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National Day of Mourning

In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress established April 28th as the National Day of Mourning in Canada to remember and honour those workers who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace.

The date was chosen in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the Day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the day the first Ontario Worker’s Compensation Act was approved by the government (1914). The Day of Mourning was enshrined in national legislation by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991.

The Day of Mourning, also known as Workers’ Memorial Day, is officially recognized in about 100 countries worldwide.

Canadian flags on Parliament Hill and at Queen’s Park fly at half-mast on April 28th. The day is traditionally marked in many ways including holding public ceremonies, wearing black and yellow ribbons, lighting candles, observing a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. and sharing stories about how workplace tragedies have touched peoples’ lives.

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