January 15, 2011
Back in early November, newspapers and TV stations blared out the heading, ‘Niagara Falls landscaping company fined $180,000 in connection with a 2008 explosion.’

Concern was soon expressed by Landscape Ontario that the media announcements were creating a negative image of the landscape industry. It was in fact not a landscaper involved in the incident, but a masonry company attempting to perform landscaping. The explosion took the life of a Niagara Falls woman.

It was learned that the information sent to the news media originated from the Ministry of Labour. After a number of requests from Landscape Ontario, the ministry corrected its Court Bulletin, to remove the word “Landscaping” from the heading. The heading now reads, ‘Company fined $180,000 total for health and safety violations.’

“This was a masonry firm unsuccessfully undertaking landscape duties,” said Sally Harvey, LO’s manager of education and labour development.

Terry Murphy, who writes the column The Underground World in Horticulture Review, wrote to the ministry, stating, “If a painter is painting a fence, or a house, and performed this function, DOES it make him a landscaper doing landscaping work?”