For the second consecutive year, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) commemorated the National Day of Mourning with a public ceremony this morning. Families, workers, employers and WSIB staff, gathered to honour those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace.
Speakers included the Honourable Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB Chair and Johanna LeRoux, mother ofMicheal Fisher who was killed at work in 2006 when he was 22 years old.
“Every day, the WSIB is here to support those whose lives have been forever changed by workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses,” said Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB Chair. “But on April 28th, we make a special effort to remember and honour all of those affected. The Day of Mourning also reminds all of us of the continued need to demonstrate our commitment to the promotion of healthy and safe workplaces, where every worker comes home safely at the end of the day.”
Last year in Ontario, 226 people were killed at work or died from an occupational disease. To emphasize the importance of the Day of Mourning with all Ontarians, the WSIB ran a four week public Awareness Campaign this year. The campaign featured a special Day of Mourning video (available at www.wsibdayofmourning.ca) and utilized a range of channels to ensure the message reached as many people as possible.
As visual tributes to the Day of Mourning, the 3D TORONTO sign in Nathan Phillips Square and the CN Tower will be lit in yellow, traditionally a colour of hope, throughout the day and this evening. Numerous events to mark the day are also being held in communities across the province and the country.
April 28 was chosen as the date for the National Day of Mourning in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the Day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the day the first Ontario Workers’ Compensation Act was approved by the government. The Day of Mourning was enshrined in national legislation by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991.
SOURCE Workplace Safety & Insurance Board