Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, issued the following statement on the 25th National Day of Mourning:
“On April 28, we remember those who have lost their lives or have been injured on the job. We seldom hear about the close to 1000 Canadians who die each year as a result of workplace accidents, and hundreds of thousands more suffer injury or illness related to incidents at work. Too many of these deaths go unnoticed. Our thoughts and prayers today are with these workers and their loved ones, including those lost to suicide.
“Today, I join the Canadian Labour Congress to renew the call for a national ban on asbestos. Exposure to asbestos is the number one cause of work-related death in Canada, killing 2000 annually. Canada has resisted tighter controls on asbestos for far too long. Our workers remain at risk. We must ban all asbestos products in Canada immediately.
“Similarly, firefighters are exposed every day to carcinogens in building products, as well as furniture – not only asbestos, but ineffective and dangerous chemicals used in flame retardants. Canada should follow the lead of several US jurisdictions and ban these carcinogens to protect firefighters.
“In 2016, no one should have to worry about their safety on the job. With smart policies and careful planning and precaution, we can avoid so many of these tragedies. Canada must act now to better protect workers. There is no better way to honour those we have lost.”