Members of the public paid their respects to those who lost their lives through work-related accidents or disease during Delta’s Day of Mourning today.
The Canadian government officially proclaimed April 28 a national day of remembrance for fallen workers in 1991, although it was first recognized in 1984 by the Canadian Labour Congress.
John Gibson, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 454, said April 28 was a difficult day for him.
“I can’t help but have a heavy heart,” he said, adding his grandfather died of cancer, likely caused by his work in the auto body industry.
“This always gets me thinking about safety in our society, as a community and as a workforce,” he said. “That is why this day is so meaningful, because it gives us pause to rethink our commitment to safety in the workplace.”
According to Gibson, 144 workers died and 1,000 workers were injured on the job in B.C. in 2016.
Coun. Sylvia Bishop and Delta’s chief administrative officer George Harvie were present at the event, as were police chief Neil Dubord, fire chief Dan Copeland.
Members of BC Hydro, the Delta police and the Delta fire department were also there.
After Gibson’s speech, people laid white carnations in front of a small stone honouring two CUPE 454 members: Murray Cameron, who passed away in 2001, and George Ellis, who passed away in 2003.