April 28, is set aside each year to remember those who have been killed or seriously injured in the workplace. We have all lost loved ones to workplace accidents and today is the 30th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning.
Minister of Labour and Immigration Jason Copping issued the following statement on the National Day of Mourning:
“Every year, the National Day of Mourning is observed on April 28. This day is significant in honouring and remembering workers who were killed or injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness. Today, my thoughts are with these workers, their families, friends and colleagues and I encourage all Albertans to take a moment to remember our fallen workers.
“One workplace death is too many, and unfortunately in 2020, we lost 150 men and women as a result of workplace incidents or illnesses. They are not just numbers, they are people. They were parents, partners, siblings, sons, daughters, neighbours and friends. They were a part of our community and the role they played will always be remembered.
“The National Day of Mourning reminds us that everyone, employers, workers and governments, all have the responsibility to create healthy and safe workplaces. Together, we need to take actions to ensure everyone can work safely and make it home at the end of the day.
“This year marks the second consecutive year that the COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from gathering together to attend National Day of Mourning ceremonies and events. It also reminds us of the ongoing efforts by front-line workers to provide critical services to Albertans during these challenging times. I want to thank these workers and appreciate their dedication to serving their fellow Albertans.
“Let us take a moment today to honour and remember our fallen workers. Let’s also take a moment to consider how we can do better and reduce the number of deaths, injuries and illnesses in our workplaces.”
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on the National Day of Mourning:
“Today marks the 30th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning. On this day, we remember and honour every worker in Canada who has died, been injured, or suffered illness because of workplace hazards, accidents, or harassment. It is also a day to renew our commitment to preventing future workplace tragedies, which requires ongoing, shared effort from workers, employers, and the organizations that support them.
“More than a year into the pandemic, it is vital that we continue to acknowledge the great risks and challenges Canada’s front-line and essential workers are facing, and the sacrifices they have made, to keep us safe and healthy. Some have become ill, and some have died, making sure that others are cared for and protected.
“One of the best ways we can thank and honour these everyday heroes is by continuing to take public health guidelines seriously. That means continuing to wear a mask, keeping two metres apart, downloading and using the COVID Alert app, working from home if you can, and getting the vaccine when it’s your turn.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the toll this past year has taken on front-line and essential workers, and will continue to do everything we can to support them. That is why we have worked tirelessly to make sure they have access to the supplies they need to stay safe and healthy. That’s also why we created the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, to give income support to people who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19. We collaborated with provinces and territories to boost wages for low-income essential workers, so they can receive the compensation they deserve. We will continue to do whatever it takes to protect their health, help them do their job, and make sure they know Canada has their backs as much as they have ours.
“Today, I encourage all Canadians to pause and remember workers who have lost their lives, been injured, or become sick while on the job. We all have a role to play, especially in this challenging time, to build safer, healthier, and more dignified workplaces for everyone.”