Remembering the victims of devastating Hampstead collision
It’s been nearly six months since a truck driver and 10 migrant workers from Peru were killed in a horrific crash in Hampstead.
On Sunday afternoon, at an emotion vigil, family members, friends and advocates gathered at the scene of the crash to honour their memory.
"Those families in Peru have been devastated by this accident... they've lost everything,” says Chris Ramsaroop of a group called Justice for Workers.
The workers had just left a nearby poultry farm when the driver of their van failed to stop at a stop sign and they were struck by a transport truck.
Advocates say they have asked the government to hold an inquiry into the crash but they nothing has been done. Now they want a change to migrant workers rights.
“Workers should not be going home to die, workers should be having proper protection here and be treated here accordingly, and this is not happening,” says Ramsaroop.
Organizers planned today's vigil not only as a sign of respect for those who lost their lives, but also for the thousands of other migrant workers who have been injured or killed while working in Canada.
Justice for Migrant Workers says their mandate is to get the federal government to improve labour laws, like ensuring workers have safe conditions and are not living in fear of deportation.
Winston Morriston lost part of his leg after falling, and had to fight to stay in Canada while his family is home in Jamaica. “We have kids, we have family, we come here to make our country better, to make Canada better, to make ourselves better. To make our kids future brighter. We need better for us and better for the farm worker system.”
A group called Justicia, who had representative at the vigil, wants better protection for migrant workers. That includes safe working conditions, status upon arrival, no fees for work, equal access to programs, modernization of labour laws to reflect the realities of migrant workers' experiences and an end to repatriations and deportations.