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REPORTING · 19th November 2012
Walter McFarlane
It was a grey day in Kitimat on Saturday, November 17th when the Worker’s Memorial Plaque was unveiled at Coghlin's Park. The plaque was erected following a motion by Councillor Mary Murphy to have a Day of Mourning Plaque commemorating the workers who were killed or injured in the work place. Murphy was the only Councillor not present for the unveiling.

“We are gathered here today to unveil the [Day of] Mourning plaque. On May 7th, 2012, Council made a motion to erect a Day of Mourning Plaque to commemorate workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace [accidents],” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan.

Monaghan stated every week of the year, at least 20 Canadian Workers die on the job or die from illnesses brought on by the work place. Many others will suffer from illness. She stated this plaque is not just for remembrance, but is a call out to everyone to protect workers and establish safe and healthy conditions in the workplace.

Benilde Gomes, the Representative of the Kitimat Terrace Labour Council spoke next.

“It’s wonderful that Kitimat has jumped on board to show that we need a memorial site for all those that have been injured or hurt on the job,” said Gomes.

She stated this will be a place to gather on April 28th, the National Day of Mourning.

The final speaker was President of CAW Local 2301, Rick Belmont.

“It was 6 years in the making, it took someone like Martin [Gould] to get involved to really make it happen,” said Belmont “I’d also like to thank Mr. Oviatt, he moved the rock, the stone and put it in place.”

He expressed it is a constant reminder that people are hurt every day of the week in the workplace and it gets forgotten. He expressed there have been fatalities both locally and around the country. Families suffer for people do take a chance every time they go to work. He pointed out there are people who, when they do reach retirement suffer through retirement.

“It reminds us to do our job as a union, to try to do what we can to make the work place safe and help our members as much as we can when they do have problems and injuries at work,” said Belmont.