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

TUESDAY, OCT. 26, 10-12: Becky Casey -Professor – Aging with a Disability.

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