Contact us at tbiwsg@gmail.com if you want to join us for these sessions!

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Mike Schreiner, leader of the Ontario Green Party will discuss the Green Party’s position on the WSIB

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Lissa Beaulieu will lead us in social media techniques

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ian Thompson, a member of the WSIAT who will talk about the workings of the WSIAT

Tuesday, May 16th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Injured Workers and their family members share their stories.

Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Orlando Buonastella & John McKinnon from IWC will be our guest speakers. Topics will include:

1) Update on KPMG/WSIB attack on appeal rights: complaint to Ombudsman, skit by Malingerers, appeal to send messages to Ombudsman.

2) Preparation for IW day: John McKinnon for Toronto events update, + update the Thunder Bay events?

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Our guest will be MPP  Lise Vaugeois – NDP – WSIB & Injured Worker critic in the Ontario Parliament.  Lise will share some of the priorities of the official opposition and explore how we can work together to improve the lives of workers in Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Jamie West MPP for Sudbury, NDP Labour Critic

Jamie will share some of the priorities of the official opposition and explore how we can work together to improve the lives of workers in Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Do you know what may happen at the WSIB Appeals level?  WSIB is planning big changes in the appeal process that can make it harder for workers to achieve their rights.

Join us this Tuesday, April 18th at 10 AM to learn more and to learn what you can do about it. 

Thunder Bay Injured Workers is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

As part of the series of sessions on the second Tuesday of each month hosted by Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic (IWC), our guest will be Professor Emeritus Robert Storey, recently retired from the School of Labour Studies at McMaster U.  Robert has studied Workers Compensation and the Injured Workers Movement for over two decades and will share some of his thoughts with a view of building for the future.

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023 at 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Sean McFarling


This Tuesday, April 4th at 10 AM, we welcome Sean McFarling, General Counsel, LiUNA (Labourers Union)  and worker representative on the Ontario WSIB Board of Directors.
Sean will speak about:

  • Intro (both as a lawyer and WSIB Board member)
  • Balancing fiduciary duty as a board member vs. being an advocate for workers rights – (both the limits and advantages from my experience)
  • Examples:  Surplus distribution, Durations, Claim Suppression & Health and Safety Initiatives.
  • Concluding thoughts on Systemic Issues

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Guest Speaker Vicki Kristman – EPID@Work

Dr. Vicki Kristman will present some preliminary thoughts for a new study titled the “Northwestern Ontario Workplace and Worker Health Study” with the objective of understanding health, particularly mental health, and associated factors in order to develop and test workplace interventions. She is seeking input on what factors to measure that would provide important information for workplaces and workers. In particular, she would like to hear what injured workers consider important and helpful information to collect for an injured worker specific part of the study that may be used to maintain or improve injured workers’ mental health.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 at 10:00 AM – 12:00PM


This Tuesday, March 21st at 10 AM, we welcome Janice Folk-Dawson, Executive Vice President of the OFL, to speak to issues that impact injured and ill workers. Below is the zoom invite.

Everyone welcome.

Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Orlando Buonastella and Ellen MacEachen will talk about the situation of injured workers in their retirement years (age 65+).  MacEachen will share recent research on the WSIB’s “Loss of Retirement Income” plan, the logic that prompted this plan and some of the consequences of it for workers. Buonastella will provide comments how the WSIB’s Loss of Retirement Income plan affects other benefits and share some broader reflections on the big picture, including whether this retirement plan fits into principles of just compensation.

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 at 10:00AM

“Research in the field of occupational health has consistently found evidence of racial inequities, with workers of colour facing more frequent, severe, and disabling injury and illness when compared to white workers. In this presentation, Dr. Arif Jetha and Dr. Faraz Vahid Shahidi from the Instittue for Work & Health describe findings from a recent systematic review of literature examining racial inequities in the return-to-work (RTW) process. They synthesize existing evidence which has focused on racial and ethnic inequities in the re-integration of injured or ill workers. They also discuss opportunities to address obstacles faced by workers of colour in RTW and provide recommendations for future research.”

Arif Jetha PhD

Scientist, Institute for Work & Health

Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023 at 10:00 AM


Our next Tuesday Morning session will be at 10 am on February 28th.  The Session is Human Rights for Injured Workers.

