Day of Mourning Waterloo 2014

Day of Mourning Ceremony in Waterloo April 28, 10:30am
Waterloo City Hall, 100 Regina St. S., Waterloo

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Waterloo, ON - Workers, union leaders, and local politicians will gather on Monday morning in Waterloo to commemorate the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, MPP Catherine Fife, and a representative of MP Peter Braid will all give addresses, as will Labour Council President Marc Xuereb and keynote speaker Greg Bobier, who is a business agent with the Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin Trades Council.

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Day of Mourning Infographic
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The event begins at 10:30am at the Workers' Memorial outside Waterloo City Hall at 100 Regina Street South, Waterloo.

"The Day of Mourning is our annual opportunity to remind government and the community of the great achievements we have made in the area of workplace safety, largely thanks to the work of the labour movement," said Waterloo Regional Labour Council President Marc Xuereb. "But it's also an urgent reminder of how far we still need to go. Too many workers are killed or injured on the job, and unfortunately we still have inadequate penalties for employers whose negligence leads to workplace deaths."

977 workers died from work-related causes in 2012 (the last year for which data is available), and 306 of those were in Ontario, making Ontario the province with the highest number of workplace deaths, far more than second-place Quebec with 211.
Last October, Waterloo experienced a workplace death that led to renewed questions about the penalties for negligent employers. 23-year-old construction worker Nick Lalonde fell from the roof of a building that had no guardrails, and he was not wearing a harness. The Labour Council called for a criminal investigation into his death. Waterloo Regional Police have said that they will consider starting an investigation once the Ministry of Labour completes its investigation, which may not happen until this October.
 
Monday's event will be a reminder of the need for stronger penalties for negligent employers, including jail terms. The United Steelworkers have launched a campaign in the past year calling attention to as-yet unenforced changes made to the criminal code that allow for jail sentences for executives of negligent corporations. The campaign, at stopthekilling.ca, includes an excellent video summarizing the issues and calling for stronger enforcement.
 
 
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