraction of the price charged by competitors who take required safety precautions when dealing with asbestos.

He claimed to take samples and get reports certifying buildings asbestos-free before demolition. But the hazardous material reports were forged, using letterhead stolen from legitimate labs, to hide the danger on his jobs.

Past employees testified they were told to “run away” if WorkSafe BC officers showed up at a work site.

Moore operated at least 15 job sites in Surrey, Richmond and Delta last fall, using names including Tri City Hazmat, Surrey Hazmat and Effective Contracting to skirt the injunction, according to court evidence.

He did not show up in court to defend himself at either the 2010 injunction hearing or the contempt proceedings. Repeated attempts to contact Moore have been unsuccessful.

Moore will be sentenced Jan. 24 for contempt of court.

Nielsen is hopeful some form of incarceration will be involved.

“The B.C. Court of Appeal indicated (he should get) a ‘severe response,'” he said.

“I think six to 12 months is probable. Maybe more.”

– with files from Jeff Nagel

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

There were a total of 182 deaths of trumpeter swans at Judson Lake over the past winter, according to the Save the Swans website. The lake has the heaviest lead concentration of any known lake, the website states. (PHOTO: savetheswans.ca)
Abbotsford man starts petition, saying lead shot is killing waterfowl in Judson Lake and beyond

Farmer Kevin Sinclair says local lake is ‘poster child’ for swans’ deaths from lead poisoning

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read