Day of Mourning deserves official recognition

May 31, 2016

B.C. has no official legislation to recognize the national Day of Mouring for workers.B.C. has no official legislation to recognize the national Day of Mouring for workers.

The first Wednesday in March is officially recognized as Red Tape Reduction Day, but we have no formal legislative recognition for April 28, the annual Day of Mourning for workers who have lost their lives or been seriously
injured on the job.

Although public buildings in many jurisdictions lower their flags in recognition of workers who have died through occupational accident or disease on April 28, including the legislature, it is disappointing that the government refuses to formalize this recognition.

Each week in B.C., roughly four workers lose their lives, and over 100 sustain permanent injuries from accidents and disease suffered on the job and that are often preventable. Many of us know someone whose life was
cut short or forever changed by workplace accidents or disease. None of us should suffer these tragedies.

The Day of Mourning is a time to remember the dead, but it’s also a call to protect the living. We must reaffirm our commitment to prevent future workplace fatalities, life-altering injuries and occupational disease. Read the proposed Day of Mourning Act: http://bit.ly/1WteTs6.

 

More protection for transgendered sought

I’m proud to support legislation that would specifically protect gender identity and expression under the B.C. Human Rights Code.

MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert recently introduced a private member’s bill to add clear protections for transgender people to the human rights code. This is the fourth time he has attempted to get this legislation passed.

Seven provincial governments and one territorial government have already acted to change their human rights codes to more clearly protect transgender and gender variant people, including Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.

Most Canadian governments have acted to support trans equality and human rights. Premier Christy Clark’s failure to specifically add gender identity and expression to the B.C. Human Rights Code leaves transgender people in B.C. at greater risk of discrimination.

B.C.’s Human Rights Code must better reflect the values of inclusivity, diversity and respect for all people that are part of what it means to
be British Columbian. Read the bill: http://bit.ly/1TOjKFv.

 

Kinder Morgan pipeline concerns remain

The federal National Energy Board’s (NEB) conditional approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project is the result of a flawed process which left key concerns unaddressed.

There remains zero clarity around Kinder Morgan’s oil-spill response plans, and I am concerned that First Nations directly affected by this project have not been consulted and heard.

The silence of this process on climate change is particularly troubling after Premier Clark’s own climate change leadership team issued a public warning to British Columbians about the province’s failure to take steps to limit emissions.

Through inaction, B.C. will miss its 2020 climate change targets. We need to get back on track to meet our climate change targets by retrofitting old buildings, maximizing our hydroelectric dams, and through an aggressive
pursuit of renewable energy technologies. We need to improve transit across the province, especially in key and under served commuter areas in Vancouver and Surrey.

This project will not deliver substantial benefits to B.C., has not been entered into in partnership with First Nations, offers no clear environmental protection plan, and does not address climate-change impact; therefore I
cannot support it. Find out more about the NEB process and reports at http://bit.ly/1sHy5HB.

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