WSIB management defends system in face of workers’ concerns

Staff warn of service issues, understaffing in ‘call centre’ model, documents show

Another awesome article from Sara Mojtehedzadeh which was published in the Toronto Star on February 22, 2019.   A writer committed to the truth and a paper committed to printing it.

Senior management is doubling down on controversial changes at the provincial workers’ compensation board, as employees blast the organization’s new “call centre” model and warn that failure to address understaffing and service issues could have “life and death implications” for injured workers, according to documents obtained by the Star. Continue reading

Changes to JOHS Training Standards Designed to Keep Profits Safe

written by Greg Snider   Editing + by Lise Vaugeois

Steve Mantis responded to the Ontario Governments changes to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee Training Standards with an e-mail to  In the Government’s own words, the changes were made to “reduce the burden on Business …  and save employers and workers time and money.”  The condensed version is: they are making the training shorter and online while giving the employer more time to implement the training. Continue reading

In The Rear-View Mirror: 2018

by Greg Snider  Edited by Lise Vaugeois

As we say good by to another Christmas season and head in to the heart of our long winter, lets take a moment to look back at the year gone by.
On April 28th the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group (TBDIWSG) continued to work with the Thunder Bay and District Labour Council in co-hosting the April 28th Day of Mourning Observance. For the second year in a row the event was held at the Finlandia Club. Correctional Officer Mike Lundy was this year’s guest speaker. He spoke about living with workplace stress and how that can seriously affect one’s life. He talked about how prominent PTSD is among jail guards and first responders. This year we honored four Hydro One workers who died in a helicopter crash and the six workers who were on the Humboldt Bronco’s bus crash. This important event continues to grow the recognition of those who have been killed or injured in the workplace. Continue reading

Are you confused about your rights to Workers’ Compensation (WSIB)? Feeling stressed out after a workplace injury or illness? Read on…

The Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group and Advocacy North for Injured Workers are hosting an Injured Workers Outreach Forum, beginning the evening of Wednesday, October 3rd and running thru Thursday, October 4th . We are inviting all injured workers (and interested parties) to participate. The forum will be held at Christ Lutheran Church at 47 Walkover St. – just behind McDonalds on Red River Road.
Our Forum is planned to help vulnerable and marginalized workers, including those returning to work after an injury and those who may not have been injured, but have limited knowledge of occupational health and safety laws and available resources, to learn more about their rights and the laws that guide them as a worker in Ontario. It will include public legal education, summary advice for injured workers and peer support.
For the first time in many years, injured workers in northern Ontario have access to a community legal clinic lawyer to help them with their compensation claims. 11 legal clinics in Northern Ontario have joined forces, creating the Advocacy North Project, to expand their services in employment law, injured workers law and elder/senior law along with community development and peer support work. The Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group welcomes the energy and the commitment of Catherine Boivin-Girard, Northern Regional Injured Workers’ Lawyer, home-based in Timmins, to our region and looks forward to the many ways in which she will be able to provide legal services to our injured workers.
Please contact Janet Paterson at or (807) 472-6910 or our office at (807) 622-8897 or for more information.

Thunder Bay Injured Workers Are Grateful for Support

Herb Daniher, USW Rep in Thunder Bay, offers Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group board member, Jules Tupker, a cheque from USW members in Kapuskasing at the June 1st ceremony.

The Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group was fortunate to be offered rent-free space at the Lakehead Labour Centre for many years. Since the destruction of the labour centre, we have had shared office space with the Canadian Injured Workers Alliance. This also marks the first time that we have had to pay rent since the Injured Workers Resource Centre, which was funded for a pilot project in the 90’s, closed. Without the support of many labour unions both local and in the district, we would be unable to offer support to other injured workers and their families. We are very grateful for all the support we receive, both financially and socially.

Letter to the Editor – June 1st is Injured Workers Day


Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group President, Eugene Lefrancois, and Mayor Hobbs raise the injured workers flag on June 1st, in recognition of Injured Workers Day.

On June 1, 1983 a coalition called “The Association of Injured Workers’ Groups” (AIWG) attended Queen’s Park en masse to make a deputation to a government committee contemplating changes to the Workers Compensation Act in Ontario, that would remove disability pensions in favour of a wage loss system. Thousands of injured workers, their families and survivors responded to the call to action from the AIWG, forcing the committee to convene the hearing on the steps of the Ontario Legislature, a first in the history of Ontario.

Every year since 1983 there has been a June 1 gathering of injured worker groups at Queen’s Park and, on some occasions, other cities and towns in Ontario. It has become “Injured Workers’ Day” in Ontario, a day of pride and protest – the pride of the people who gave so much for the growth of Ontario and, inevitably, an event of protest against the laws and policies that lack so much in recognizing this contribution, but instead create poverty for the permanently disabled.

On Friday, June 1 Thunder Bay will take part of this tradition with a Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall at 10 AM. Injured workers, their families and survivors, along with concerned and interested members of the public are urged to attend and voice their concerns. As well, local candidates in the provincial election will share their plans for reform.

Too often, Injury equals Poverty in Ontario as increasing numbers of permanently disabled injured workers are living at or below the poverty line in Ontario. This is because many workers, about 15,000 each year, end up with a permanent work related disability. Research shows that about 50% are unemployed post injury but only 1 in 5 receive a “disability pension” from the WSIB.

In fact, since 2010, the WSIB has doubled their Accident Fund to $35.7 Billion while they cut annual total benefits to injured and disabled workers in half.

On April 28, 1914 workers in Ontario gave up the right to sue their employers for damages caused by injuries in the workplace, a very significant sacrifice, in return for compensation for rehabilitation costs and full protection from income loss. This “historic trade-off” means that workers’ compensation is a negotiated right, not an appeal to the generosity of the community conscience.

On June 1 injured workers in Thunder Bay will join others across Ontario to highlight the fact that the agreement they made in 1914 is not being fulfilled.

Steve Mantis

Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group