A Day of Mourning message from the OPSEU Disability Rights Caucus
This year marks the 25th anniversary since the Canadian federal government proclaimed April 28 the National Day of Mourning. On this day of mourning, we remember workers killed, injured or disabled in the workplace and we renew our commitment to ensuring the safety of all workers.
On this day, we reflect on the death of 22-year old Alexia Dallaire-Vincent as a result of a rail haulage accident at St. Andrew Goldfields’ Holt Mine, northeast of Kirkland Lake, in May 2015. This was the second fatality at the site in less than a year.
We remember Jason Miller, who died after an explosion and fire at Veolia ES Canadian Industrial Services in October 2014 in Sarnia. Four other workers were also injured in the explosion.
We remember every worker who has died in the last year from a work-related illness.
Every day in Canada, about three workers are killed on the job or die of a workplace-related illness. Between 2008 and 2013, there was a 36 per cent increase in workplace fatalities. Most workplace deaths are not large-scale events, but claim one life at a time through preventable workplace incidents or accidents. Workplace hazards are also not just physical: many workers are subject to disabling psychosocial risks, job insecurity, workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination. Most workplace deaths, injuries and disabilities go unnoticed and unrecognized by all but co-workers and family members.
For this reason, we must remember the workers who were injured and whose lives were taken as a result of unsafe and unhealthy workplaces. In recognition of the long struggle waged by unions and advocates, we must rededicate ourselves to ensure safe working conditions. And, in memory of lives lost, we must prevent workplace accidents and injuries in all its forms. As much as this is a day to remember those killed and injured, it is also a call to protect the living.
This year, take action and support Bill 180: An Act to Proclaim a Workers Day of Mourning.
For a sample letter to your Member of Provincial Parliament Sample letter to your member of provincial parliament.pdf
For more information about Bill 180.