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Liberal MPP hosts forum in wake of gas-and-dash death

TORONTO, Ont. – Liberal MPP Mike Colle held a closed-door meeting to gauge feedback from Toronto gas station attendants on a private member’s bill sparked by an alleged gas-and-dash death on Thursday.

Colle invited gas station attendants to bring forward suggestions on what needs to be implemented to make their work safer.

“People just got to understand that it’s really putting safety over a convenience sometimes,” Colle told 680News.

“I don’t think it’s a big inconvenience,” he said.

Colle held a closed-door meeting, citing concerns over the job security and comfort of the participants.

“They want some kind of confidentiality because they don’t want to lose their job,” he said.

He said several victims of gas theft have approached him, including one, he said, who has been docked over $1,200 in pay over the thefts.

The death of 44-year-old Jayesh Prajapati in an alleged gas-and-dash incident prompted Colle’s bill.

The bill calls for prepayment at the pumps, harsher penalties for gas station owners who dock pay from attendants over gas theft and licence suspensions for those convicted of gas theft.

On Wednesday, Colle requested an inquest into the deaths of two gas station attendants.

In May 2011, Hashem Atifeh Rad, 62, died in hospital after trying to stop a motorist who fled without paying.