Queen of the North captain takes reinstatement case to court

Suit alleges complaints about BC Ferries' safety record cost captain his job

The captain of the Queen of the North, the ferry that sank off British Columbia's coast four years ago, is going to court to get his job back.

BC Ferries fired Colin Henthorne 10 months after the ferry sank in March 2006, killing two passengers.

He challenged the termination, claiming it was retribution for questioning BC Ferries' safety record. The province's workers' compensation board found in his favour, reinstated him last year and ordered BC Ferries to pay him lost wages.

But BC Ferries successfully appealed the ruling and Henthorne was dismissed again this March. BC Ferries also launched a lawsuit demanding Henthorne return the $127,000 in lost wages.

In his petition filed with the B.C. Supreme Court this month, Henthorne says BC Ferries didn't prove his complaints about poor safety conditions on the Queen of the North and other BC Ferries ships didn't influence the termination decision.

“BC Ferries management wrote to Captain Henthorne to advise him that, due to operational and staff requirements, BC Ferries no longer required his services,” says the petition.

“This was not the true reason for Captain Henthorne's dismissal.”

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