SPEAKING OUT: on April 28 Day of Mourning

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – On this April 28, the National Day of Mourning, New Democrats honour our sisters and brothers who have lost their lives or suffered injury and illness in the workplace.

Shamefully, Canada has one of the highest fatality rates of any OECD country. Between 1996 and 2006, close to 9,000 workers died from workplace accidents and illness. Hundreds of thousands more suffered work-related injuries and health problems. Despite the urgent need for safer workplaces, governments are weakening health and safety rules and enforcement.

This Conservative Government is also expanding the temporary foreign worker program, leaving temporary workers vulnerable to exploitation and unsafe working conditions. We are already seeing preventable deaths and injuries because of the poor working conditions faced by these workers.

Workers’ rights are human rights. In honour of the lives lost and the families affected, the NDP commits today to renew its fight for safe and healthy working conditions for all workers. We call on government and employers to do the same.