2016 National Day of Mourning Statement
Liberals must restore the right to refuse unsafe work
April 28th, 2016 - 2:25pm
Despite the progress Canada has made over the years, every year many Canadians are still injured and killed in the performance of their work. Today we remember them, and recommit to making workplace safety a top priority.
Workplace safety takes all hands on deck - and that includes governments. A government should improve workplace health and safety standards and pass laws to encourage employers – especially those who put lives at risk for their own gain - to act more responsibly. Governments should also ensure that regulations, standards of practice, and the law keep pace with current research and evidence on workplace hazards and the impact these have on workers' health and safety - both immediate and long term.
Most importantly, governments should set an example. A government should not put their own workers at risk. That is why, this year New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to repeal Division 5 of the Conservatives' Bill C-4, which made it more difficult for federal public service workers to refuse unsafe work. This puts tens of thousands of people at risk, and sets an absolutely unacceptable precedent. We ask the Liberal government to reverse this immediately.
Regardless of whether your employer is in the public or private sector, all workers deserve the right not to perform work they see as dangerous to themselves or to their peers. By working together we can save lives and prevent tragic injuries – but only by working together. Let's start today.