Day of Mourning

Release Date: 
April 25, 2008

OTTAWA – Vincent Massey Park will again be the site of Canada’s National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job ceremony. Although officially observed by the Canadian Labour Congress since 1983 April 28th was first proclaimed a Day of Mourning by an Act of Parliament in 1991. Today in over one hundred countries around the world, in cities and in towns, April 28th is officially observed.

In Ontario 378 workers were carried to their graves in 2007 and another 333, 398 claimed compensation for work related injuries.

“We had several workplace injuries and deaths last year in our city”, said Sean McKenny, president of the Ottawa and District Labour Council. “The numbers don’t seem to change much year after year”, he added.

The ceremony at Vincent Massey Park was attended by close to 300 individuals last year. “We often are of two minds each year on April 28th,” said McKenny, “There is a pronounced sadness and at the same time there is frustration. Frustration that these needless injuries and deaths continue to occur day after day, month after month, year after year. Sadness because over three people are dying each day in this country as a result of the workplace and that means that somewhere there are children who will lose a parent, a husband who will lose a wife, and a sister who will lose a brother. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The ceremony at Vincent Massey Park starts at 12:30pm on Monday April 28th. Speakers include; Ken Georgetti (President of the Canadian Labour Congress) Robert Blakely (Director of Canadian Affairs for the Canadian Building Trades) The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn (Federal Minister of Labour), Jack Layton (Leader of the NDP) and Sean McKenny (President of the Ottawa and District Labour Council). This will be followed by wreath and rose laying.

The Ottawa and District Labour Council (ODLC) has been the voice of working people in the Ottawa area since 1872. The ODLC currently represents 90 local unions with a combined membership of close to 45,000 working men and women and is the largest democratic and popular organization in the Ottawa area.

Sean McKenny 613-862-5150
Ottawa & District Labour Council 613-233-7820