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CAUT Statement on the National Day of Mourning 2017

The Canadian Association of University Teachers joins with unions and employee associations across Canada in marking the 26th National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

It has been 25 years since the explosion of the Westray Mine on May 9, 1992, which killed 26 coal miners in Plymouth, Nova Scotia. Following the tragedy, workers and their unions fought for and gained significant health and safety protection under federal legislation that criminalizes violations of workplace safety.

Despite this victory, we will reflect particularly this year on the fact that workers continue to be killed or injured on the job, few charges have been laid pursuant to the legislation, and only one prosecution has ever resulted in jail time. 

On this Day of Mourning, CAUT urges provincial and federal governments to closely examine why so few employers have been held to account; to invest in training for police and crown prosecutors; and for provincial labour ministries, police forces and other involved authorities to improve collaboration so that senseless workplace deaths can be minimized.  

Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c);