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House Statement
by the Honourable Kevin Flynn
Minister of Labour
on the Day of Mourning

  • Issued: April 28, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: April 2015

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Speaker:

April 28 is observed across Canada as the Day of Mourning – a day when we pay our respects to and remember the thousands of men and women who have been killed or injured on the job.

We also honour the families and friends whose lives have been drastically changed by these tragedies.

This date was picked because on April 28, 1914, the Workmen’s Compensation Act was given third reading in this very legislature.

Ontario has been recognizing the Day of Mourning since the 1980s.

Now the Day of Mourning is recognized in more than 100 countries around the world.

Here at home, health and safety advocates in our businesses, schools and our communities work hard every day to ensure healthy and safe workplaces for our people.

The good news is that thanks to those efforts, we’ve significantly lowered the number of workplace injuries in our province.

In the past decade, we've reduced injuries by 40 per cent, making Ontario one of the safest places to work in Canada.

Despite this progress, however, too many people continue to lose their lives, or suffer an injury or illness as a result of their job.

No job is worth a life.

No job is worth an injury.

And while it is important to track the numbers to ensure our plans are working, there is, of course, a very real and very human dimension to this.

When workplace tragedies happen, lives are devastated.

Families and co-workers — indeed whole communities — feel the impact.

And it’s painful.

So I take this very seriously and know you all do too.

I urge each and every one of you to make workplace health and safety a personal priority, and I ask you to spread the word in your communities that workers have the right to refuse unsafe work, and that there are resources available through the Ministry of Labour so employers and workers understand their rights and responsibilities.

Speaker, I’m proud to be part of a government that is actively investing in workplace health and safety.

At my ministry, we are working hard with our partners to continue to bring injury numbers down and to eliminate deaths.

We’ve almost doubled the number of workplace health and safety inspectors in Ontario.

Earlier this month, we took action to prevent falls in the construction sector by making new working at heights training mandatory…

And recently, we were in Sudbury to announce that the government is accepting and acting on all 18 recommendations from the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review.

Also, we are continuing to conduct inspection blitzes every year to raise safety awareness and help prevent injuries and fatalities.

However, I know much more must be done.

We must continue to strive to make a difference for our workers.

We need to ensure every workplace has the tools they need to improve workplace health and safety, and that every worker has the information and support they need to make safe choices in the workplace.

Let us all honour those we remember today by re-dedicating ourselves to doing whatever it takes to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

Let’s continue to work hard to change the culture around workplace health and safety.

And let’s remember all those who have been injured or killed at work — let’s keep them in our thoughts so we never forget the importance of our commitment to keep workers safe.

Speaker, very shortly we will observe a moment of silence to remember those who have died, been injured or become ill on the job.

Let us now honour the memory of our fallen by pledging to do what we can to make Ontario workplaces as safe as possible for all our working men and women and their families.

Thank you, Speaker.