The Day of Mourning was marked with small ceremonies in Elliot Lake and Espanola.

The Domtar union leaders met outside in their commemorative garden on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 including presidents IBEW 956 Todd Tessier, Unifor Local 156 Dean Houle, Unifor Local 74 Joanne Lamothe and HR manager Teresa Miller.

Speaking on their behalf, Unifor Local 74 president, Joanne Lamothe, says it has been a mentally exhausting year due to COVID-19 and the staggering number of workers who have lost their lives, not only to the disease, but in the workplace.

Closer to home, she says workers acknowledge the loss of three electrical personnel with IBEW Local 956, a local member of Unifor Local 156 and several members of her union to occupational disease including mesothelioma and asbestos.

She says this year’s theme was “take a moment” – a moment to remember when you enter your workplace the importance of your safety; when starting a task ensure you have gone about it the right way; when you see someone else who is unsure, to help them as best you can, and ensure you keep your workplace and fellow employees safe using all the tools at your disposal.

She says the flags flew at half-mast remembering those who have died on the job, have suffered injuries, or have passed away due to illness.

Wreaths were also be laid in the commemoration garden of the mill.

Meanwhile, in Elliot Lake, Mayor Dan Marchisella and Councillor Ed Pearce both laid a wreath yesterday on behalf of the city at the Miner’s Memorial yesterday, acknowledging the importance of workplace safety.

Marchisella says the annual unveiling of names usually takes place on the Day of Mourning, but due to the pandemic, it has been delayed because community members can’t be in attendance.

He says a new date has to be determined adding he believes it could be sometime early in June depending on the pandemic.

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