Day of Mourning takes on more meaning amid COVID-19 in Vernon

Day of Mourning takes on more meaning amid COVID-19 in Vernon

Residents asked to join in physically distant moment of silence

While we can’t physically be together, residents are being urged to join in heart for a moment of silence to observe National Day of Mourning.

Tuesday, April 28 honours the memory of workers who have been killed, injured, or suffered illness as a result of work-related incidents.

“Tomorrow, we will take a moment to pause and pay tribute,” said Mayor Victor Cumming of the 10:30 a.m. moment of silence. “Collectively, we will honour those whose lives have changed – both the workers and their families and loved ones. This year in particular, we grieve as we think of the tragedy that took place in Nova Scotia last week and the loss of Const. Heidi Stevenson, among many others. We stand with each of you in support and with thanks for the sacrifices that have been made in order to serve others.”

READ MORE: Vernon-Monashell MLA’s heart with home province in wake of mass shooting

He continued, “We are unable to physically be together at this time, but in our own spaces, we also take this time to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our current and future workers as we continue to take proactive steps to maintain safe workspaces.”

The Canadian Labour Congress first recognized the Day of Mourning in 1984. In 1990, this day became a national observance with the passing of the Workers Mourning Day Act, and on April 28, 1991, the federal government officially proclaimed the National Day of Mourning.

“CUPE 626 is proud to partner with the City of Vernon, through the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee to promote a safe work environment that gives workers a voice to address safety concerns as they arise,” said Bryce de Dood, President, CUPE Local 626. “Today, we remember those that have been seriously injured and mourn with the families who have lost loved ones in a workplace accident.”

Canada was the first nation to recognize the Day of Mourning and it is now observed around the world. In 2019, 140 workers in BC died due to a workplace injury or illness.

“This year, the Day of Mourning takes on even more meaning as our First Responders, frontline workers and healthcare professionals respond to a global pandemic,” said Fire Chief David Lind. “There are a lot of uncertainties facing workers in all sectors right now, so we’d like to take a moment to say ‘thank you’ for what each of them do every day. I am encouraged as I witness workers from every sector adapt and overcome these new challenges. We are truly blessed to live in one of the most agile and resilient countries in the world.”

“On behalf of Local 1517 and the firefighters of Vernon Fire Rescue, I would like to acknowledge all emergency service workers whose memories we honour on the Day of Mourning,” said Doug Imrich, President, IAFF Local 1517. “With heavy hearts we are thinking of Heidi Stevenson’s family and the RCMP. We will never forget those we have lost, and in their memory, strive to bring every employee home safe at the end of their shift.”

Although the City is unable to have its usual commemoration ceremony, due to physical distancing and social gathering restrictions, the day will be observed by staff and the importance of the effort to end workplace injury and death will be recognized.

READ MORE: North Okanagan officers stand silent in honour of fallen mountie


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP searched for a suspect in Polson Park following an assault on a woman Thursday, Nov. 26. (Morning Star file photo)
Public warned after woman assaulted in Vernon’s Polson Park

RCMP on the hunt for suspect, described as in his 30’s

The Okanagan Quality Life Society which usually gives tours of Okanagan Lake to seniors and shut-ins on its boat Heaven Can Wait has created a virtual tour video in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down the tours in 2020. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon society launches virtual boat tour

Okanagan Quality Life Society normally gives tours on Okanagan Lake on its boat Heaven Can Wait

The Wilson’s Landing Fire Department holds its Christmas Santa Run Food Drive from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7. (Photo submitted)
Westside fire department holding food drive

Annual Wilson’s Landing Fire Department Christmas Santa Run Food Drive goes Monday, Dec. 7

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

City of Armstrong Public Works Yard. (Google Maps)
Armstrong city staff threatened in snow removal complaint

Community services manager says ‘veiled threat’ is believed to have been flippant, but is being taken seriously

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

The Rutland IGA is located in Willow Park Shopping Centre at 590 BC-33. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Customer asked to mask up, throws hot coffee at Kelowna IGA employee

The woman grabbed cat food on her way out when she refused to wear a mask

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Police service dog Fitz helped track and rescue a lost hiker and his dog in Kelowna. (Kelowna RCMP)
Okanagan police dog Fitz dies of cancer

Fitz recently helped locate a lost hiker in the Central Okanagan

Resident wants City of Salmon Arm to take action to eradicate rat population in town. (File photo)
Salmon Arm resident demands action to eradicate rats

City posts more information on social media, will consider more action at budget time

Most Read