 Topics include:

·      Overview of the Ontario Human Rights Code

·      Current dysfunction of the Human Rights Tribunal

·      Accommodation of disability under the Code

·      How the Code is different from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act when injured workers return to work

·      Does the Code apply to decisions and actions of the WSIB?

Guest Speaker Brian Cook is a former Vice-Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Tribunal and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Before his work as an adjudicator, he worked in the legal clinic system representing injured workers. He is currently the Co-ordinator of Tribunal Watch Ontario.

 Everyone is welcome.

Please contact us at tbiwsg@gmail.com for more information

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023 at 10:00 AM

What are the factors that influence the process of rehabilitation for older workers?

Our guest speaker will be Jessika Audet.  She is an occupational therapist who has been involved in the rehabilitation, return, and stay at work process of workers having suffered an occupational injury for more than 12 years. She is currently working on her doctorates project concerning the rehabilitation, return, and stay at work process of aging workers, under the directorial supervision of Alexandra Lecours, OT, PhD, at the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR).”

Considering the current labor shortage, aging and experienced workers are an important resource. However, when aging workers suffer an occupational injury, the duration of disability and the difficulty in returning to work increase with age. This begs to question, what are the factors that influence the process of rehabilitation, return, and stay at work of aging workers who have suffered an occupational injury?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Thunder Bay Injured Workers Tuesday Session Via Zoom

We have Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal joining us to talk more about the Immigrant / Migrant Workers Issues.

He is active with the Migrant Alliance and personal experience fighting for his rights in Canada.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Please contact us at tbiwsg@gmail.com for more information

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Emmanuelle Lopez – Bastos, Human Rights, Equity & Diversity Coordinator

UFCW Canada – United Food and Commercial Workers Union

Strengthening Disability Inclusive Workplaces Through a Union Approach

Results from the 2022 UFCW Canada Union Membership Questionnaire on Disability Inclusion

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Anne Hudson – School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal

Framing the Care of Injured Workers : An Empirical Four-Jurisdictional Compassion of Workers Compensation Boards Healthcare Policies

The objective of this study was to explore how workers compensation policies related to healthcare provision for workers with musculoskeletal injuries can affect the delivery and trajectories of care for injured workers. The principal research question was : What are the different ways in which workers compensation (WC) policies inform and transform the practices of healthcare providers (HCPs) caring for Injured Workers?

TUESDAY, January 10th, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Our first Tuesdays Injured Worker Session for the New Year will be led by IWC and Group. We will reflect on the past years issues and happening as we move into 2023! We look forward to seeing everyone!

TUESDAY, June 21, 10-12:
Our guest this week is Randy Robinson, Ontario director for the Canadian Centre for Policy and Alternatives (CCPA).  Randy will be speaking on the economics of poverty and the impact of the re-election of Doug Ford for those in poverty. 

TUESDAY, June 14, 10-12:
Our guests this week are Chris Grawey and Kathrin Furniss from IWC.  They will talk to us about Temporary Employment Agency rate setting at the WSIB. Temp Agencies have long been problematic, often paying lower WSIB rates than the companies where they send workers. This creates an incentive to contract out dangerous work, among other problems. There is a consultation happening now where we can push for some long needed changes. Join us to talk about it!

TUESDAY, MAY 24, 10-12: 

Our guest speaker this week is David Newberry from IWC who will be teaching us tips with using social media.  He will be giving us some hands-on practice with some exercises.  Everyone is welcome!

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 10-12: 

Guests Monia Kosciejew and Jody Jones.

The Ontario Federation of Labour’s project, “Prevention Link” began as the WCB Training Project in 1990.  It has undergone a few name changes in the last 30+ years, but what hasn’t changed is our goal of improving the well-being of Ontario’s most vulnerable workers, including injured workers, young workers and those that are new to working in Ontario.

We will be joining you today to discuss the training that we typically do in person, show you how we’ve adapted it for online learning and to offer the ONIWG group the opportunity to participate in our online workshop, “Principles of Accommodation Law”.

TUESDAY, MAY 3, 10-12:   Our guest speaker this week is Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. 

TUESDAY, APR 26, 10-12: Jim Brophy and Margaret Keith have written a book about violence in the healthcare workplaces and will be speaking to it tomorrow.

