Sudburians observe National Day of Mourning for workers

Hundreds of people gathered at Laurentian University Friday morning to mark Canada's national day of mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

Janice Martell, the head of an advocacy project for miners affected by inhaling aluminum powder speaks

More than 200 people attended the National Day of Mourning ceremonies in Sudbury, Ont. on Friday. The annual observance is April 28. (Angela Gemmill / CBC)

Hundreds of people gathered at Laurentian University Friday morning to observe Canada's National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

Among those who addressed the crowd was Janice Martell, the head of the McIntyre Powder Project, an initiative that aims to help labourers exposed to a type of aluminum powder commonly used in mining for decades, but one that may cause neurological illnesses.

"I think it was really important to show that their lives have meaning," she said, adding that her photo slideshow included pictures of miners, some born as long ago as in the late 1800's.
Janice Martell, is the head of the McIntyre Powder Project (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

"I want to bring their stories to life and let people know and care about theses miners. "

The yearly day of mourning, observed on April 28, can trace its roots back to the Nickel City in 1984 and was officially adopted in 1991 as a national observance. It also honours families and friends affected by workplace tragedies.

The day was eventually adopted in many other countries across the globe.

The ceremonies are also a chance to educate younger generations about the importance of health and safety in the workplace, according to organizers.
The 2017 National Day of Mourning ceremonies in Sudbury were held at Laurentian University on Friday. (Angela Gemmill / CBC)

About 250 people attended Friday's event in Sudbury at the Fraser Auditorium at Laurentian University.

After a number of speeches by dignitaries, including Martell, Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger, provincial and federal representatives and those involved in the labour movement, the crowd observed the lowering of the campus's flags to half mast.

There have been two fatal workplace accidents in Sudbury so far this year.

With files from Angela Gemmill


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