Markham

Markham commemorates National Day of Mourning

Friday, April 26, 2019

News Page

MARKHAM, ON - April 26, 2019 - Today, the City of Markham held a service in recognition of the National Day of Mourning, to honour and remember those workers who have lost their lives, been seriously injured or suffered illness due to workplace hazards.

The Council Chamber at the Markham Civic Centre was filled with community and staff members who attended the service to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives due to work-related tragedies and to renew Markham's commitment to ensure a healthy and safe workplace.

"As a community, we have come a long way when it comes to protecting our workers and in creating a safe workplace, but sadly tragedy can still happen," says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "We all have a duty. We are all responsible for ensuring these incidents are prevented. At the City of Markham, we are proud of our commitment to workplace health and safety and we vow to always do more."

April 28 was chosen to reflect the National Day of Mourning in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the day to align with the 70th anniversary of the day the provincial government approved the Ontario Workers' Compensation Act.

Canadian workers and employers observe the National Day of Mourning on April 28 in a variety of ways. Some light candles, wear commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, lay wreaths, and pause for a moment of silence. On Sunday, April 28, the flags at all City of Markham facilities will fly at half-mast.

Tragically, 951 workplace fatalities were recorded in 2017 in Canada, an increase of 46 from the previous year. To ensure these tragedies are not forgotten, each year the Day of Mourning is commemorated nationally.

"My brother Tim was killed in construction in September 2017; it devastated my family. Within four months my dad had died of cancer – even though he had successfully fought bladder cancer for over 40 years. The fight went out of him," says C.K. DesGrosseilliers, Threads of Life guest speaker. "We lost a brother, uncle, friend; life will never be the same. One life lost is too many. Workplace deaths, disease and injuries must stop being acceptable to people and to shareholders."

"Every year we take time to reflect on all the lives lost in the line of duty, which reminds us just how important safety is in the workplace," says Deputy Chief Adam Grant, Markham Fire & Emergency Services. "We need to continue making improvements to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect our staff."

"We must never forget those who have been seriously injured or lost their lives while doing their jobs," says Rob Kerfoot, Unit Chairperson for CUPE Local 905 Markham Unit. "Everyone must work together to prevent further tragic incidents and ensure there is safety in the workplace.”

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Members of Council, CAO Andy Taylor, Catherine Conrad, Deputy Fire Chief Adam Grant, Jeremy Acton, Nancy Myles, Rob Kerfoot and C.K. DesGrosseilliers light a candle and pause for a moment of silence to remember and honour the families and friends who have been affected by these workplace tragedies.


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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

For all other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham: Erynn Sally, Media Relations Coordinator at esally@markham.ca or 416.737.2684.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.







MARKHAM, ON - April 26, 2019 - Today, the City of Markham held a service in recognition of the National Day of Mourning, to honour and remember those workers who have lost their lives, been seriously injured or suffered illness due to workplace hazards.

The Council Chamber at the Markham Civic Centre was filled with community and staff members who attended the service to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives due to work-related tragedies and to renew Markham's commitment to ensure a healthy and safe workplace.

"As a community, we have come a long way when it comes to protecting our workers and in creating a safe workplace, but sadly tragedy can still happen," says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "We all have a duty. We are all responsible for ensuring these incidents are prevented. At the City of Markham, we are proud of our commitment to workplace health and safety and we vow to always do more."

April 28 was chosen to reflect the National Day of Mourning in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the day to align with the 70th anniversary of the day the provincial government approved the Ontario Workers' Compensation Act.

Canadian workers and employers observe the National Day of Mourning on April 28 in a variety of ways. Some light candles, wear commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, lay wreaths, and pause for a moment of silence. On Sunday, April 28, the flags at all City of Markham facilities will fly at half-mast.

Tragically, 951 workplace fatalities were recorded in 2017 in Canada, an increase of 46 from the previous year. To ensure these tragedies are not forgotten, each year the Day of Mourning is commemorated nationally.

"My brother Tim was killed in construction in September 2017; it devastated my family. Within four months my dad had died of cancer – even though he had successfully fought bladder cancer for over 40 years. The fight went out of him," says C.K. DesGrosseilliers, Threads of Life guest speaker. "We lost a brother, uncle, friend; life will never be the same. One life lost is too many. Workplace deaths, disease and injuries must stop being acceptable to people and to shareholders."

"Every year we take time to reflect on all the lives lost in the line of duty, which reminds us just how important safety is in the workplace," says Deputy Chief Adam Grant, Markham Fire & Emergency Services. "We need to continue making improvements to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect our staff."

"We must never forget those who have been seriously injured or lost their lives while doing their jobs," says Rob Kerfoot, Unit Chairperson for CUPE Local 905 Markham Unit. "Everyone must work together to prevent further tragic incidents and ensure there is safety in the workplace.”

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Members of Council, CAO Andy Taylor, Catherine Conrad, Deputy Fire Chief Adam Grant, Jeremy Acton, Nancy Myles, Rob Kerfoot and C.K. DesGrosseilliers light a candle and pause for a moment of silence to remember and honour the families and friends who have been affected by these workplace tragedies.


—30 — 

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

For all other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham: Erynn Sally, Media Relations Coordinator at esally@markham.ca or 416.737.2684.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.