New legislation will standardize the way we show respect for dead and injured workers and families: Hatfield
Queen’s Park –Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield made a bit of political history today. His Private Member’s Bill, An Act to proclaim a Workers Day of Mourning, passed third and final reading in the provincial legislature.
It’s the first time in more than 20 years that a Windsor MPP has had a PMB passed in the House. “It’s especially gratifying” said Hatfield, “as the Liberals have a majority government and it was up to them whether Bill 180 was tabled for a final vote.”
The Bill will force all schools, universities, colleges, hospitals, municipal buildings, arenas, police stations, fire halls, museums and libraries to lower their flags on the 28th of April each year, the Workers Day of Mourning.
It’s even longer than 20 years since this has happened, as electronic files detailing such bills aren’t available past 1995.
“The idea for the Workers Day of Mourning Act came from Rolly Marentette and Tracie Edward who organize the annual Day of Mourning ceremony for the Windsor and District Labour Council,“ said Hatfield. “This bill will standardize the way we show our respect for the dead and injured workers and their families.”
Previously, some school boards lowered their flags, some didn’t, and it was hit and miss at municipal buildings across the province.
“This bill will ensure that April 28th remains designated as the Workers Day of Mourning, no longer will public institutions be allowed to ignore the significance of the day and what it means to working people in our province.” Hatfield said. “We as adults tell our teenagers not to drink and drive, not to text and drive, but how many of us encourage them to think about their health and safety in the workplace. Far too many people, especially our young citizens, are still being injured, or killed while at work.”
Also today – Hatfield suggested to the Government they consider creating a new licence plate, honouring those members of Canada’s military who died while serving their country. The plate, the ‘Silver Cross’ would be available to one family member of someone killed while serving in places such as Afghanistan.
“It’s being considered in Saskatchewan, at the moment, so why not Ontario? There wouldn’t be too many of them. In Windsor, there’d be one for sure, as Theresa Charbonneau lost her son Andrew Grenon while on patrol in Kandahar Province on the third of September, 2008.”