Workplace death Day of Mourning held in Victoria Park
"Ban Asbestos" the theme of annual commemoration of workplace deaths
A cold wind travelled through Victoria Park in Kitchener Thursday morning as local workers gathered to remember family and friends who were killed or injured on the job.
It was the first time since her father's death six years ago that Tracey Mino spoke publicly about her father.
Mino explained to a Day of Mourning Ceremony that her father Earl, of Woodstock, lost his balance and fell from a six foot aluminum ladder. His death shattered her family and only recently has the healing process taken a positive turn.
"My son, the nightmare's aren't there anymore. We're winding down the therapy, " Mino told CBC News. "Holidays and events, we actually have fun at them now. It's turned around, but it has been a long struggle."
Ministry of Labour investigation continues
Eric Hunter had not spoken publicly since the funeral of his good friend James Wyllie. Wyllie was killed at a Guelph plant last August on the last day on the job where he apprenticed as an electrician. He was to return to school for two months before finishing to be an electrician at Conestoga College.
Hunter remembers the last conversation they had.
"I was with my son and I was in need of a tool for the job that I was doing. [We] called James and had him on a speaker.We were talking to him, asking him about the tool. James was trying to convince us to come over and play videogames with him. We were busy and on our way to do other stuff and so we didn't meet up. And the next day I got the phone call that it happened."
Wylie's death is still being investigated by the Ministry of Labour.
Ban Asbestos theme
The theme of this year's ceremony was "Ban Asbestos." Vice President of the Waterloo Regional Labour Council Mark Cairns explained the local council along with the Canadian Labour Council are calling for a ban of asbestos and the import and export of products using asbestos, such as concrete pipes.
"It's very common for manufacturers in the auto industry to use asbestos-laden brake pads," Cairns told CBC News.
"...Which is a shame because there is a manufacturer out of Guelph who makes asbestos-free substitutes. If all of our manufacturers were forced to switch to those products by legislation banning asbestos, it would not only be a safer alternative for the workers handling those brake pads. But it would also promote Canadian industry and business by generating sales in Guelph that makes the safer alternatives."
Cairns says asbestos is still the leading cause of occupational disease and fatalities in Canada. He says about 2,000 people die yearly from exposure and diseases caused by direct exposure to products in the workplace that contain asbestos.