In recognition of National Day of Mourning 2015

I rise as well today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to the National Day of Mourning. On April 28 every year we come together to remember the workers whose lives have been lost and those who have been injured while on the job, and to renew our collective commitment to healthy and safe workplaces.

Today we join the rest of Canada and countries around the world to honour the millions of lives that have forever been changed by workplace injuries. Although we continue to make gains toward stronger health and safety regulations, workplace injuries and work-related illnesses are still way too common. One workplace injury is still too many injuries in the workplace — although this year, 360 people have reported workplace injuries already.

The Day of Mourning reminds us how critical it is to enforce and to follow all health and safety regulations. All workers have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment and no one should ever become a victim of an unsafe workplace. One of the messages that we heard today from union representatives at the ceremony was: “Take these safe practices that you learn at work and take them home and share them with your family.”

Workplace health and safety is a shared responsibility. It is up to both employers and employees to follow workplace safety procedures and to report any unsafe conditions immediately. Even something that may seem small could have catastrophic effects if ignored. By working together, then and only then can we not only prevent and reduce, but eliminate, workplace injuries.

As we gather to renew our commitment to preventing further workplace injuries, we also pause to reflect and to honour all workers who have been injured or killed on the job, and mourn with the families who have been left behind. As we pay our respects, we must not allow the memories or suffering of these workers to be forgotten. We remember the tragedies suffered and the triumphs achieved.