Weekly News

The AGM is expected to be only 30 minutes or so.

“It’s Really Been a Struggle”

A nice article featuring the ONIWG Regional VP Catherine Fenech.
This is the online version.  Next week there will be an expanded story on the front cover of the three Peel newspapers: The Brampton Guardian, The Mississauaga News and The Caledon Entreprise.

Click through the link and see the great photo included with this story.
N,B.: The more hits the story gets, the more they will realize how important these stories are to their readers and the more likely we can get our issues covered in the future. 


Universal Coverage

Most people think that all workplace accidents and illnesses are covered by our compensation system. Unfortunately that is not the case. In fact, Ontario has one of Canada’s lowest coverage rates (77.21% in 2018 according to the latest AWCBC statistics ), with nearly 2 million workers left unprotected and vulnerable. For more information go to: https://injuredworkersonline.org/issue/universal-coverage/

Helpful links from Steps to Justice, Your Guide to Law in Ontario

How to apply to Ontario Works (OW): Click here for information.

How to apply to Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): Click here for information.

How to appeal an OW or ODSP decision: Click here for information.

OCHOW’s Mayday, Mayday, Mental Health Series 2021 sessions. Links to all videos

Keys to sustained return to work and reinjury prevention among workers with work‐related permanent impairments. A Presentation by Jeanne Sears, University of Washington; Sheilah Hogg‐Johnson, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College for the Bancroft Institute for Studies on Workers’ Compensation and Work Injury, June 8, 2021

June 7, 2021, Newsletter of the Worker’s Forum:
Join Together As One Voice with Injured Workers and Refuse to Be Silenced!

Workers Deserve Better: How We Can Build the Compensation System Injured Workers Need

Charlie Angus’ band, The Grievous Angela, posted this video about the fight for recognition of occupational diseases in mining and smelters. 

Meeting ID: 807 766 7154

Ontario Injured Workers Bring Concerns to the United Nations
Media Release March 23, 2021

On March 22nd and 24th the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be holding a “General discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment”, examining section 27 of the CRPD. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/GeneralDiscussions.aspx

The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG) has made a submission sharing our experiences in Ontario that builds on our previous submission in 2019 that points out how the practice of “deeming” violates Canada’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Workers’ compensation is a critical lifeline for people who get injured on the job” says Steve Mantis, chair of ONIWG’s Research Action Committee that prepared the submission. “Deeming denies people the right to income security when they are unable to get back to work because of a workplace injury.”

“Deeming creates poverty for injured workers with permanent disabilities” says Janet Paterson, president of ONIWG. “The number of injured workers whose benefits are so far below the poverty line they have to turn to social assistance is shocking.” In the submission, ONIWG requests:

• that the new general comment advise all governments to ensure that employment injury compensation systems adopt follow-up reporting on the employment outcomes of work injury compensation claimants with long-term work-acquired disabilities;

• requests that all governments ensure humane and dignified treatment of people with work-acquired disabilities in the employment injury benefit system;

• asks all governments to ensure protection against discrimination for people with work-acquired disabilities in the employment injury benefit system. Disabled workers should not be discriminated against for filing a claim for income security and should not have to fear termination of employment or the pressure to end their medical treatment from employers who are concerned about maintaining a low experience rating;

• requests that the new General Comment state that income security for people with work-acquired disabilities is a fundamental human right, and that income security must be sufficient so that people are able to live a dignified human life.

For further information contact: Steve Mantis at 807-767-9633

See attached document for details:

What a wonderful session with Moses Shepherd and Janice Martell!

Have your say! Consultations underway on important OHS regulations.

Workers and their reps have a chance to offer their input through a public review of three health and safety regulations in Ontario. The deadline to weigh in is fast approaching.

The public consultations led by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD), include proposals to amend existing pre-start health and safety reviews and another to overhaul workplace first aid programs in the province. The third is a mandatory five-year review of Ontario’s working at heights training standard. Pre-start health and safety reviews These proposals follow MLTSD consultations held in spring 2020 to gather stakeholder feedback about current pre-start health and safety review (PSR) requirements and guidelines. The MLTSD is proposing to amend and streamline section 7 of the Industrial Establishments regulation (Reg 851) which requires a PSR be carried out on certain machinery, protective devices and processes before they are put into service for the first time or if modified.

Proposed changes would add to the exemptions where a PSR conducted by a professional engineer is required including: portable devices that extract smoke, fumes or other substances that do not exhaust to the outdoors; and construction, addition, installation and modification related to certain cranes, lifting devices and vehicle lifts and hoists. 

The Ministry is also conducting a legally-required Regulatory Impact Analysis of these proposals to identify and assess benefits and costs associated with carrying out PSRs, including equipment, training and education, maintenance, record keeping, and other operating costs or administrative costs.
See Proposed Amendments to Pre-Start Health and Review Requirements for Factories for details.

Deadline to submit comments is March 11, 2021. Workplace First Aid training The current first aid regulation under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act was last updated in 1983. The government proposes to transfer responsibility for workplace first aid training from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to MLTSD. The MLTSD would develop a new first aid regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) and standards for first aid kits and related training to be approved by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) and enforced by MLTSD. This may involve adopting existing CSA first aid standards.

Among other considerations worker health and safety advocates would like the proposed changes to include a commitment to adult education principles in any proposed training standard, additional requirements for first aid rooms and involvement of joint health and safety committees or worker health and safety representatives throughout the first aid planning process.

See the First Aid Modernization Consultation for details and how to submit comments.


Working at Heights training standards review This consultation arises from a commitment by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) to review the Working at Heights training program standards and provider standards every five years to ensure the standards remain effective. This is the first review since the standards came into force in 2015.

