In recognition of the National Day of Mourning 2014

Mr. Silver:   I rise 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 commemorate the workers whose lives have been lost, or who were injured or disabled on the job. 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning and we in the Yukon join the rest of Canada and many countries around the world to honour the millions of lives that have been forever changed by workplace injuries.

Every year on this day in the Yukon, across Canada and around the world we join together for two important reasons: to remember those who have been injured or lost their lives in the workplace and to renew our collective commitment to health and safety in the workplace.

Mr. Speaker, workplace health and safety is a shared responsibility. It is up to both the employers and to the employees to follow workplace safety procedures and to report any unsafe conditions immediately.

By working together, then and only then can we hope to prevent and to reduce, but also hopefully at some point eliminate workplace deaths, injuries and diseases.

In 2013, 974 workers required time away from their jobs to recover from their injuries. Three people ultimately lost their lives due injuries in the workplace and this is three people too many. To date, this year, Yukon has already reported 365 workplace injuries. These men and women are victims of unsafe workplaces. All workers have the right to work in safe and healthy environments.

The Day of Mourning draws our attention to the need for safer workplaces. It sends a strong message about enforcing and following all health and safety laws and regulations that are in place and to renew our commitment to prevent further workplace deaths, injuries and diseases.

Although we have made gains toward stronger health and safety regulations, workplace injuries and related illnesses are still way too common. We still have far too many lives that are unnecessarily lost or irrevocably afflicted by injuries because of workplace accidents or occupational diseases.

In the 30 years that we have been observing the Day of Mourning, 58 Yukoners have lost their lives. Today, we pause and reflect and honour all workers who have been injured or killed on the job and we mourn the families that they have left behind. As we pay our respects, we must not allow the memories or the suffering of those workers to be forgotten. We remember the tragedies suffered and the triumphs achieved.

In closing, I just want to say I was very encouraged to see so many Yukoners earlier today in the main foyer of the administrative building for the National Day of Mourning ceremony. I want to echo the comments made there for everybody in the workplace to take care and to look after each and every one of us.