On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Fernie City staff and employees gathered to commemorate the World Day of Mourning.
Employee Mike Poirier represented the workers and conducted a short ceremony that ended with a moment of silence. He read an introduction from the Union and asked me in my capacity as mayor to also say a few words.
Worker’s Memorial Day was started by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in 1984.
In 1985 The Canadian Labour Congress officially declared April 28, as the annual day of remembrance for workers who have been killed and injured on the job.
This date was chosen because it was on this day in 1914 that the third reading of the Workmen’s Compensation Act took place.
On December 28, 1990 the Government of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act, establishing April 28 as the official National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace making that day an official Worker’s Mourning Day.
Since then this day is observed in over 80 countries, the Canadian flag is flown at half-mast on Parliament Hill and workers and employees observe this day by wearing black ribbons, armbands and having a moment of silence.
The purpose of this day is to remember and honour those lives lost or injured and to renew the commitment to improving health and safety in the workplace to prevent further deaths, injuries and diseases from work.
At the City of Fernie safety is recognized as being an integral part of the workplace and I am proud to say that our workers recognize this and are very committed to working as safely as possible.
Where we gather each year is a rock with a plaque dedicated to workers, this plaque is a constant reminder that employees are a valued component of this corporation.
The City is a service oriented business. It is often commented that for a community of this size a huge number of services are offered for residents. Besides the obvious fire protection, road, water and sewer utilities there are a lot of recreational venues, buildings, parks that are supported as well as the Arts, Library, Museum and Chamber.
The budget has been finalized and is available for viewing and in it you can see itemized lists of how funds are dispersed including reserves.
It is a five year budget as required by the Provincial government and although this is something that is worked on each year it provides a good overview of where and what year necessary work has been designated to.
Staff and Council are very cognizant of making sure the City is in a relatively good financial position for when the 5000 population threshold requires taking on the policing cost as well as for being prepared for any emergency that may arise.