Message from the Ontario Disability Support Program

Dear Employment Supports Service Providers and Community Partners,

We are hoping everyone is doing ok as we work through these difficult times.

It is during these times when we realize the importance of our community partnerships and relationships.  Knowing that we are often in contact with common clients, we wanted to share some of our service delivery measures with you.

Effective immediately and until further notice, we have implemented the following:

– there is no need for clients to worry about submitting their income reports at this time (unless they submit electronically)

– Special Diet Allowances, already in pay, will continue, even if set to expire – clients are not to worry about getting their signed forms in for now (unless they submit electronically)

– as well, we will not require forms and verification for Mandatory Special Necessities as we will issue these benefits and obtain what is needed later on (unless they submit electronically)

While our offices remain open, we are attempting to avoid having clients attend our offices, as much as possible, for everyone’s well-being.

We are hopeful that informing our clients of these measures will be helpful in achieving that objective, and would appreciate your efforts in sharing our message whenever that opportunity presents itself.

We will continue to keep you as informed as possible, as we go along.  Should you have any questions about our current service delivery measures, please contact us.

Weekly News

You may be having a lousy day but at least you’re not in Newfoundland… unless you are; In which case everything will be fine because you’re surrounded by Newfoundlanders.  We posted some articles on the site this week you may want to check out after reading the update.

Tuesday Together

This past Tuesday Hillary Dorothy Jones, a Lakehead University Graduate Student, shared information with the group regarding Mental Health First Aid.   During the discussion Hillary talked about grieving not being something that just happens when somebody dies but is something we could go through at other times, for instance the loss of a job.

Regional News

TBDIWSG Treasurer Steve Mantis was interviewed by Mike Ebbeling for CKDR this week.  The article, if you are interested, is posted on this sight.  Check it out.

Labour Awards Dinner 

Tickets are still available for the Labour Awards Dinner and fundraiser.  Contact Janet Patterson at 472-7295 or Greg Snider 345-7904

Articles to Check Out

Take advantage of every opportunity to speak truth to power.   Tap Tap    Oh look Opportunity’s knocking https://injuredworkersonline.org/how-to-reduce-poverty

Construction Firm Failed to Pay Fine

This article was done by our CBC/Radio Canada. Why we should hold companies responsible for everything they do. Seems the more you let these people away with the more they think they can get away with. These people should now be prosecuted on all three charges since they failed to meet their end of the agreement.

Construction firm failed to pay $60K fine for fall that injured worker

a scaffolding in front of a building: Bellai Brothers Construction has failed to pay a $60,000 fine issued after a worker fell three metres at the Claridge Icon condo site, Radio-Canada has learned.© Marc-André Cossette/CBC Bellai Brothers Construction has failed to pay a $60,000 fine issued after a worker fell three metres at the Claridge Icon condo site, Radio-Canada has learned.

Weekly Update – Plowing through winter

Labour Award Dinner:

The 1st Annual Labour Awards Dinner and Thunder Bay Injured Workers Support Group Fundraiser has been arranged and a special speaker has agreed to come to the event.

We have confirmed the President of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) to be our keynote speaker.  Patty Coates is the first women to become President and is a dynamic speaker committed to grassroots unionism, Social Justice, Fairness and Workplace Safety.  

Patty has worked her way to the top of the OFL.   Her work within the OSSTF was excellent, and propelled her to be elected as Secretary/Treasure in 2015.  A post she held until being elected to President. 

The event is being held on Friday, February 28th at the West Thunder Community Centre.   Doors will open at 6:00 pm and the meal will begin at 6:30 pm.  Tickets are $40.00 each.      

Tuesday Peer Support

This past Tuesday Steve Mantis facilitated an open discussion among Injured Workers followed by a discussion and review of the pamphlet around dealing with your Doctor.  It was nice to see more than 10 people attending the get together.

Next week the Tuesday get together will center around Mental Health, with a guest speaker from Lakehead University. 

Next month, graduate students from Lakehead University will begin a project to help build on our work with peer support.  At the end of the project they hope to be able to help us by sharing what we have done well, what we need to improve on and new ideas on how to do Peer Support.  I find this very exciting. 

