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Day of Mourning event Thursday for killed or injured workers in Surrey, other cities

“Workers have died or been injured in preventable workplace accidents,’ union rep says ahead of April 28 gathering in New Westminster
Wreaths and flowers placed during a Day of Mourning ceremony in 2018 at Westminster Pier Park in New Westminster. (Photo:

Workers killed or injured on the job will be remembered during an in-person ceremony in New Westminster on Thursday morning, and also online in a WorkSafeBC stream of a similar event held in Vancouver.

April 28 is recognized as the Day of Mourning in B.C. and the rest of Canada.

Annually, workers, families, employers, and others come together to remember those who have lost their lives on the job, notes a post on, “and to renew our commitment to creating safer workplaces.”

Starting at 11 a.m. in Westminster Pier Park, Thursday’s event is co-hosted by the New Westminster & District Labour Council (NWDLC), which represents workers in 14 local municipalities, including Surrey, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge and others.


Speakers in New Westminster will include NWDLC president Coleen Jones, New West Mayor Jonathan Cote and union members. The ceremony will also feature the New Westminster Fire & Rescue Services Honour Guard, a member of the City of New Westminster Pipe Band and ILWU members on the Fraser River ending a moment of silence with a blast from tugboat horns.

“Over the past two years, we have lost friends, colleagues and family members to the pandemic, many of whom got sick at work,” said Janet Andrews, the labour council’s secretary-treasurer.

“Others are still dealing with the effects of long-COVID, and still more workers have died or been injured in preventable workplace accidents. This has grave consequences for workers, their families and our communities.”

The theme of “Work Shouldn’t Hurt” is employed in a current the Canadian Labour Congress campaign.

The Labour movement’s focus this year is “clear and direct,” according to a news release from NWDLC: “Every worker should go to work without fear. Workplace deaths and injuries are preventable – even in a pandemic. We call for better workplace protections for our families, friends, and coworkers. The right to be safe at work is a fundamental right.”

More details about NWDLC and Thursday’s event are posted to the website

The regional labour council represents close to 60,000 union members from more than 100 affiliated local unions, “continuing the proud union tradition of workers speaking out on issues affecting them in their workplaces and in their communities,” the website says.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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