Workers’ Memorial Day / National Day of Mourning in Canada Date in the current year: April 28, 2024

Workers’ Memorial Day / National Day of Mourning in Canada National Day of Mourning, also known as Workers’ Mourning Day or Workers’ Memorial Day, is observed in Canada and Gibraltar on April 28. It commemorates workers who have died, sustained injuries or suffered illness due to workplace related incidents and hazards.

The inaugural Workers’ Memorial Day was held in Great Sudbury, Ontario on April 28, 1984. The date was picked to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the third reading of the Workers’ Compensation Act that was the first Canadian statute to accept the principle that some level of injury at workplace is inevitable and that workers should be provided compensation without regard to responsibility.

The next year, April 28 was officially declared an annual day of remembrance by the Canadian Labour Congress. Finally, the Canadian parliament passed the Workers’ Mourning Day Act in December 1990, making April 28 an official Workers’ Mourning Day. The observance was further recognized internationally when the International Labor Organization began to observe World Day of Safety and Health at Work.

On the occasion of National Day of Mourning, the Canadian flag is flown at half-mast from dusk till dawn on all federal government buildings, and a moment of silence is observed at 11 a.m. Workers and employees observe it with donning black armbands and ribbons, lighting candles, and holding memorial services for their co-workers who have been killed or injured at work.

Workers’ Memorial Day is also a public holiday in Gibraltar.

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National Day of Mourning in Canada, Workers’ Mourning Day, Workers’ Memorial Day, holidays in Canada, remembrance days