TUESDAY, APR 19, 10-12: Melissa Palermo (Director of Communications) and Natasha Luckhardt (Director of Health, Safety and Environment) from the Ontario Federation of Labour will lead a dynamic and interactive workshop on how to tell and amplify your story to compel change around health and safety and workplace injury or disease.

TUESDAY, APR 12, 10-12:

Our guest is Orlando’s hero, Lois Cromarty, who works for a sister legal clinic (Northumberland Community Legal Clinic) and is one of the most knowledgeable worker reps in the Province. Also a long-time supporter of ONIWG and the IW movement. She recently received the prestigious Sydney Linden award.  (She is probably blushing by now…)

“I have a lot of beefs with the current WSIB administration and “case management” systems, let alone the benefits system(s) as a whole.  Would the group want to hear my top ten list of problems – even if I have few answers or solutions beside the usual lobbying route – on such oldies but goodies as:

  • The Objection Intake process/gatekeeping
  • The older injured worker who gets their LRI as a lump sum (or retroactive award from an appeal) which affects their OAS/GIS, and in some cases their spouse’s OAS and that takes 2+ years to get caught back up
  • The split up decision-making where the case manager shuffles stuff off for others to decide
  • Narrow focus adjudication and loss of look to grant adjudication principles
  • Return to work
  • Deeming in a down (or pandemic) economy
  • Don’t get me started……”

TUESDAY, APR 5, 10-12: Open Discussion

TUESDAY, MAR 29, 10-12: Our guest speaker, Fred Hahn, cancelled last minute so we will be looking at May Day, Day of Mourning and the upcoming election. 

TUESDAY, MAR 22, 10-12: The guest speaker this week is Sharon Bak, a volunteer first responder, is the Northern  operations manager for Boots on the Ground, a mental health program for first responders, is there to assist them with mental health and emotional issues that they face in the line of work.   

TUESDAY, MAR 15, 10-12: This week’s guests are Andrew Mawdryk and Arpan Brar, Pro Bono students from Lakehead University’s Law School. They will be presenting on the RB4 Project at Dryden that they have been working on with the RB4 Committee and OHCOW.  We look forward to seeing you there!4 case

TUESDAY, MAR 8, 10-12: This week, Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic will be leading the session and Tebasum Durrani from Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic will present on the WSIB policy discussions on the opioid pandemic in Ontario & Canada and how the WSIB policy and practices may have unintended consequences for workers in the workplace.

TUESDAY, MAR 1, 10-12: Taylor Demetrioff & Ken Porter: Mood Disorder Society of Canada

TUESDAY, FEB 22, 10-12:  This week’s presentation, with guest speaker Stephanie Premjie and a member of the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO), will focus on the work, health and return-to-work experiences of Toronto Bangladeshi workers.

TUESDAY, FEB 15, 10-12: MPP Michael Gravelle

TUESDAY, FEB 8, 10-12:  Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic with an analysis on the WSIB Annual Report. Powerpoint Presentation is attached below.

TUESDAY, FEB 1, 10-12:
Feb. 1st – MPP Judith Monteith Farrell  –  How we can participate in Public Policy Reform

TUESDAY, JAN 25, 10-12:
Our guest speaker, Ellen MacEachen, will present findings from 2 recent Ontario-based qualitative studies focused on how low wage and digital platform workers experience and managed occupational risk during COVID-19. She will also discuss recommendations for improvement. 

TUESDAY, JAN 18, 10-12:
Our guest speakers Prof Deb Scharf and associates Joshua and Chelsea from Lakehead University will be speaking to the mental health issues for injured workers in NW Ontario.  They competed a project with IWC and the TBDIWSG on the mental health experiences of injured workers in Northwestern Ontario.  Attached is a plain language summary from the project.

TUESDAY, JAN 11, 10-12:
Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic:  Our session this week is with John McKinnon and Marion Endicott,  “1000 Days Without a Lost Time Accident – and other corporate myths”.  They will be talking about experience rating in setting employer workers compensation assessment rates.


Examining the Platform for Change  document.  It lays out a worker-centred vision for the workers compensation system.  We will be discussing strategies for getting the document distributed widely for the greatest impact! SEE DEC. 7, BELOW, FOR A COPY OF THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE PLATFORM FOR CHANGE.

