National Union members join annual memorial on Parliament Hill

"On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I am honoured to pay tribute to the police and peace officers who dedicated their lives to helping keep our communities safe and who in turn paid the ultimate price for their dedication."— The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Ottawa (26 Sept. 2016) — Among the thousands of peace and police officers marching in the September 25, 2016 Canadian Police and Peace Officers' 39th Annual Memorial Service there was a strong and proud contingent of members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). The officers, and union activists, represented their colleagues in adult and youth correctional facilities across the country.

5 officers remembered

The solemn memorial service recognized the names of 5 officers who died while protecting the safety of Canadians. Two young police officers lost their lives in this past year: Constable Sarah Beckett of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Constable Thierry Leroux of Lac Simon First Nations Police Service.
 
Three historic names were also added: County Constable William L. Pickard, Thamesville Kent County Police; Immigration Deportation Officer Marshall Jackson, Department of Interior; and Inspector Herbert. G. Herbert, Department of Interior.
 
"We all recognize the vital role of police and peace officers in keeping Canadians safe, as well as the dangers they inherently face when carrying out their duties. They are essential to the quality of life we enjoy in Canada and they carry out their noble and essential function with courage, pride and professionalism," said the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
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Memorial a reminder of the challenges faced by workers in the justice system

Every year correctional officers and youth facility workers, members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), meet in Ottawa in the days prior to the memorial service. This year, reports were dominated by accounts of growing levels of violence in provincial correctional facilities.
 
"The violence that our members are facing on a daily basis is frightening," said Larry Brown, NUPGE's President. "This is the obvious outcome of decades of trying to cut costs and ignore the problems in our provincial justice system."
 
"It is not a cliché to say that this is truly a catastrophe waiting to happen." 

A contingent of NUPGE members from across the country marched in honour of their fallen comrades, but also in hope that in the future, tragedies could be prevented.

The ceremony

The day's ceremony began on Parliament Hill at 9 a.m. as officers read aloud the names of each of the police and peace officers who have died on duty over the years. Later officers in uniform marched from the Supreme Court to Parliament Hill where they were greeted by dignitaries and the public.

In 1998, the federal government proclaimed the last Sunday in September as Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day. The Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Service gives Canadians an opportunity each year to formally express appreciation for the dedication of police and peace officers, who have contributed so much to our country.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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