On this National Day of Mourning we pause to honour the women and men who have lost their lives or been injured at work, and recommit to enforce the laws and standards for better workplace safety.
Statement by New Democrat Leader Jack Layton on the National Day of Mourning
Today New Democrats across the country mark the National Day of Mourning and honour those men and women who have been injured or killed on the job.
Since the Canadian Labour Congress first created the Day of Mourning in 1984 we have seen successive governments pledge to support workers. In addition to new legislation on workplace safety, the government needs to provide the resources to enforce these laws.
In 1991, the House of Commons adopted a New Democrat Bill to proclaim April 28th as the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. In the 19 years since, the number of workplace fatalities has only been increasing. In the last decade, that increase was a staggering 35 per cent. No one should leave their home in the morning wondering whether today is the day that they die on the job. Every single workplace death and injury is preventable.
We have an obligation to act. We have an obligation to enact and enforce laws that prevent occupational fatalities and diseases. We have an obligation to ensure that every workplace is safe.
Let this be the year that we finally see the statistics start to improve. Let this be the year that we finally see the strengthening of labour and safety standards and improved enforcement.