National Day of Mourning moves from Goldie Mill Park in Guelph to a virtual Zoom meeting

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The Guelph & District Labour Council will be observing the National Day of Mourning in a new way today.

‘Although we are not able to gather in person, we will be holding a virtual ceremony. Due to limited capacity, the link will be sent to our membership and special guests only,” said GDLC president Jennifer Hesch.

The ceremony will be recorded and posted on our Facebook page and website for members of the public to view afterwards.

“It’s such a big event for us that we have had every year and I think it’s important to continue with it in any way we can and make sure we are honouring those workers who have been made ill, were injured or have died on the job,” Hesch told Guelph Today.

The day’s theme has been changed to stopping the pandemic at work and making sure employers are providing proper personal protective equipment for workers no matter where they work and highlighting the need to hold employers accountable for keeping workers safe.

Attendees expected at the virtual meeting include the council’s membership, Guelph’s MP and MPP, and mayor.

Speakers will include a local firefighter and either a nurse or food service worker.

Hesch said a portion of the program will be dedicated to security guard Mario Ruffolo, who was killed in February while working at the Guelph Central Station. She said members of his family have been invited to attend the Zoom meeting.

The council is still planning for the annual Labour Day picnic. Whether or not it can go ahead will depend on whether physical distancing restrictions are still in place in September.

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