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HomeNewsNational Day of Mourning Recognized in the Cariboo

National Day of Mourning Recognized in the Cariboo

The National Day of Mourning was recognized Saturday in Williams Lake and also Quesnel.

In Williams Lake speeches were delivered at 11 am by representatives of the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017, Tolko, West Fraser, and also Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Mayor Walt Cobb before flowers and wreaths were laid at a worker’s memorial.

An attendee also delivered a speech she had read 10 years ago in which her dad went to work to start his 12-hour shift at Craigmont Mines near Merritt, but never came home when the ground near an open pit of water gave out under the tracks of his excavator.

The excavator she said was purchased from a logging outfit in which the very safety features meant to protect a logger, prevented her father from saving himself.

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“You go through a lot of emotions but the one that seems stick is anger. Anger for the fact that my dad’s death was preventable, anger for the fact that my dad was only 60 and worked up to the minute of his death, anger for the fact he was not protected, anger for the fact my family was robbed from his presence.”

“I hope you don’t feel sadness for my family’s loss, but hopefully when you hear a story like this it makes you feel anger. Sadness won’t inspire change, but anger might.”

WorkSafeBC accepted 158 work-related death claims in B.C last year.

United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 project manager Terry Tate said although we have made progress in the prevention of injury, sickness, and death we still have a long way to go.

He also said that today we face a new challenge in our workplaces of violence, harassment, and bullying that with the continued personal pressures of everyday life sets the stage for more serious accidents to occur at work or at home.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a truck driver, a clerk at a grocery store or an executive at a big business everybody expects to start their shift and return home safely; your family expects you to come home safely. The tragedy that just happened with the Humboldt Broncos-the hockey players were doing what they loved, the bus driver was working. None of them came home but the impact is that all of those families have changed forever just by a slight error, and the thing is all of us have to work together for that error,” said Paul French, USW 1-2017 first vice president noting that 9 members lost their lives in 2017 in B.C, and over 1, 000 across Canada.

“I think the statement we need to be angry is a good note to leave on; remember those that have passed, comfort the ones that have been injured, and get mad and work towards safety.”

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