Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP caucus, it is an honour to rise in this House today to commemorate the National Day of Mourning and sombre remembrance of workers killed, injured or exposed to toxins at work.
I know that all MPs will take time today to mourn the dead. However, if we really want to pay tribute to those who were killed on the job, we need to bring that same collective sense of purpose to fighting for the living. Standing in this House year after year on April 28 without committing ourselves to concrete action starting on April 29 makes our tribute today a hollow gesture.
Common sense tells us that when the minimum wage remains below a living wage, requiring many workers to work 14 hours a day, often in 2 or 3 jobs, they are less protected than a worker who is well rested. We know that unionized workplaces are safer workplaces. Unions and collective bargaining give workers some control over their workplace conditions and enable workers to protect themselves from the brutality of a workplace assault, and yet card-check certification has still not been extended to all workers in this country.
On this day of mourning, I ask all members of this House to do more than pay lip service. Do not just mourn the dead, join New Democrats in fighting for the living by turning our concern into action.