A monument to Alberta’s Broken Families began to take shape today, with workers breaking ground in Edmonton’s Grant Notley Park.
“Alberta is a dangerous place for workers. Last year, 166 Albertans died as a result of going to work. That means 166 Broken Families - families missing a mother or father, a son or daughter, a brother or sister,” says Brian Henderson, president of the Edmonton and District Labour Council (EDLC).
For nearly 100 years, the labour movement has been fighting to make workplaces safer in Alberta. To mark the centennial of this struggle, the EDLC commissioned the building of a memorial obelisk, designed by local artist Memi Von Gaza.
“Made of stainless steel, granite and concrete, this obelisk will stand 14 feet tall and be 10 feet wide at the base. On each of the four sides, a family will be seen, cast in bronze – but with one family member missing - one family member who went to work, but didn’t come home,” says Henderson. “At this time of year, when families come together for the holidays, it’s particularly important to remember that some family members are missing because of fatal accidents in the workplace.”
The monument will be unveiled on April 28, 2012, the National Day of Mourning recognizing those who have been injured or killed on the job.
“This monument will not only commemorate those who have died before, it aims to educate people so future deaths can be prevented,” says Henderson. “It is fitting that it will be in the park named after Grant Notley, the former MLA and leader of the NDP, a great public servant who lost his life in a 1984 plane crash while representing the people of this province.”
The family of Grant Notley gave their permission for the monument to be located in the park named after the former leader of the Alberta NDP. “I know what it’s like to lose a beloved family member,” says Rachel Notel, NDP MLA for Edmonton Strathcona. “My father died in a plane crash while working for the people of Alberta. Having this monument in the park that bears his name just feels right.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Henderson, EDLC president, 780-940-6797 (cell)