TUESDAY, DEC 14, 10-12: 30th Anniversary ONIWG Christmas Demonstration: “Fighting Against More Gifts to Employers”  
10am: Injured Worker Community Forum
11am: Online Rally with Speakers & Performers


TUESDAY, DEC 7, 10-12:

We will be looking at the final draft of the Platform for Change.   This updated version of the Platform has undergone months of reviews and is now ready to go.  It lays out a worker-centred vision for the workers compensation system.  A copy is available for download below:

 TUESDAY, NOV 23, 10-12:

We are going to collectively look at the actions that injured workers took regarding Bill 27 and then we will discuss future steps, specifically how we can bring forward our issues to the political parties in anticipation of the summer election.

TUESDAY, NOV16, 10-12:

The Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic (IWC) is hosting. Alec Farquhar and Sue James of the Occupational Disease Reform Alliance (ODRA) will speak to the rewards and challenges of organizing for occupational disease.  Jules Tupker and Eugene Lefrancois will speak to Dryden cluster issues and solidarity from the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG). We will also give time for a brief update from Bill 27 hearings.

TUESDAY, N0V. 2: 10-12: Duty to Accommodate People with Disabilities. David Lepotfsky will be joining us.

An Introduction to the Duty to Accommodate People with Disabilities”

The video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y32XvjWmDAQ

Here are links to key topics in the video:

1. Introduction and Overview 00:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeKQHuxP9XU

2. Where does the Duty to Accommodate Come From? 2:27 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=147

3. Who Must Accommodate People with Disabilities? Who Has the Duty to Accommodate? 5:12 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=312

4. What is the Purpose of the Duty to Accommodate? 8:25 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=504

5. What are the Benefits of Fulfilling the Duty to Accommodate? 11:15 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=675

6. What Disabilities are Included within the Duty to Accommodate? 15:40 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=941

7. Examples of Accommodations that Can be Required 17:26 

8. What is the Content of the Duty to Accommodate? What Must an Organization Do? 26:05 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=1565

9. Some Red Herrings We Can Eliminate from Discussion About the Duty to Accommodate 34:05 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2045

10. When Does the Duty to Accommodate Arise? 35:25 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2125

11. When, If Ever, Can You Ask a Person, Requesting Accommodation, for Medical Documentation of Their Disability? 37:50 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2270

12 The Undue Hardship Defence – General Principles 39:33 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2373

13. When Can the Cost of Accommodation Justify a Failure to Accommodate? 49:14 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=2954

14. When Can Health and Safety Considerations Justify a Refusal to Accommodate? 57:42 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3461

15. Can the Failure to Accommodate Be Defended on the Basis that It Adversely Affects the Morale of Other Workers? 59:10 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3546

16. How Does the Duty to Accommodate Apply to Trade Unions and Collective Agreements? 1:00:49 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3649

17. What Happens if Fulfillment of the Duty to Accommodate May Conflict with Other Rights of Other People? 1:03:48 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=3829

18. A Short, Punchy List of Defences or Arguments that Cannot Justify a Failure to Accommodate 1:06:56 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=4016

19. Concluding Thoughts 1:11:18 https://youtu.be/y32XvjWmDAQ?t=4282

TUESDAY, OCT. 26, 10-12: Becky Casey, Peri Ballantyne, Pat Vienneau – Aging with a Disability.

“What does ‘Retirement’ look like for WSIB Claimants with Permanent Disabilities ” 

 We compare two groups of WSIB claimants with long-term permanent impairments who describe themselves as retired – those who voluntarily retired and those who involuntarily retired. We show how those who involuntarily retired are much younger, in worse health, and will likely face financial challenges as they get older. We will discuss what might happen to the financial situation of these injured workers when they turn 65. Data are from the Research Action Alliance on the Consequences of Work Injury (RAACWI) 10-year follow up survey.  