Falls remain the number one cause of traumatic fatalities in the construction sector, but workers in others sectors are exposed to these hazards too without the benefit of mandatory training.

Previous research point to the current standards as indeed effective and needed.

Worker representatives are pressing for this proven standard to be maintained and improved. They are also calling for expansion of the WAH training standards to have this life-saving training apply to workers in sectors other than construction. For instance, the MLTSD found between the years 2009 and 2016 a third of all deaths related to falls from heights happened in workplaces covered by the industrial sector regulations, but not currently covered by the mandatory, working at heights training standard.

See Working at Heights Training Standards Five-Year Review for details.


Want to keep current on all proposed and newly approved regulatory changes in Ontario? Visit Ontario’s Regulatory Registry for updates. WHSC can help! All WHSC training programs contain up-to-date regulatory requirements to ensure workers and their representatives have current knowledge to support their ongoing prevention work.

Through virtual classrooms we continue to offer training to help employers meet mandatory training and competency requirements for supervisorsjoint health and safety committees and worker health and safety representatives, all of whom play essential roles in the pursuit of healthier, safer workplaces, including recommending measures to protect workers from the COVID-19 virus.  
For WHSC virtual classroom training, all that is required by the participant is a high-speed internet connection and a computer with a functioning camera and audio.

Be sure to check out our complete schedule of virtual classroom training. We also continue to offer in-person Working at Heights training with strict COVID prevention protocols, including reduced participant numbers in each class.

Beyond scheduled classes, and where participant numbers warrant, we can also work with you to coordinate almost any of our training courses in a virtual classroom for all workers, workplace representatives and supervisors.

Don’t see what you need? Beyond scheduled classes, and where participant numbers warrant, we can work with you to coordinate almost any of our training courses in a virtual classroom for all workers, workplace representatives and supervisors.

Additional related resources:
To learn more:
Contact a WHSC training services representative near you.
Email: contactus@whsc.on.ca
Call: 1-888-869-7950
Visit: www.whsc.on.ca
Follow us too on TwitterFacebookYouTube and LinkedIn.

A Publication of the Workers Health & Safety Centre   February 18, 2021

View Post

Getting COVID-19 benefits while on OW or ODSP

See this link for details


Have you been involved with the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB; Workers’ Compensation)?

Your experiences could help us improve services for Thunder Bay and District injured and ill workers involved in the WISB claims process.

Participants will receive compensation for their time.

To enroll or for more information, please contact:

Email: wcstudy.psych@lakeheadu.ca  Phone: (807) 343-8563

CBC N.L. · Posted: Nov 22, 2020:


Re: Rental Arrears due to COVID19

If you are aware of any tenant that is in arrears due to the negative effects of COVID-19, the TBDSSAB has secured funding to assist people in paying rental arrears.  The TBDSSAB is asking you to partner with us in order to reach as many people as possible. 

We are asking you to assist your clients (OW, ODSP and Non Social Assistance Recipients) in filling out the attached application form and submit with required verification (listed in the form), along with a letter of support with your recommendations on why the financial need exists.

This fund is subject to income limits and the accommodations must be deemed sustainable by TBDSSAB staff. Note that this fund is not subject to appeal and all decisions are final.   

Application packages can be sent to Samantha Vance (via fax at 345-7921 or by email Samantha.Vance@tbbdssab.ca)

They can also be dropped off or mailed to the TBDSSAB Office at 231 S. May Street Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1B5 or at any TBDSSAB Satellite Office or any of the TBDSSAB Satellite Offices.   Rental-arrears-fund-applicationDownload


Subject: Canadian Pain Task Force releases its second report / Le Groupe de travail canadien sur la doulear publie son deuxième rapport

The Canadian Pain Task Force is pleased to announce the release of its second report – Working Together to Better Understand, Prevent, and Manage Chronic Pain: What We Heard”.

[Version en francais]

Over the last year, we conducted an extensive series of in-person, written, and online consultations about the gaps and challenges, best and promising practices, and elements of an improved approach to preventing and managing chronic pain. Our deepest appreciation and gratitude go to all who shared their thoughts and ideas during our consultations.

The report reflects the evidence, ideas, experiences, and practices that we heard from the nearly two-thousand people who participated across Canada. The Task Force hopes that by coming together, we can forge a path forward to better prevent and manage chronic pain in Canada.

Throughout the next and final phase of our mandate, we will continue to increase awareness of chronic pain and to build relationships and networks for change across the country. This work includes collaborating with key stakeholders, such as people who live with pain, decision-makers in federal, provincial and territorial governments, health professionals, researchers, Veterans, and Indigenous Peoples, to disseminate information related to best practices for the prevention and management of chronic pain and to move ideas into action.

We look forward to continued collaboration. 


Maria Hudspith and Fiona Campbell, Co-Chairs
On behalf of the Canadian Pain Task Force

Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups‘ new speakers series

The series has been launched to celebrate the three year anniversary of ONIWG’s historic “Workers’ Comp Is A Right“. It will will focus on a different workers’ comp issue every month, and will feature presentations from injured workers, allies, advocates, and experts. 

In case you missed the October 8 event, here is a fun video that came out of this first session.

Have you signed the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups’ petition to demand that injured workers are involved in the hiring process for WSIB’s next president? We need your help. Sign and share at: change.org/WSIBPresident.

New support for our Tuesday morning legal education and support group!

The Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group (TB&DIWSG) is pleased to announce their partnership with the United Steelworkers Family and Community Education Fund (FCEF) in coordination with Northwestern Ontario Steelworkers Area Council with the sponsorship of our weekly legal education and support group sessions online until December 1st

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