Today is the annual Day of Mourning on April 28 commemorates workers who have been killed as a result of their jobs. Family survivors will be joined by workers, employers, local labour councils and WorkSafeBC to mark the day with more than 30 ceremonies throughout the province, including here in Prince George.
The Canadian Labour Congress created and held the first National Day of Mourning ceremony on April 28, 1984, making Canada the first country to formally commemorate workers killed in the workplace. Today, Day of Mourning ceremonies take place around the world and the day is recognized by the federal and provincial governments, as well as by municipalities across B.C.
A public memorial ceremony is being held in Prince George with presentations from Don Iwaskow, president of the North Central Labour Council; Mayor Lyn Hall; Barry Nakahara, manager of prevention field services for WorkSafeBC; Dallas Smith, CUPE 399; and Matthew Bowcott, who was injured as a young worker.
The ceremonies get underway at noon at the Workers’ Memorial located at Patricia Boulevard and Queensway.
In 2016, there were a total of 144 work-related deaths in B.C.; 85 were caused by occupational disease primarily resulting from exposure to asbestos decades ago, and 59 resulted from traumatic injuries.