Jamie Lapierre's family hopes ad will curb workplace deaths
Lower Sackville man died while working on a barge in 2000
A family from Lower Sackville, N.S., is hoping the tragic death of their son 14 years ago will help other families look into the safety of their children's workplaces.
Jamie Lapierre was 21 when he died while working on a barge in Port Hawkesbury in 2000.
His mother and the rest of his family have been talking about workplace safety ever since.
"I can't bring my son back but maybe I can help somebody else's child or father, husband," she told CBC News.
In a television ad running this month Brenda Lapierre recalls a memory she has of her son, who wrote her a letter for Christmas when he was 16 years old.
"He said, 'Well I don't have any money. I bought you a card and I wrote this little letter for you.' And I was crying and he was crying," she says.
Friend Roger Hudson fights back tears recalling how he wished Lapierre had been by his side when he got married.
"It would have been an honour to have him as a best man and vice-versa," he said in the ad.
The Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia produced the ads in 2008 and has been running them ever since. They're hoping the story of a life lost, told by those who miss him most, will drive the message home.
"It makes me think about me and my family and how I never want to have happen to my family what happened to theirs,” said Shelley Rowan, a vice-president at the board.
In its annual report released last week, the Workers' Compensation Board noted 34 workplace deaths. Half of those are classified as acute fatalities, meaning the person died from traumatic injuries.
"A lot of people thought those were just actors, those people on TV. But they're not, they're real people," said Brenda Lapierre.
Real people, she adds, who were changed forever by an accident at work.
Lapierre says parents who worry about whether their children's job site is safe should check where they’re working.
“Damn rights. Because it's too late when something happens, there have been too many people killed in workplaces and it never ends."
April 28 marks Canada's Day of Mourning to remember people who died at work.