Presentation to the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

The TBDIWSG will be making a presentation before the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday, January 21 at 2:15 pm at the Valhalla Inn.  The Committee is travelling throughout the Province to receive suggestions regarding the upcoming provincial budget.  Although it has always been a challenge to see our recommendations show up in the budget it is important that our voice is heard, if not by the politicians, at least by others in the room including the news media.

Articles of interest

Working conditions at Amazon are concerning to say the least

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/01/13/amaz-j13.html

Weekly Rewview

Welcome to the double 20s and the first Weekly Report

Lakehead University Research Speakers Series

This is an opportunity to listen to some of the research work being done at our local University.  Lakehead University has been very supportive of the Injured Workers Support Group. We have two of their students doing research for us as part of their education program.

The event is taking place at LU on Monday, January 13th between 12pm and 130pm. There will be a light lunch provided.  RSVP is required.  If you are interested, the details check out the poster and info in the post below this one. 

Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group Fundraiser – First Annual Labour Awards Dinner

The date for our First Annual Labour Awards Dinner is Friday, February 28th and we are looking forward to a very exciting event.  Doors open at 6 pm and dinner is being served at 6:30 pm.  Tickets are now available.  They are $40.00 each and if you purchase a full table (8 tickets), you will receive a complimentary bottle of wine.   You can contact our office by phone for tickets, talk to a board member or come to the office on Tuesday between 10am and 200pm. 

Board Executive Re-elected

Elections were held at our last board meeting.  Congratulations to …

Janet Paterson (President)

Ted Bobrowski (Vice President)

Steve Mantis (Treasurer)

Jules Tupker (Secretary)

Tuesdays Together

Tuesdays together resumed yesterday and are held weekly until our summer schedule kicks in.  Join us from 10 am to 12 noon in the HAGI boardroom as 1201 Jasper Drive.  Activities include educationals, Paint Your Pain, wellness and games. Everyone is welcome to attend!

City Council

TBDIWSG president Janet Paterson and fellow Board Member Greg Snider will be meeting with the Thunder Bay City Council to discuss the many activities we are involved with and that the Citizens of Thunder Bay have come to appreciate.  Feel free to attend.

Education

Steve Mantis has been invited to talk to some of the students at Westgate High School about workplace safety.   Steve has been doing this important outreach for decades, raising awareness about the importance of health and safety in the workplace for many who will be entering the workforce.  He talks about some very important issues that can keep our young adults safe.  Please let us know If you would like him to speak to a group. 

Ford backtracks because of IW pressure

We have received updates that both the Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic (IWC) and the Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO) have had a portion of their funding budget restored, retroactive to their budget cuts of April 1, 2019.     We are awaiting an update for the third injured workers legal aid clinic in Toronto.  Meanwhile, northern and northwestern Ontario’s legal aid lawyer position was short-lived, and it doesn’t sound like it will be re-instated.  Great work to all who supported our legal aid clinics during the last year!  Together we made change!

Articles of interest

Injuredworkersonline.org has a great review of the past year.  The journey of this past year is one that we won’t forget.  Follow the below link to learn more.

The year in review

Below is a link to another article by Sara Mojtehedzadeh of the Toronto Star.  This time she enlightens us on the decreasing number of inspections by the MOL. 

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/12/04/employers-keep-breaking-safety-laws-and-government-enforcement-isnt-stopping-them-auditor-general-finds.html

Research Speakers Series and Networking Event

this event is worth attending if only to give feed back to the researchers. You also may hear some interesting facts. Two of our board members attend the last on and found it time well spent.

Lakehead University

Please join us for our next Speaker Series on Monday, January 13th, 12:00 -1:30 pm. (Online access details below)   

Please see below (& attached) invitation and feel free to share with any individuals or organizations that you feel may be interested in learning more about our Research Institute and the work we do. 

Light lunch will be provided, we look forward to seeing you! 

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Online access details: 

Join Zoom Meeting https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/831449421?pwd=ckY2UCt1Tjd5NFhueExxZjZlSnlsQT09 Meeting ID: 831 449 421 Password: EPID One tap mobile +16475580588,,831449421# Canada Dial by your location +1 647 558 0588 Canada +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose) +1 646 876 9923 US (New York) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) +61 2 8015 6011 Australia +61 3 7018 2005 Australia +61 8 7150 1149 Australia Meeting ID: 831 449 421 Find your local number: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/u/acSDVaanyT  

Weekly Update

Ontario Network of Injured Worker Groups

ONIWG declared December 9th an Injured Workers Day of Action. Protest were held across Ontario 

ONIWG Research Action Committee has met with the Deputy Labour Minister and discussed WSIB’s failure to track out comes.                          

