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April 26, 2018

The Ontario Federation of Labour joins with our affiliates, the working people of Ontario, and all Canadians in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of those that perished in the Toronto van attack of April 23, 2018. Our hearts go out to the survivors, colleagues, friends, and families and all those who are affected.

While the names of all the victims have not yet been released, we have received the sad news that one of those killed and two of the injured were members of our union family, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

“Now is the time when the labour movement must, more than ever, pull together to support our communities, and send our deepest gratitude to the first responders and the community members who stepped into the breach to help those who were injured in this terrible attack,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley.

As the names of the other victims emerge it is likely that more of the dead or injured will be workers who were part of our movement, and we encourage you to support the families, friends, co-workers and colleagues of these workers in any way you can.

CUPE 4400 member, Renuka Amarasinghe, was killed in the attack. Renuka was a single mother and a Nutrition Services worker who had worked at a number of Toronto District School Board schools since 2015 – most recently at Earl Haig Secondary School. Renuka was a well-loved member of the Scarborough community.

CUPE 3904 member and Chief Steward, Amir Kiumarsi, remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Sunnybrook Hospital. Amir is a chemistry teacher at Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education and has served as the Chief Steward for Unit 2 for the past four years.

CUPE 79 member Amaresh Tesfamariam, a registered practical nurse at Fudger House, was gravely injured and remains in critical condition at Sunnybrook Hospital.

We share in the grief of all those affected and pledge to work together through this tragedy.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.

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