(506) 857-2125

As part of The National Day of Mourning, marked annually across Canada on April 28, workers, families, labour unions and communities are honouring and remembering workers who have lost their lives to a workplace injury or illness. This year’s theme is Safe Work Now! Workers deserve to be safe and protected at work, and workplace laws and regulations must be enforced.

In 2023, 14 New Brunswickers did not come home at the end of their workday, an increase from 2022. Thousands of workers also experience workplace injuries and illnesses such as brain and psychological injuries, occupational cancer, and long COVID. In 2023, there were 3,932 accepted lost time claims in New Brunswick. Over the past 30 years in Canada, there are more workplace deaths than homicides, on average. Workers who lose their lives on the job deserve justice. Their families and communities deserve justice. These tragedies are entirely avoidable.

“At the end of the workday, workers want to go home safely to their families and communities. One injury, illness or death is too many. There are regulations and legislations in Canada and New Brunswick to protect workers and provide serious penalties, including criminal liability on negligent employers, such as Occupation Health and Safety Act and the provisions of the Westray Law”, explains Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. “However, the laws are not enforced, as we’ve seen last fall in the shocking outcome of the sentencing hearing for 18-year-old Michael Henderson’s death on a Springhill construction site in 2018. Too many employers get away with dangerous working conditions.”

Over the last few decades, labour unions have advocated for health and safety measures and legislations across the country. In Canada and New Brunswick, employers are responsible for providing safe working conditions, including personal protective equipment, tools, workplace training and health and safety committees. Workers and unions will continue to fight for better enforcement of existing occupational health and safety laws and the Westray section of the Criminal Code of Canada.

“Workers have rights. They can refuse to work in an unsafe workplace, and they can report it, so actions are taken to address the situation before someone gets hurt or worse,” explains George Nickerson NBFL Vice-President responsible for workplace health and safety. “Employers have legal responsibilities to protect workers and provide the best and safest working conditions, yet there are too few charges being laid, convictions being secured and serious penalties upon successful conviction. We have the laws, let’s use them!”

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For additional information please contact:

Daniel Legere
NBFL President
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)

George Nickerson
NBFL Vice President responsible for Workplace Health & Safety
(902) 580-0375 (cell)

In 2024, Day of Mourning events are happening as follows in New Brunswick:
Bathurst & District Labour Council
Sunday April 28 at 11:00 a.m.
Day of Mourning Monument near Sacred Heart Cathedral, Douglas ave.
For more information, contact Serge Plourde at (506) 252-6331
Edmundston & District Labour Counci
Sunday April 28 at 11:00 a.m.
Park next to City Hall on the Canada road.
For more information, contact Lorn Martin at (506) 737-7063
Fredericton & District Labour Council
Sunday April 28 at 12:00 p.m.
Fredericton Fallen Firefighters’ Monument next to the Small Craft Aquatic Center along the south banks of the Wolastoq (Saint John River).
For more information, contact Tyler McCready at (506) 999-2251
Miramichi & District Labour Council,
Sunday April 28 at 1:00 p.m.
River Front Park (Ledden Street) on the north shore of the Miramichi River.
For more information, contact Ryley Hallihan at (506) 625-2574
Moncton & District Labour Council
Sunday April 28 at 12 noon.
Cenotaph in Bore Park.
For more information, contact Melissa Brown at (506) 872-4643.
Saint John & District Labour Council
Sunday April 28 at 12:00 p.m.
Day of Mourning Monument, Frank & Ella Hatheway Center at Rockwood Park.
For more information, contact Shawn Wetmore (506) 693-9347
Restigouche & District Labour Council
Sunday April 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Start at the Dalhousie lions club where we will walk to Rotary park, 2 min walk where there will be a service, after the service we will walk back to the lions hall where there will be coffee and tea available
For more information, contact Brian Arsenault (506) 686-4050