Day of Mourning: Statement from Friends of Medicare

Day of Mourning: Statement from Friends of Medicare

EDMONTON — Every year on April 28, we gather to recognize the National Day of Mourning. This year, Friends of Medicare’s executive director, Chris Gallaway, will be hosting the Day of Mourning ceremony in Edmonton.

The Day of Mourning is a day to commemorate workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness while at work. It serves as an annual reminder that we have a collective, societal responsibility to keep each other safe in the workplace.

In 2023, Alberta lost 165 people to workplace injury or illness, and tens of thousands more were injured on the job. These numbers are a stark reminder of the human cost of inaction. Every worker deserves to come home safe and healthy. Even one injury is too many, let alone 165 lives lost.

There remains much work to do in Alberta to ensure safer, healthier workplaces. Our lack of robust Occupational Health and Safety and Workers Compensation systems ultimately falls onto our public health care: workplace injuries cost tens of billions of dollars to Canada’s health care systems each year. Preventing workplace injuries is crucial for the long-term health of our economy, communities and public health care system.

With so many health care workers experiencing rising rates of violence in their own workplaces, addressing violence within health care is also increasingly urgent. Health care workers deserve to be safe when they show up to care for us. We need a violence-prevention plan in place that includes addressing rampant short-staffing throughout our health care system. Because violence is not part of the job.

Yet, we continue to see inaction on simple solutions that would help keep workers healthy, like paid sick days for all workers. Instead, we have a provincial government that has been actively undermining and rolling back workplace health and safety protections, including limiting workers’ rights to know and participate in workplace health and safety, and weakening their right to refuse unsafe work.

Albertans deserve better. On April 28, we must take the time to mourn those who have been lost, and we must recommit to fighting for a safer, healthier Alberta for us all.

Attend a Day of Mourning Ceremony in your community:


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