TUESDAY, OCT. 19, 10-12: Patty Coates – President – Ontario Federation of Labour


Jody Brown, a lawyer with Goldblatt Partners, will be talking about a proposed class action based on the dangerous promotion and sale of OxyContin on behalf of people who were prescribed OxyContin.   They are looking for an individual who took OxyContin at anytime from 2007 to the present and developed a dependency who is willing to be a representative plaintiff for people who took OxyContin.TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 10-12 AM
Karen Messing – Professor – University of Quebec at Montreal – Author of Bent Out of Shape: Shame, Solidarity and Women’s Bodies at Work 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2021: 10-12

Sue James and members from the Occupational Disease Reform Alliance.  The focus for this session will be on the highs and lows of building an alliance/coalition and look at the building blocks and how it comes about and most importantly the emotional toll it can take on activists and advocates to promote change.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 @ 7:30 PM

Special session with guests/union activists from Australia who will update us on how Workers’ Compensation functions down under.  This will include information on the self insurance model used by big corporations and the Rozen Independent Review into the Victoria Workers Compensation System.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021: 10-12

Mahboob, the co-founder of PilotMind and Jaisa Sulit the co-teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) will be joining us to give an hour presentation of what Mindfulness and Mindful Self-Compassion is about. This will help a person to navigate their attention through difficult and stressful times, to be in a wiser relation with their anxiety and depression.

TUESDAY, JULY 20: 10-12
This Tuesday we will try to address the comments that have been made over the past few weeks that we need to expand our reach and we need give injured workers the ability to speak up.  We have Ryan Sigurdson, the facilitator of the New Directions Speakers School here in Thunder Bay, to talk to us about the Speakers School and to take us through a simulated lesson or two to show how the Speakers School helps individuals gain their voice and confidence.  Please join us for this informative session.

TUESDAY, JULY 13: 10-12
Disability Trajectories Following Workplace Injury and Permanent Impairment: 10-year Follow-up to the RAACWI Injured Worker Health and Social Survey
In this presentation, Peri Ballantyne and Becky Casey will provide an overview of the 10-year follow up survey of WSIB claimants with permanent impairments who were initially part of the RAACWI injured worker health and social survey. Data were first collected in 2008-09 with 494 injured workers with permanent impairments. In the follow up survey – conducted in 2019 – about one quarter (N=126) of the initial participants were re-interviewed and provided insights into their injury status and relationship with the WSIB, their family and social status and social integration; education, employment and income; and health/mental health. We will focus on over-time changes in each these areas, emphasizing how some injured workers have become more vulnerable over the long term. We will seek audience participation in identifying ‘what matters most’ in these workers’ longer term trajectories, and what to emphasize in future analyses and presentations of this work. Peri Ballantyne, professor of Sociology at Trent University and Becky Casey, professor of Sociology at Acadia University, both with long-time interest in injured worker outcomes in Ontario, will cover a bit of background on the original RAACWI survey and now the follow up after 10 years.

TUESDAY, JULY 6: 10-12 Guest speaker: Diana Prairie MSW RSW, Supervisor Counselling & Psychotherapy Services, Thunder Bay Counselling

Diana has been a practising social worker in our community for thirty years.  The areas of practice have focused on depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, grief, sexual assault and abuse, intimate partner violence,  self-care,  compassion fatigue, moral distress, conflict resolution, and other related mental health concerns.

TUESDAY, JUNE 29: 10-12 Our guest will be Janice Folk-Dawson, Executive Vice President of Ontario Federation of Labour.  Janice has been a unionized public sector worker for 44 years. First with Newfoundland Association of Public Employees (NAPE) in Labrador with Dept of Social Services and since 1986 with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at the University of Guelph.

She was president of the Guelph & District Labour Council, Chair of CUPE Ontario University Workers and President of CUPE 1334 before becoming Executive Vice President of the OFL in 2019.

Janice was injuried in 1995 and today wants to share her story, and talk about the impact being injuried in the work place had on her career and social life and the gaps that exist in supporting injuried workers in our unions and society. Janice is a working class feminist who roots herself and her actions in the principles of peace, equity & solidarity. Having suffered a workplace injury in 1995, Janice has also been a tireless advocate for the rights of injured workers. Janice has also been active with numerous allies and campaigns including $15 & Fairness, Six Nations and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council, Wellington Water Watchers, United Against Racism, the NDP and the Council of Canadians. Janice was also a co-founder of the We Are Guelph organization, formed to maximize progressive representation in the municipal elections.

TUESDAY, JUNE 15: 10-12

IWC staff, Kathrin, John and Orlando will do an educational (“refresher”) on Universal Coverage and current issues.  There will be a special recognition of the work that Maryam Nazemi has done in the fight for Universal Coverage.

TUESDAY, JUNE 8: 10-12
What do you think you can do to move towards change?

