TBDIWSG President's Report

Monday, December 9, 2019

Greetings Members of the Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group and friends,

Welcome to our Annual General Meeting this evening.  I want to thank you for your involvement and your support throughout this past year.  The challenges facing injured workers continue to grow and our voices are our only recourse.  I want to thank everyone who has served on our board this past year but also those who have committed to our cause over the past 34 years.  We continue to be a force.

Our board continues to look for ways to support the many causes that directly and indirectly affect injured workers and others who are marginalized.  There is no shortage of issues, particularly given the direction of our current government.  More and more we are seeing not only the need for political action but also the strength of everyone as they unite in solidarity to fight for basic rights.  We are also committed to supporting our various union advocates as they continue to fight for the rights of all workers.  There is no one other than the 1% who have not been negatively affected by our Ford government.

Our group continues to look for ways to let people know that we are here.  The compensation system is very complex and many don’t know where to turn following a negative decision letter regarding their injury.  Many workers who face permanent injuries isolate themselves as they struggle to keep their lives in order.  They are unaware that having someone to talk to who understands what they are going through can make a difference in their lives.  We can learn from each other.  Our weekly Tuesday group from 10 am to 12 noon offers a variety of social and learning opportunities in a supportive setting and open to everyone.

We continue our involvement with the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups.  Partnerships in research continue as they look for new opportunities to shine a light on the many practices by the WSIB and endorsed by the current government that hurt workers who have already been hurt at work.   Our group also has 2 Pro Bono Students from the Law School who are involved with research involving Canada’s accession to the Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.   

We share office space with the Canadian Injured Workers Alliance and are open on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm.  We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities in our office as well as 4 vacant seats on our board and ask that you talk to any of our board members if you would like to be involved in any way. 

In solidarity,

Janet Paterson    

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