MP Report- National Day of Mourning

Last week Canadians commemorated the National Day of Mourning.

Every year we remember workers killed or injured at work.

This day reminds us that much work remains to be done to prevent workplace accidents. Despite progress made in occupational health and safety in recent years it is essential to continue our efforts and ensure that resources are available for continued progress.

This day has special significance for Northern Manitoba.

Twenty-eight years ago, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) declared April 28th as an annual day of remembrance for workers killed and injured on the job.  Manitoba union leader and former Steelworkers President in Thompson, Dick Martin, was instrumental in the CLC’s initiative.

In 1991, our Member of Parliament, Rod Murphy, introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons that prompted Parliament to officially recognize April 28th as the National Day of Mourning.

Despite the progress in recent years, there is much more to be done. Approximately three Canadians die each day as a result of workplace accidents or illnesses related to their duties. In 2005, nearly 338,000 workplace accidents and occupational illnesses were reported. These deaths and injuries can be avoided. No one should have to fear for their life at work. Risk factors must be eliminated.

It is important to recognize the key role that the labour movement has played in improving workplace safety and health.

We must also continue to ensure that governments continue to enforce the laws and work in collaboration with employers to provide safe workplaces for Canadians.