Thunder Bay Injured Workers is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.  We have had a variety of speakers over the past one year plus and a focus has been how can we encourage the powers to be to have a fairer compensation system.  This is an opportunity for us to think about what we can do as individuals and / or with small groups.  See you tomorrow.

TUESDAY May 25, 10:00-12:00:

Thunder Bay Injured Workers is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.  Bob Barnetson, Professor, Labour Relations, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Athabasca University, will be presenting on how media represents injured workers today.

TUESDAY May 18, 10:00-12:00:

This week’s guest is Cam Mustard of Institute for Work and Health and he will be speaking to what happens to injured workers 18 months post injury. 

TUESDAY May 11, 2021

The Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group would like to invite you to attend a session this upcoming Tuesday with guest speakers, John McKinnon and Orlando Buonestella, IWC, who will speak to “How proposed funding rules for community legal clinics could impact injured workers”.  If passed, these new rules plus upcoming changes to the OWA, will have a major effect on the plight of injured workers. 

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2021

ARCH Disability Law Clinic staff lawyers, Jessica De Marinis and Mariam Shanouda, will speak about recent court decision. The decision is called Commercial Spring and Tool Company v Barrie Welding, 2021 ONSC 2591 and it is a commercial dispute that raised important issues about human rights and privacy interests of workers with disabilities. ONIWG, represented by ARCH, intervened to make submissions about these issues. Jessica and Mariam will discuss the case and talk about accommodations in the workplace.


What issues would you like to feature on our Tuesday sessions?


Everybody experiences anxiety. The good news is that there are many healthy ways that we can all learn to cope.  Join clinical and health psychologist, Dr. Deborah Scharf, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Lakehead University, for an hour of education about anxiety and evidence-based coping strategies to help you get through today’s challenging times.


Our guest speaker this week will be Gerry LeBlanc and Jessica Montgomery from USW who will speak to the health and safety struggles, past and present, as well as the kind of cases that they work on what they are tackling  at the WSIB.  This will include a look at some of the occ diseases that they are facing. 

TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 10:00-12:00

Al Etmanski, parent advocate for persons with disabilities and Rabia Khedr, co-chair of the Canadian Disability Alliance Initiative, will join us at 11 am until 12:30 pm.  Our session will still begin at 10 am.  Last fall in the Throne Speech the federal government promised to create a Canadian Disability Benefit. This is the first time any national government anywhere in the world has committed to address the poverty experienced by disabled people.  In response a group of disabled people have created the Canadian Disability Benefit Initiative. Our goal is to hold our government to account and to make sure we end the poverty experienced by disabled Canadians once and for all. This presentation will discuss the 3 core actions that need to take place to make sure the disabled community takes advantage of this exciting and unprecedented opportunity.

TUESDAY MARCH 30, 10:00-12:00:

Sue James and Bob DeMatteo who will be joining us to speak to the GE Project the WSIB challenges with Occ Disease and how can we come together to implement strategies going forward.  Sue shared – I worked at General Electric in Peterborough from 1974 – 2014. In Nov. of 2015 I joined the Peterborough Coalition fighting for justice for workers and families affected by multiple chemicals and carcinogens. I was a proud participant in the GE Retrospective Profiling report and now chair the newly named Peterborough Occupational Disease Action Committee (PODAC).  Joining our fight here in Peterborough is the Ventra/Pebra Plastics Plant who also have put out their own retrospective profile report and were also part of the 2004 OHCOW intake clinic that was put on.  Bob has many years experience in the Health & Safety field and has tirelessly given his time as an activist. He was the Health & Safety coordinator with OPSEU union and served time on the Occupational Disease Panel and sits on the board of OHCOW. Bob and his wife are now working on their 3rd Retrospective Exposure Profile Report for Neelon Castings in Sudbury after finishing the Peterborough reports of GE and Ventra/Pebra Plastics.

TUESDAY MARCH 23, 10:00-12:00:

Moses Sheppard, retired USW rep who started the campaign for lung cancer for gold miners in Timmins and went on to win around $326M for the widows and their families, will be joined by Janice Martell.  They will share experiences and their lessons learned.

