By Joel van der Veen
A small crowd gathered at the Moose Jaw Union Centre on Saturday morning to honour the nearly 40 workers in Saskatchewan who were killed on the job or died as a result of work-related illness or injury last year.
“More must be done to end worker fatalities,” Stacey Landin, president of the Moose Jaw & District Labour Council, said. “We call on Saskatchewan, the federal government and employers to take action, not just send condolences.”
Around 1,000 workers in Canada die annually as a result of work-related injury or illness. The National Day of Mourning is recognized each year on April 28 as an opportunity to remember those who have died or fallen ill, as well as a reminder of the need to increase workplace safety.
Landin said the ceremony is usually held outside near a memorial cairn constructed in 2000, but steady rain forced the crowd to congregate inside the tiny Union Centre building.
Besides members of the public and union representatives, the audience also included Moose Jaw Mayor Glenn Hagel, MLAs Warren Michelson and Greg Lawrence, city councillor Don Mitchell and former MLA Deb Higgins.
“We gather today to mourn the loss of workers who never came home from their jobs in our community and our province,” said Landin. “Sadly, going to work killed them.”
For more information, see Monday's edition of the Times-Herald.