Friday, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning, a day to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy. In 2015, 852 workplace fatalities were recorded in Canada.
“When we hear news of a worker falling to their death or dying from a work-related cancer, it reminds us that behind every statistic there is a person with a family and co-workers who belongs to a community. The suffering of every work-related tragedy extends beyond the worker and impacts us all,” said Gareth Jones, president of CEO of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
In 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress, the Parliament of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act making April 28 an official Day of Mourning. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 100 countries around the world.
Canadian flags on Parliament Hill and in federal government buildings are flying at half-mast to honour the workers whose lives have been lost, who have been injured or disabled on the job or who suffer from occupational disease. Employers and workers observe the National Day of Mourning in a variety of ways. Some attend ceremonies, light candles, lay wreaths, wear commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands and pause for a moment of silence at 11 a.m.
Don’t miss the National Day of Mourning events in your area:
Event at 12:30 pm at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse.
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
The Northern Territories Federation of Labour is organizing an event at the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife from noon to 1 pm.
Many events across the provinces are listed here. Speakers include family survivors (Mary-Jaye Salmon, Rosemarie Lachnit, Renee Ozee and Philip Huxley) as well as injured workers (Matthew Bowcott, Mark Johnson and Michael Lovett). Honour a loved one on the virtual dedication wall.
Events in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary and Lethbridge.
The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour has organized a number of events across the province, including a vigil in Regina. The events take place in the evening.
Candlelight memorial service hosted by the Manitoba Federation of Labour in Winnipeg at 11 am. Safe Workers of Tomorrow: Leaders Walk also in Winnipeg from noon to 1 pm. Other events across the province.
Events being held in most cities across the province.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is hosting an event in Toronto. Speakers will include: Elaine Keunen, mother of young worker killed in 2014; Ontario Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn; Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB chair; and Thomas Teahen, WSIB president and CEO.
Various events across the province, including a march in Miramichi.
Various events across the province, including wreath laying in front of the provincial legislature in Halifax at 11 am.
Flag raising ceremonies in Charlottetown and Summerside, organized by the P.E.I. Federation of Labour.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Events across the province.
Have a National Day of Mourning event not mentioned here? Add it in the comments below.