April 28, 2020 9:00 A.M.
TORONTO — The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, issued the following statement regarding the National Day of Mourning:
“Today, we observe the National Day of Mourning to honour those who have died, been injured or become ill in the course of their work. As Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, I’m asking everyone in Ontario to take a few moments to remember those who are no longer with us, and think about those who are still living with the consequences of a workplace tragedy.
The National Day of Mourning was established in 1984 to commemorate workers and their families affected by workplace accidents. It provides all of us with an opportunity to reflect on these unsung heroes who carried out their duties in circumstances they never could have imagined.
This is an extraordinary year, as it brings with it the never-before seen risk of COVID-19. Clearly, this deadly virus puts us all in harm’s way, especially our essential workers who have been on the front lines protecting us, caring for us and serving us since the outbreak began several weeks ago.
I am deeply saddened when I think of all of those who have lost their life due to COVID-19, including our workers and our seniors. Their lives will be celebrated, their contributions will be honoured, and their absence will be mourned.
Our government is doing everything it can to make sure that workplaces are safe and workers can return home to your loved ones at the end of the day. I am committed to preventing and eliminating workplace accidents, by ensuring training and safety information is widely available, hiring more workplace inspectors and ensuring employees know they have the right to refuse to work in an unsafe environment. If a worker ever has any concerns about their safety at work, they can file a complaint with the Ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre by calling 1-877-202-0008.
Today we’re remembering those who have been killed, injured or become ill while on the job. Our ministry is continuing to develop Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Strategy to prevent further workplace deaths, injuries and illness, and working with partners across our government to keep Ontario workers safe today, tomorrow and into the future.”