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National Day of Mourning recognized Friday for workplace-related deaths

Today is the National Day of Mourners, recognizing those who have died or become ill as a result of their jobs.

To recognize the day, ceremonies were held across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. Flags will be at half mast through the weekend in some communities to commemorate those lost.

Sechelt held a ceremony at spirit square this morning that was attended by Mayor John Henderson, who says workplace safety should be a priority at any job.

“There’s nothing more important than safety,” says Henderson. “I think we have an opportunity today to acknowledge both the tragedies that have happened, but take that as a reminder that there is never a  day to ignore safety practices.”

The day recognizes among others, the 1,081 people who died in the country due to workplace-related incidents in 2021. That number from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada who say the number skews heavily towards men, who made up 1,009 of that total.

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The city of Nanaimo held a ceremony of their own, at Pioneer Waterfront Plaza. They honoured the 181 BCers who lost their lives due to workplace injury or disease last year.

“When you lose a loved one, the pain never goes away. We all have responsibilities to ensure workers and workplaces are healthy and safe,” says the city in a social media statement.

“The National Day of Mourning is not only a day to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy, but also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths.”

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