Tuesdays Together

This Tuesday was a holiday and end of year celebration.  About twenty of us got together for a light lunch including homemade soup and a lot homemade desserts.  I am sorry if you missed it, as it was truly a great time. 

The Tuesday Togethers are going to take a break over the Christmas Holiday season and will begin again on January 7th with Eugene hosting a Paint Your Pain session.  It is my understanding that painting is not actually a requirement for attendance.  Actually, now that I think about it, neither is the pain.

In the Ontario Legislature

Bill 119, An Act to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 

A private members bill 119 introduced by Wayne Gates, Niagara Falls, NDP, passed first reading and now goes to committee for review.  This is an attempt to stop deeming unless a workers refuses work in bad faith. 

Fundraising

Tickets are now available for the Labour Awards Dinner.  To get your tickets contact Janet at 472-6910 or Greg 345-7904.  The event is being held at the West Thunder Community Centre, on Friday , February 28th doors will open at six and meals will be served at 6:30   Tickets are 40.00  This is an important fundraiser for the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group so please be generous.

Articles to check out

This is a commentary by respected Lawyer Michael Spratt, who calls out the Ford Conservatives for cutting Legal Aid Ontario’s ability to do their job.  This time they are planning on the cuts not being noticed.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-smarter-stronger-justice-act-legal-aid-1.5393810

I am going to take Christmas off. but will be back in January. However or whatever you celebrate over this Christmas – New Years week stay safe, healthy and happy. See you in new decade.

Weekly Review 2

What’s a weekly review if it’s not weekly.  Here is our second in a row.

News from the AGM

We held our 33Annual General Meeting on Monday.  The Ontario Public Service Employees Union was very generous in providing us with use of their meeting hall free of charge.  A big thank you to them. 

I have posted a copy of the President’s Report on the website, be sure to check it out.  The treasurer and Trustee reports were also presented. Jules Tupker, Janet Patterson and Greg Snider were re-elected to the board.  Eugene Lefrancois was elected as Trustee. For those who don’t know, only one third of our board positions are up for election each year, with the successful candidates serving a three-year term. There are still some openings on the board.  Should anyone be interested in stepping up, please contact Janet Paterson at 472-6910

Longtime activist for Injured Workers, Bob Larocque chose not to stay on the Board. Through the years Bob has been a huge part of the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group.  For many years Bob and Moses Shepherd volunteered their time to successfully represent workers at the WSIB, until the Upper Canada Law Society of Ontario decided you needed to be a paralegal to represent workers.  Even after that setback he continued to support Injured Workers.  He played a significant role in locating our new office.  I hope you will pop by the office or meetings once in a while Bob, if only to share your humor and storytelling!  

BOARD EXECUTIVE

Janet Paterson (President)

Ted Bobrowski (Vice President)

Steve Mantis (Treasurer)

Jules Tupker (Secretary)

BOARD MEMBERS

Greg Snider

Lise Vaugeois

Chris Lawson

Diane Parker

Jim Littleford

Harry Sinoway

HONOURARY BOARD MEMBER

Moses Shepherd

TRUSTEE

Eugene Lefrancois

TBDIWSG’s Labour Awards Dinner

Plans have begun for the February 28th Labour Awards Dinner.  This is a fundraiser for the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group.  Without fundraising events like this one we will not be able to keep our office or do the many things that office allows us to do.

The event is scheduled for February 28th at the West Thunder Community Centre. Doors will open at 6pm and the meal will begin at 6:30 pm.  Tickets are $40.00 each.   If you purchase a table of 8 you will receive a coupon for a bottle of wine. 

Currently we have 4 awards to present: Occupational Health and Safety Centre, Labour Council, Prevention Link and of course the TBDIWSG   

Space is limited so get your tickets now.

Contact Janet Paterson at 472-6910 or Greg Snider at 345-7904

Articles of interest from the last week

Language Barriers and the WSIB

The Ontario Auditor General takes a strip off WSIB

CN workers were recently on strike.  The main issue was workplace safety. According to Occupational Health and Safety Canada there have been ten deaths in the last 2 years.