Acadia University marks National Day of Mourning

Acadia University joins workplaces across Canada to mark the National Day of Mourning on April 28 to commemorate workers whose lives have been lost or injured in the workplace.

The number of workplace deaths in Canada is staggering. In 2010, more than 1,000 workplace deaths were recorded nationally - an increase from 939 the previous year. This represents more than 2.78 deaths every single day. Last year, more than 27,000 Nova Scotians were injured at work. Tragically, 27 people died. In all, over 120 workers in the province have died due to a workplace injury or illness over the past five years.

“It is important to remember those workers who have died or been injured as a result of a workplace accident,” says Greg Deveau, co-chair of Acadia’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.  “It is also important to renew our commitment to workplace safety.”

Fellow co-chair, David Morris, reminds workers that they have a responsibility to report concerns or issues immediately so that they can be addressed. “We can’t fix what we are not aware of,” he says.

The National Day of Mourning is held annually on April 28. It was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, eight years after the day of remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress. The Day of Mourning has since spread to about 80 countries around the world.

Acadia’s Occupational Health and Safety Officer Mike Carter says that awareness is essential to preventing workplace accidents. “We all have a role to play in protecting each other at work. The National Day of Mourning is as much a day to remember those who have died as it is a call to protect the living.”

At last year’s Convocation, Acadia bestowed an Honorary Degree in Civil Laws to injury prevention champion and culture change expert Paul Kells. He is the founder of Safe Communities Canada and Passport to Safety national safety programs to protect workers of all ages. Kells has been instrumental in guiding Acadia’s workplace safety development.

Acadia employees are encouraged to review the Occupational Health and Safety Committee website for more information. Anyone with workplace safety concerns can speak with their supervisor or contact Mike Carter, at

A National Day of Mourning ceremony will be held in Kentville on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. at the Kentville Memorial Park, Park St. (Main St.). For more information contact:

To learn more, visit the Nova Scotia National Day of Mourning website.


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