Mr. Speaker, the Westray mine in Nova Scotia was the scene of an explosion accident on May 9, 1992. Twenty-six men lost their lives, 11 of whom are still entombed in the mine.
During the five day rescue operation conditions were present for another explosion. Roof falls had to be crossed. Lethal carbon monoxide gas which is an after product of a coal mine explosion was heavy in the mine. Miners put aside their own safety in the hopes of finding their fellow workers.
In an unprecedented presentation 195 individuals of the rescue crew are receiving the Governor General's Medal of Bravery in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, today. Fourteen of these individuals now live in my hometown of Campbell River, B.C., and work at the Quinsam coal mine 25 kilometres out of town.
I know my colleagues will join me in applauding these brave individuals who were involved in a tragedy which affected Canadians from coast to coast.