In over 80 countries the world over, on this date each year people pause to think of the thousands of workers across this country who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of workplace conditions or incidents. People do this out of respect for the fallen and their loved ones who they left behind, of course. However, we also do it for the living today and for ourselves. We do this to remind each other and ourselves that we must be ever vigilant and work, to just to maintain but more importantly, improve workplace health and safety conditions. Workers and employers must unite in adopting safety as a core value.
During this terrible pandemic, it is unfortunate that we cannot gather to witness in person the true devotion and support that we have all around us. None the less, in our hearts we can stand in solidarity with workers across Ontario and Canada in marking and especially solemn and painful National Day of Mourning.
On this day our minds and hearts are with the thousands of health care workers and public health staff, first responders, pharmacy and grocery store staff, farmers, truckers, supply chain workers and many, many others.
Now more than ever as we band together to fight this virus, we unite in a cause to ensure that all workers during this pandemic have presumptive WSIB coverage for COVID-19. Both for the virus itself, and for the trauma, PTSD and mental health challenges that may come after it.
Even during this extremely challenging time, we know that every workplace infection, injury or death is a preventable one.
We can be encouraged that our efforts are not in vain as we have only to look to the recent success of the Ontario Nurses Association in their legal victory, fighting for the right to have access to and to wear personal protective equipment, including N95 masks. In fact, every worker has the right to protection and safety at work, including personal protective equipment like N95 masks.
Michael Mantha, MPP/députe
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