April 28 is the Day of Mourning

April 23, 2019

The Ontario Nurses' Association has been a leader in occupational health and safety issues that affect not only our members, but everyone in society. The National Day of Mourning is observed each year in Canada on April 28 to commemorate those who have been injured, made ill or killed while on the job due to workplace hazards or incidents.

The observance began in 1984 and it was officially declared an annual day of remembrance the following year by the Canadian Labour Congress. In 1991, the day became a national observance when the Workers Mourning Day Act was passed, making April 28 an official Workers' Mourning Day.

Each year on April 28, ONA members, staff and colleagues commemorate those who have been injured, made ill or killed at work, including ONA members Nelia Laroza, RN and Tecla Lin, RN who died after contracting SARS while caring for infected patients, and Lori Dupont, RN, who was murdered while working at a Windsor hospital.

Health-care workers continue to have some of the highest rates of injury and illness statistics in the workforce. Most health-care employers, CEOs, directors, officers and supervisors are not being held accountable by the Ministry of Labour or the police for the safety of health-care workers.


We encourage ONA members, their families and friends to join us and other labour leaders in marking Canada's Day of Mourning. Now is the time to start preparing to attend an event in your community.

Because public events allow us to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to human rights before large public audiences, ONA will coordinate and fund registration fees for Locals/Bargaining Units that plan to participate, and where there are more than 40 member participants, an appropriate float/vehicle. Also remember that locals can apply for political action monies under policy 26.11 to Cathryn Hoy before the event. Contact your bargaining unit president or local coordinator for more information.

If you or your Local will be commemorating Canada's Day of Mourning in your community, please let us know by emailing webmaster@ona.org. We will post the details here for other members. We also invite you to submit any photos from your event - be sure to include the names and Local number with your submission.

See below for details about 2019 Day of Mourning events:

Downtown Toronto: The Day of Mourning event in Toronto will take place at noon on Monday, April 29 in Larry Sefton Park (Northeast corner of Bay and Hagerman Streets behind Toronto City Hall.)

Check out the Workers' Health and Safety Centre's list of events for Day of Mourning here.

ONA Resources:

Visit ONA’s Health & Safety webpage for the latest health and safety news, teleconnect information, important resources, and contacts.

Unsafe workplaces can hurt patients, clients and residents. Hazards can put all workers at risk. Watch our health and safety video, "Report Hazards- Unsafe workplaces hurt patients, too."

More Resources:

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board's website has Day of Mourning resources including a toolkit, stories and the ability to leave a public tribute.

For more workplace safety information, links and resources, visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Also visit their Day of Mourning page for information and materials.

Pages from ONA_HRE_DayOfMourningGenericPosterBilingual_2019


We have prepared English and French versions of our Day of Mourning poster. Below you will find two versions of the poster: a generic poster (PDF) and one with a blank space at the bottom (Word) which Locals can customize with their own message and/or event details. Click on the document name below and download the PDF or Word document of your choosing.

We have also created this shareable image that you can download and post to your social media accounts. Show your support and spread the word!