On the National Day of Mourning the OPP Association remembers the sacrifice of 110 OPP police officers who died in the line of duty, 43 members since 1989 who died by suicide, and all injured. We sit with the grief of all families who have suffered from the death or injury of a loved one to a workplace injury.
We pledge to work to ensure health & safety of our members who serve the people of Ontario with integrity every day.
We work tirelessly through the Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program to save and improve the lives of our members and their families. Together with our community partners, and thanks to the funding of the Ontario provincial government, we are improving our mental health services to our members. As you can see from the numbers, there is always more work to do. We also appreciate the efforts of the OPP Healthy Workplace Team led by Chief Psychologist Dr. Vivien Lee, who also are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of our members. One life lost is too many.
When we posted for the National Day of Mourning in 2021, we had 110 OPP officers who had died in the line of duty and 39 who had died by suicide.
We feel it is important that it is publicly known that as of April 19, 2022, there were five more of our members who died by suicide since the 2021 Day of Mourning. Those total statistics include 17 retired members (16 who served in a sworn uniform capacity, and 1 who served in a civilian capacity) and 26 actively serving OPP members (25 who served in uniform capacity and 1 who served in a civilian role).
Thankfully, in 2022 to date, we have not had a line of duty death. We look forward to honouring our members and all police officers who have died in the line of duty in the province of Ontario at the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation Ceremony of Remembrance
on May 1, 2022 in Toronto. The OPP Association is fully committed to efforts to honour our members who have died in the line of duty and died by suicide.
We look forward to collaborating and working with all stakeholders to ensure the safety of our members and their families. The safety and well being of our members is our top priority.
On this Day of Mourning education and understanding of the significance and history of the day is important.
In conclusion, the following is an excerpt from the Ontario Workers Safety Insurance Bureau website (WSIB)
In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress established April 28th as the National Day of Mourning in Canada to remember and honour those who have died, been injured or suffered illness in the workplace.
The date was chosen in 1984, when the Canadian Labour Congress proclaimed the Day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the day the first Ontario Worker's Compensation Act was approved by the government (1914). The Day of Mourning was enshrined in national legislation by an Act of Parliament on February 1, 1991.
The Day of Mourning, also known as Workers' Memorial Day, is officially recognized in about 100 countries worldwide.
Canadian flags on Parliament Hill and at Queen's Park fly at half-staff on April 28th. The day is traditionally marked in many ways including holding public ceremonies, wearing black and yellow ribbons, lighting candles, observing a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. and sharing stories about how workplace tragedies have touched peoples' lives.
Rob Stinson, President
Ontario Provincial Police Association