Workers Day of Mourning reminds us there’s much to do: Hughes

Ottawa –   Nobody should go to work to die, be injured, or suffer from workplace related illness, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes.

Hughes says the central message for the Worker’s Day of Mourning rings as true today as it ever did since there has been so little enforcement of the Westray Bill which can hold employers criminally responsible for workplace hazards.

“Incredibly, Canada is still dragging its feet when it comes to advancing the measures that were enacted in the Westray Bill,” said Hughes. “Without the protection of that Act being fully enforced, Canadian workers remain at risk and too many employers have a sense of security that they will not be prosecuted if something goes wrong.”

Hughes used recent statistics to illustrate the severity of the problem that persists in too many workplaces.

“In 2016, 905 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada and 241,508 claims were accepted for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease,” said Hughes. “Those are only the cases that were recorded and we can safely assume many more went unreported.” 

Hughes says that while Canadian workers wait for real protection in their workplaces, activists must remain vigilant in demanding the provisions of the Westray Bill be enforced and that Worker’s Day of Mourning events are powerful reminders of that.

“We gather to remember workers lost to workplace accidents and occupational related disease and to send our condolences to their loved ones,” said Hughes. “We honour their memory and offer support to those who are ill and injured.  We invigorate each other and share our resolve to bring about changes that will make our workplaces safer.”