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B.C. marks Day of Mourning

Journal of Commerce
B.C. marks Day of Mourning
WORKSAFEBC - Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services officers act as honour guards for the Day of Mourning, held in Vancouver on April 28 to commemorate those who passed away in the workplace.

On April 28, British Columbians remembered those who lost their lives while at work at Day of Mourning ceremonies held across the Lower Mainland and the province.

The Vancouver ceremony saw lighting of the Olympic Cauldron along with speeches from workers injured on the job, family members affected by workplace tragedy, and presentations from the B.C. ministry of labour, the BC Federation of Labour, WorkSafeBC and the Business Council of British Columbia.

“Today we mourn those who have lost their lives, send thoughts to people injured on the job, and vow to do more to protect today’s workers from injury or illness. The National Day of Mourning highlights the need for all of us to make workplace safety our priority, and today, I am proud to stand up and re-affirm my commitment to safe workplaces through action,” B.C. minister of labour Harry Bains said.

“The Day of Mourning gives added meaning and urgency to the need for safer, healthier workplaces. Health and safety must be our priority every day of the year. Workplace injury and work-related disease are preventable; they are not a cost of doing business,” WorkSafeBC interim president and CEO Brian Erickson added

In 2018 WorkSafeBC recorded 131 work-related death claims, with 66 as a result of occupational disease and 65 from traumatic injury. Construction had 30 deaths in the last year, the highest number of any sub-sector.

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Darren Gregory Image Darren Gregory

We mourn today the loss to suicide of far too many BC Workers abused by dysfunctional, broken systems.

I’m a former BC social service worker and former BC paramedic. One of the first to go-down to traumatic stress/chronic stress induced brain injury and resulting, now chronic, PTSD.

Our compensation law and policy here was stacked in 2002 by then Premier and elected dictator, Gordon Campbell. The goal was to introduce finally language to support those with mental stress work-caused issues. The Corporate and Business Employer Community, along with our Government Employers: Insisted on language that over-empowered the system to favour the employer over injured workers for years.

I’ve hit now, every system of so-called care we have running, since having to accept permanent disability in 2015 following my own suicide attempt (we did not get right treatment-too many of us have lost our entire lives-family, friends, peers, assets-I went bankrupt in 2012).

I share not to seek pity. My life is what it is-and I’ve shared my journey openly in hope that the reality for the general public will sink in.

Reality for Injured Workers in our country: Canada’s Social Safety Net is now In Tatters.

We’ve neglected social issues for a generation. The issues are come home now to roost as evidenced with the rising mess in or streets. Trauma issues lie at the root of all of these issues-addiction most of all.

The full weight of failed social policy has fallen directly on the backs of Public Safety and the Care Community. Thus, we’re seeing the workforce breaking down.

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