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Province Recognizes National Day of Mourning
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 28, 2009 
The following statement was issued by the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.  It was also read in the House of Assembly:  

Province Recognizes National Day of Mourning 

I rise in this Honourable House to recognize that today, April 28, marks the 25th anniversary of National Day of Mourning in Canada.  This occasion provides us with an opportunity to remember workers who have been killed, injured, or suffered illness due to workplace hazards and incidents.

In observing National Day of Mourning we raise awareness about the importance of workplace health and safety. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have much to reflect on during this year’s National Day of Mourning, having just experienced the devastating effects of a workplace accident with the recent offshore helicopter tragedy.  

In 2008 there were 23 work-related deaths in this province, with 6 due to accidents in the workplace and 17 as a result of occupational disease. In terms of national statistics, in the fifteen year period from 1993 to 2007, just over 13,000 individuals lost their lives in Canada due to work-related causes.  

These statistics demonstrate how important it is to encourage a strong commitment toward occupational health and safety, and I am happy to report that in this province we are seeing that commitment grow.  I remind the Honourable Members that I recently reported the encouraging news that since the year 2000 on-the-job injuries in Newfoundland and Labrador have decreased by 38 per cent.  

This significant improvement is largely due to the dedication of employers, unions and workers throughout the province. I applaud everyone who is making an effort to enhance health and safety practices in the workplace, and I ask that the losses we reflect upon today always keep us mindful of the price that is paid if we slip in our vigilance.  

Before I conclude, I want to recognize the contributions made by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and the Occupational Health and Safety Branch of the Department of Government Services. These institutions play a key role in the administration of regulations and the development of promotional efforts that help keep our workplaces incident-free.   

With government, business and labour working in partnership, I am confident we can ensure the well-being of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and minimize the kinds of unfortunate losses we are called to reflect upon today.  

I will now ask all Honourable Members of this House to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of workers who have been killed, injured or suffered serious illness while on the job. 

2009 04 28                                        1:40 p.m.

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