On Saturday I attended the Day of Mourning memorial in Thompson.
This memorial service is held every year in honour of the men and women who did not return home safely from work last year.
Too many Manitobans died as a result of illnesses and injuries suffered on the job in the last year, and in past years.
The Day of Mourning is a reminder of the ongoing challenges we face in eliminating death, injury and illness in the workplace.
In Manitoba we have made reducing workplace accidents and deaths a to priority.
We have doubled the number of Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) officers on staff since 2000. Inspections increased to more than 12,000 last year, and WSH is better able to support development and maintenance of effective safety and health committees in workplaces.
Maximum fine levels under The Workplace Safety and Health Act have been increased. The maximum fine for a first offence is now $250,000 and $500,000 for a second or subsequent offence.
We have also provided long-term support to the SAFE Workers of Tomorrow.
We are making progress. We have reduced Manitoba’s
time-loss injury rate by approximately 41 per cent since 2000. We must not stop however until we have eliminated accidents and deaths entirely.
I would like to commend the Steelworkers and the labour movement for all their work in cooperation with employers like Vale to reduce accidents and deaths
Our goal has to be clear. No one should die to make a living.