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Markham marks National Day of Mourning with new 'We Remember. We Commit' video

Flags at Markham Civic Centre, Markham Fire Stations flying at half-staff
April 29, 2022
Yoyo Yan

The City of Markham has released a new online video in recognition of the National Day of Mourning April 28 to honour and remember workers who have lost their lives, been seriously injured or who have suffered illness due to workplace hazards.

On this day, Markham remembers and commits to protecting workers and preventing further workplace tragedies, illness and injury.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, workplace health and safety has never been more important, especially for front-line workers and first responders.

It is also fitting that a video tribute is once again being used in 2022 as a way to safely recognize and commemorate this day. The flags at Markham Civic Centre, 8100 Warden Ave., and Markham Fire Stations are flying at half-mast.

"On this National Day of Mourning, we remember and we commit," said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "Together, we commit to protecting workers and preventing further workplace tragedies. We continue to work to ensure all of our workplaces are safe, and our staff receive proper training to develop the skills they need, particularly for any equipment they may use. Safety is always a priority for us."

The National Day of Mourning is commemorated nationally every year to ensure that workplace tragedies are not forgotten. The date April 28 was chosen in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the day to align with the 70th anniversary of the provincial government's approval of the Workers' Compensation Act.

Canadian workers and employers observe the National Day of Mourning in several ways, by lighting candles, wearing commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, laying wreaths and pausing for a moment of silence.

"On this National Day of Mourning, we remember and pay respect to the thousands of workers who have risked their own health and safety to serve others," said Adam Grant, Markham Fire and Emergency Services chief. "We commit to reaffirming the city's strong health and safety principles and practices like staff training and active supervision to prevent injuries and death."

"On this National Day of Mourning, we remember those workers killed or injured on the job," said Rob Kerfoot, unit chairperson for CUPE Local 905 Markham. "We vow to keep fighting for a safe and healthy workplace for everyone. Today, and every day, we commit to continue to fight -- for better legislation, for better education, and for the vital personal protective equipment our members need."