VICTORIA— John Horgan, leader of the B.C. New Democrats, issued the following statement on the Day of Mourning for B.C. workers who have lost their lives on the job:
“Today we will lower the flag at the B.C. legislature to half-mast. And inside the legislature, MLAs will observe a moment of silence.
“I feel a heaviness that comes with knowing how many others join us in observing the annual Day of Mourning, because they have colleagues, friends and loved ones whose lives were cut short or forever marked by workplace accidents. It is my sincere wish to say: I wish none of us had to suffer these tragedies.
“Each week in B.C., roughly four workers lose their lives and over 100 sustain permanent injuries.
“As much as this is a day to remember those who have lost their lives on the job, it is also a call to protect the living. We the New Democrats are honouring the Day of Mourning by reaffirming our commitment to prevent future workplace fatalities, life-altering injuries and occupational disease.
“This year we introduced legislation to get police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, sheriffs, correction officers and 911 dispatchers the help that they need when they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder due to psychological trauma that they endure on the job.
“We also introduced legislation to prevent death and injury by holding employers criminally responsible if their negligence causes unsafe working conditions.
“And we’re pushing to restore protections for late-night retail workers working alone, which was stripped when Grant’s Law was weakened.
“Today we are also introducing legislation that would officially recognize the Day of Mourning in the B.C. legislature.
“There are varying opinions on how to arrive at the goal to get every worker home safely at the end of each day, but I think we can all agree that we all have a role in making this reality possible.”