ENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Day of Mourning Ceremony Remembers 27Workers Premier John Hamm and Environment and Labour Minister KerryMorash joined the president of the Nova Scotia Federation ofLabour, Rick Clarke, at a solemn ceremony at Province Housetoday, April 28, to honour the thousands of Nova Scotians whowere injured, and the 27 who died, because of work-relatedaccidents or illness in 2004. Every year on this date, government and labour leaders rememberworkers killed or injured on the job and renew their commitmentto making Nova Scotia an accident-free province. This year’stheme is “A death in the workplace touches all of us.” “The number of lives taken from us or forever changed byworkplace injuries is simply too high,” said the premier. “Whiletoday is a day of mourning, it should also be a day of resolve.Employers, workers and government must all resolve to ensuresafety comes first.” “Today we are here to commemorate and mourn these 27 deaths andthose who have come before them,” said Mr. Morash. “Tragedies inthe workplace are sobering and disturbing events for all of us,but most especially for the families, friends, and co-workers ofthe victims.” Mr. Morash said Nova Scotia communities have been changed foreverby these incidents. “A mother won’t be there to see her childrengrow up, a brother won’t be there to lend a helping hand, and agrandfather won’t be there to lend his wisdom. We are losingthese good people and the worst thing about it is that thesedeaths and illnesses are mostly predictable and preventable.” According to Workers’ Compensation Board statistics, during atypical day in Nova Scotia, more than 440,000 people go to work. On any given day, 94 people will get hurt at work and needmedical attention. Twenty-five of them will be unable to returnto work the next day. In the next 14 days, someone will die as aresult of their work. “As we gather for this year’s Day of Mourning, the alarmingnumber of deaths and injuries at workplaces means that beforethese numbers can be reduced, there has to be a collective willof all parties to do so,” said Rick Clarke, president of the NovaScotia Federation of Labour. “We need the political commitmentand dedication to strengthen not only occupational health andsafety laws, but all workplace laws that give workers rights toprotect them, as well as proactive enforcement.” During the ceremony, Mr. Morash called on employers and employeesto intensify their health and safety practices and to renew theircommitment to reducing workplace injury and illness. Three years ago, a native Nova Scotia red maple tree and plaquewere placed on the grounds of Province House to honour the memoryof those who lost their lives on the job, and to reaffirmgovernment and labour’s joint commitment to preventing work-related injury and illness. For information on workplace health and safety see the Work SafeFor Life website at www.worksafeforlife.ca or call 1-800-952-2687.
The police headquarters has temporarily transferred 21 policemen over the death of a youth in Embilipitiya.A hartal was staged in Embilipitiya today over the death of the youth who fell from the top floor of a building during an altercation with the police. The youth had clashed with the police and in the process fell off the building and was admitted to hospital but succumbed to his injuries today. (Colombo Gazette) Shops in Embilipitiya were closed and black flags hoisted at several locations as a mark of protest. The altercation with the police took place when then police visited the house where a party was taking place, following complaints made by the neighbors.