"On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I am deeply honoured to pay tribute to the brave police and peace officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while keeping our communities safe. They will not be forgotten. Today we remember them, we honour them and we show our deepest respect and gratitude to them."— The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Ottawa (28 Sept. 2017) — The 40th Annual Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Service saw a strong and diverse contingent of members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). The officers, and union activists, came from across the country and worked in provincial adult and youth corrections, probation and community corrections services, conservation and highway safety.
Along with the contingent of their federal counterparts, the peace officer presence at the memorial continues to grow every year. Under a hot September sky, the thousands of peace and police officers remembered their fallen comrades.
Remembering the fallen
|Constable Richer Dubuc|
There were 8 historic names added: The service this year recognized 1 recently fallen officer and 8 officers from history. On March 6, Constable Richer Dubuc, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Quebec), was killed while on duty.
- Customs Inspector Percy New - January 20, 1954 - Canada Border Services Agency
- County Constable Mont A. Wood - December 1, 1951 - Ontario Provincial Police
- Provincial Constable Jack Ferguson - October 20, 1949 - Ontario Provincial Police
- Provincial Constable Daniel J. Craig - June 29, 1932 - Ontario Provincial Police
- Game Warden S. Clark Russell - May 3 mai 1926 - Ontario Department of Game and Fisheries
- Sergeant Donald Forbes - July 17 juillet 1920 - Royal Northwest Mounted Police
- Landing Waiter and Searcher Hugh MacLean - April 28, 1881 - Department of Customs, Canada
- Landing Waiter Andrew L. Wilson - September 11 septembre 1876 - Department of Customs, Canada
"On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I am deeply honoured to pay tribute to the brave police and peace officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while keeping our communities safe. They will not be forgotten. Today we remember them, we honour them and we show our deepest respect and gratitude to them," said the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Justice system workers confronted by constantly changing environment
As in the past correctional officers and youth facility workers, members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), met in Ottawa in the days prior to the memorial service. This year a national meeting of representatives of probation officers was held on the Monday following the memorial.
Both groups expressed concerns about the growing incidents and threats of violence in the workplace.
"Our members who work in the justice sector are reporting escalating levels of threats and violence in the workplace," said Larry Brown, NUPGE's President. "It is almost certainly an outcome of provincial governments trying to cut costs in staffing and safety measures."
"As a union we need to keep bringing our concerns about our members' safety to the public's attention," said Brown.
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 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.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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