Memorial vigil on March 5 will spotlight farmworker safety


THE safety and livelihoods of BC farmworkers will be front and centre as families, community organizations, labour and political leaders gather to remember the 2007 van crash that killed three farmworkers.

The annual memorial service honours Armajit Kaur Bal, 52, Sukhvinder Kaur Punia, 46, and Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, 31. They died when an overloaded van carrying them to work skidded out of control on the Trans-Canada Highway near Abbotsford.

Multiple investigations revealed that the van was illegally overloaded and had only two seat belts, was riding on mismatched and bald tires, had a wooden bench in the back, and was driven with a fraudulent safety permit by someone who did not have the proper license.

This year, the service will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5 at 12:30 p.m. at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford, with an Indigenous welcome ceremony followed by a series of speakers. Participants will then walk to the nearby Golden Tree monument, where they will hold a candlelight vigil, according to a BCFED statement.

Sunday, March 5 at 12:30 p.m.
Matsqui Centennial Auditorium
32315 South Fraser Way 1st floor


About the Golden Tree Farmworkers’ Monument:
Located in Abbotsford’s Friendship Garden, behind the Clearbrook Library, the Golden Tree Farmworkers’ Monument was seven years in the making. It honours the memory of the three women who were killed in the 2007 van crash as well as the work done by all farmworkers. It was designed and built by local artists Dean and Christina Lauzé.


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