Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday attends the memorial at Camosun College for the National Day of Mourning on Friday. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday attends the memorial at Camosun College for the National Day of Mourning on Friday. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Memorial held at Camosun for National Day of Mourning

Union reps and local politicians gathered at Camosun College’s Lansdowne campus to acknowledge the National Day of Mourning on Friday.

MLA Mitzi Dean and MP Randall Garrison of the labour friendly NDP provincial and federal parties spoke about people who’ve lost their lives on the job.

According to Worksafe B.C. there were 158 deaths in the province in 2017 that were as a result of their work, up from 144 in 2016.

Mike Eso, president of the Victoria Labour Council, says the 2017 number is even higher, more like 200, as not all diseases can be directly linked to the stress of work.

“The government is only now accepting that PTSD in paramedics is caused by the job,” Eso said. “All too often when people die on the job, life takes over, and we move on without every really getting a chance to sit back and consider what’s actually happened.”

Of the 144 work-related deaths in 2016 in B.C., 85 were due to occupational disease, mainly from exposure to asbestos decades ago, while 59 resulted from traumatic injury including 22 from motor-vehicle incidents, said Worksafe B.C.

sigcodereporter@saanichnews.com