A plaque was unveiled on Saturday in commemoration of Grant’s Law. (Courtesy of the B.C. Federation of Labour)

Plaque unveiled to commemorate gas-and-dash death

Located in Maple Ridge where Grant De Patie was killed.

A plaque commemorating Grant’s Law was unveiled Saturday in Maple Ridge.

Grant’s Law was enacted following the death of Grant De Patie, a 24-year-old Maple Ridge gas station attendant who died trying to stop a gas-and-dash in 2005.

The brass plaque was unveiled by the east parking lot of Garibaldi secondary with more than 100 people in attendance, including Doug De Patie, Grant’s father.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Laird Cronk also attended, as did Milena Kollay, chair of the B.C. Federation of Labour Young Workers’ Committee, and Joey Harman chair of the B.C. Labour Heritage Centre, all representing workers 30 and younger.

De Patie’s family fought for new safety rules to better protect late-night retail workers from violence in the workplace after his death.

Grant’s Law included the requirement to pay at the-pump before fueling up, the first of its kind in Canada, and a set of regulations to reduce the risk of violence in the workplace.

“This plaque is important because Grant’s story and Grant’s Law have inspired young workers, like me, to take up the fight for better workplace safety,” said Kollay.

“I’m standing up for tougher rules and better protections for workers, so nothing like this happens again.”

Kollay also said that she was committed to getting the law changed back to make it mandatory for businesses to have two late-night workers on the same shift for safety.

In 2011, the law was changed, allowing gas station and convenience store clerks to work alone.

“We’ll be continuing to work and do our annual sit-in until it gets changed,” she said.

The plaque unveiling was held on Injured Workers’ Day, commemorating the events of June 1, 1983, when more than 3,000 injured workers, family members and advocates in Ontario protested the provincial government’s proposal to eliminate the permanent disability pension.



cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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