TUESDAY MARCH 16, 10:00-12:00:

From 2002 to 2004, over 400 construction workers were exposed to toxic fumes while adding on to the Paper Mill in Dryden Ontario.  Many of these workers became ill and some have since died.  Join us to find out more …   Thunder Bay Injured Workers is inviting you to our scheduled Zoom meeting. Our pro bono students will be presenting their research findings on the Dryden Paper Mill Recovery Boiler#4 exposures which occurred from 2002 thru 2004.


TUESDAY MARCH 16, at 1:00 PM

We’re calling it an “End of Winter Warmup”, and it will feature greetings from ONIWG, IWC, and a handful of other injured worker groups, as well as some songs, stories, and social time.

Tuesday, Feb 23.21

Catherine Fenech, Injured worker and ONIWG Vice President for Peel Region, will be discussing how she founded International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, now in its 22th year.  RSI Day is officially marked on February 29th or the last day of February each year in countries across the globe.  Catherine will discuss how her struggles to get recognition,  treatment, compensation and accommodation of her injuries led to an international event in the hopes to prevent others from suffering as she had.  Learn how this event took off in the days before social media when computers were less common than they are today and what lessons it offers for organizing today.

Tuesday, October 13, IW session at 10 am:

With guests from the Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic – “WSIB benefits and services, why should they be semi- secret?”

Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic staff, Orlando Buonastella, Rebecca Lok and David Newberry, will lead our injured workers session on Tuesday, October 13th.  We will look at benefits and services that some injured workers may not know about, such as maintenance therapy, clothing allowances, travel allowances, interpretation services and entitlement to re-assessments when the injury gets worse.  Below is a link that you can take a look at.


Tuesday, October 5, IW session at 10 am.

Dorothy Wigmore, Occupational health specialist (hygiene, ergonomics, “stress”), researcher, educator, writer/editor and Jim Littleford, electrician at Recovery Boiler # 4 at Dryden mill will be our guest speakers for this Tuesday’s session.  We will look at how body mapping can be used to define clusters, etc.  We look forward to seeing you there. 

Bio of Dorothy Wigmore:

Dorothy Wigmore, Occupational health specialist (hygiene, ergonomics, “stress”), researcher, educator, writer/editor and Jim Littleford, electrician at Recovery Boiler # 4 at Dryden mill will be our guest speakers for this Tuesday’s session.  We will look at how body mapping can be used to define clusters, etc. 

Dorothy has worked with/for unions, governments, occupational health centres/clinics, NGOs and universities in Canada, the United States and Mocambique. These days, she is self-employed and based in Winnipeg (with a move to Kitchener, Ontario planned for December), and writing a lot about the hazards of cleaning and disinfecting, especially in the pandemic.

About 25 years ago, Dorothy became a pioneer of body and workplace mapping, tools she has adapted for different jobs and situations as needed. They can help participants “see with new eyes” and make visible harm and hazards that are hard to see. As pictures of collective experience, the maps also start participants telling stories that can lead to action and change.

Tuesday Sept 29th IW Session – Guest speaker Ellen MacEachen

Researcher, Ellen MacEachen will present research findings on insights gained from RTW Coordinators about strategies for managing RTW for people with common mental health conditions. These have been compiled in a 60-page stakeholder guide called: “Road Blocks and Alternate Routes: Practical Strategies for Managing Mental Health and Return to Work” (this is available for download at http://ellenmaceachen.ca/rtw-mental-health-guide/).

She will also share findings about how the work conditions of RTW Coordinators themselves shapes the RTW process. RTW Coordinators are required to meet their own employer’s performance mandates for issues such as minimal injured worker absence while also meeting worker health and recovery needs. MacEachen proposes a theory to explain this often conflicted position and related high RTW Coordination turnover and burnout. Finally, she reflects on implications of RTW coordination for workers themselves.

NEW: Sara Mojtehedzadeh’s Toronto Star podcast Report on the Demer’s Report (July 15, 2020): Is Ontario ignoring workplace cancer?

Tuesday Sept 22@ 10 am – Iw Session – Exploring next steps for Paul Demers Report

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 @ 10 am. The Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group will be partnering with the Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic (IWC) for our session this upcoming Tuesday. The session will be hosted by IWC with guest speakers who will help us understand the nuts and bolts of the Paul Demers Report on occupational disease.

Contact us at TBWISG@gmail.com if you want to join us!

The Paul Demers Report