P.E.I. Public School Branch pleads guilty to health and safety charges

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Public School Branch has pleaded guilty to two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act related to asbestos work. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Public School Branch has pleaded guilty to two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act related to asbestos work. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

P.E.I's Public School Branch has pleaded guilty to two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act related to asbestos work done in Mount Stewart last fall.

The Public Schools Branch, which oversees the Island's 56 English language public schools, pleaded guilty on Monday in Charlottetown provincial court.

The charges stem from an incident on Oct. 16, 2020 at a school in Mount Stewart. Court documents do not specify the school, but Mount Stewart Consolidated School is the only public school in the area.

According to the documents, the school board pleaded guilty to failing to ensure an asbestos management plan was developed and updated.

It also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure those who are undertaking asbestos work hold a valid asbestos contractor's certificate.

Sentencing scheduled next month

The Crown, represented by Chad McQuaid, is expected to stay two other charges the school board was facing.

The Public Schools Branch is being represented by Charlottetown lawyer Chera-Lee Gomez.

In a statement to CBC News on Wednesday, the Public Schools Branch said it could not comment on an ongoing legal matter.

Judge Nancy Orr is scheduled to sentence the school board on Dec. 14.

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