Home Business & Economy Jobs & Employment Grey sky day for National Day of Mourning

Grey sky day for National Day of Mourning

In 2023, 175 people in B.C. died just for doing their jobs. ~ Premier David Eby

flags, half mast, oak bay
Flags at half-mast in Oak Bay on the National Day of Mourning, April 28, 2024. [District of Oak Bay]

Sunday April 28, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Today across BC and Canada, flags are at half-mast for the National Day of Mourning.

The Province and others have issued statements to recognize this day that for many people flies below the radar. But in particular during the pandemic the work of essential and frontline workers together with workers across all industries and sectors was recognized as an integral piece of the fabric of our economy and society.

grey skies, langford, forest
Grey skies and rain on a forested landscape in Langford, BC. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Here on south Vancouver Island there is rain under grey skies, and there was snow under heavily overcast skies on the Coquihalla Highway in the BC interior. Somehow fitting for the somber reminder that the day is intended to convey.

winter conditions, Coquihalla, april 2024
Winter conditions on the Coquihalla Highway in BC on April 28, 2024. [X / Lana Popham]

Premier David Eby on the National Day of Mourning:

“The National Day of Mourning is a time to honour workers who have been killed or have suffered injury or illness on the job. It is an opportunity for all of us to recommit to eliminating workplace tragedies.

premier david eby, legislative assemly
Premier David Eby in the Legislative Assembly on April 25, 2024.[ Hansard livestream]

“No work-related injury or loss of life is acceptable. Yet, last year, 175 people in B.C. died just for doing their jobs.

“I think of the brave firefighters who lost their lives during last year’s record-breaking wildfire season. I think of the mother of two who died in a crane accident in Vancouver. And I think of all the people whose lives have been forever changed by a workplace injury or the loss of a loved one on the job.

“Every death is an outrage; every loss is profound. To the friends, family and colleagues who have lost someone: We stand with you in your grief.

“It is critical that we continue to work toward a future without job-related injury or death, and it’s why our government has taken steps to better protect the health and safety of workers.

national day of mourning, bc legislature
Permanent memorial to those who have died on the job, at the BC Legislature. [BC Govt]

“Earlier this year, we brought in new rules to enhance safety for workers doing asbestos removals, transportation and disposal, making B.C. the first jurisdiction in Canada to require that asbestos-abatement contractors who operate in B.C. are licensed.

seaparc, skate park, public input

“We made changes to the Workers Compensation Act to give people injured at work better supports, and we have changed the law to make it easier for workers to organize at work and have more say in workplace safety. In order to protect young workers, we brought in new regulations to ensure that certain jobs require a minimum age of 18, such as logging and jobs in smelters and oil drilling.

“Because work-related injury and illnesses are not always physical, we introduced a mental-health presumption for workers’ compensation claims for certain professions. This recognition fast tracks the claims process so that people suffering from work-related trauma have easier access to supports and compensation for those illnesses once a formal diagnosis has been made.

“Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy workplace, which includes the right to refuse unsafe work.

“As we remember those we have lost, we must also resolve to ensure that everyone in every job is protected from harm in their workplace.”

district of metchosin

Other statements on National Day of Mourning:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “Today we remember the workers who didn’t come home from a job, and those whose lives were changed forever by an injury, or trauma, from work.    It’s our responsibility — governments, unions, employers — to ensure safe work for all.”

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour: “Today, on the National Day of Mourning, I join people across B.C. and Canada in remembering and honouring those who did not return home safely from work.

harry bains
Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, addressed media about small business, at a local coffee shop in Victoria on April 5, 2023. [livestream]

“Today and every day, my thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one, a colleague or a friend, and with those who continue to suffer from illness or injury caused by their work.

“As the minister of labour, I am deeply aware of the risks and hazards that workers can encounter on the job, and my top priority since Day 1 is to make workplaces across B.C. as safe as possible.

“Together with WorkSafeBC, we continue to strengthen the prevention and enforcement of health and safety rules at workplaces throughout B.C. This solemn day reminds us that we have more work to do to keep workers safe and we remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure people go home to their family at the end of the day – healthy and whole.”

BC Legislature: The #BCLeg Canadian flag is at half-mast today to mark the National #DayOfMourning for workers who died, were injured, or became ill from their job. Last year, we unveiled the Workers’ Memorial in the Garden of Honour. We remember them.

monk office, chairs

District of Oak Bay: “The District honours and remembers workers who have died, were injured, or became ill from their job. We remain committed to protecting workers and preventing workplace tragedies.”

E-Comm 911: “Today our flags are lowered in recognition of #DayOfMourning – honouring those who have lost their lives to workplace injury or disease, including our first responder partners who have made the ultimate sacrifice while bravely serving in the line of duty. We are thinking of you.”

Camosun College: “On the National Day of Mourning, and throughout the year, we remember those who died, became injured or ill from their job. As an employer, Camosun College remains committed to a healthy and safe workplace, and preventing workplace injuries.”

camosun college, national day of mourning
Permanent memorial to those who have died on the job, on the Camosun College campus in Saanihc, BC. [Camosun]

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh: “In Canada, workplace fatalities and injuries increased in the last year. It is a sad reminder that more needs to be done to prevent accidents, illnesses, injuries and death while on the job.”

Lisa Marie Barron, MP (Nanaimo-Ladysmith): “April 28th is the #DayOfMourning to remember those lost, injured, or who became sick on the job, & unite for healthy & safe workplaces. Thank you @CanadianLabour, #Nanaimo #Duncan District #Labour Council, & @WorkSafeBC for the work you do every day supporting workplace safety.”

Teri Mooring (former President of the BC Teachers Federation): “Today we set time aside to remember remember those workers who were killed or injured during the course of their work. Far too many workers did not return home in BC and Canada, including young workers.”

ist main, day of mourning
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