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Workers killed on the job remembered at Steveston ceremony

A small crowd gathered under sunny skies at the Steveston Fishermen
A small crowd gathered under sunny skies at the Steveston Fishermen's Memorial Monday to honour workers killed at work.
— image credit: Trudy Morse photo

A small crowd formed at the Steveston Fishermen's Memorial in Garry Point Park Monday to mark the national Day of Mourning in a noontime ceremony.

Each year at ceremonies across Canada, workers, families and employers remember those who lost their lives in workplaces.

B.C. recorded 128 work-related deaths last year—39 from traumatic injury, 22 from motor vehicle incidents and 67 from occupational disease, mainly from exposure to asbestos decades ago, according to WorkSafeBC.

Coun. Bill McNulty spoke at the Steveston Fishermen's Memorial, a monument that honours local fishermen who've lost their lives at sea. The memorial was unveiled in 1996 with the names of 147 late fishermen and their boats engraved on it.

 Dozens of other memorial ceremonies took place across the province, including at Jack Poole Plaza at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where the B.C. Federation of Labour, the Business Council of B.C. and WorkSafeBC staged a joint event.

"On the Day of Mourning, we take the time to honour those whose lives were tragically cut short, or changed forever by workplace injuries," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training in a news release. "Workplace accidents are devastating for workers, their families, their co-workers, and their communities. It is why we must all work tirelessly to ensure that we have a culture of safety that makes these kinds of tragedies a thing of the past."

The Day of Mourning began 30 years ago. Canada was the first country to formally commemorate workers who’d been killed at work, and today the day is observed throughout the world.

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