More than 10,000 Canadians received a medically-assisted death in 2021: report
Quebec Superior Court suspends Bill 96’s translation requirement until constitutionality determined
The Ontario government has given Maggie an ultimatum: the disabled teen can lose her funding or her independence
FBI took 11 sets of classified material from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home while investigating possible Espionage Act violations (US)
Ontario class action settlement reclassifies volunteers as employees, setting new precedent
Availability of Judicial Review in SABS Disputes
Are masking policies still valid?
Justice Canada releases commission report on impact of lack of legal aid in family law disputes
Harmonized sales tax part of maximum amount of attendant care benefits owed by insurer: court
New rules coming next month to help Canadians with cancelled and delayed flights
Stephen King set to testify for govt in books merger trial (US)
New law program in Quebec to begin next fall, a first in 50 years
The Impact of the Lack of Legal Aid in Family Law Cases
SCC rules that when someone is required by their partner to wear a condom but do not, they could be guilty of sexual assault.
Big Plastic suing feds over single-use ban — again
Tim Hortons offers coffee and doughnut as proposed settlement in class action lawsuit
The SCC has refused to hear the appeal to declare the renewal of the state of health emergency by the Quebec government invalid
Federal privacy commissioner investigating controversial ArriveCAN app
Kraken, a U.S. Crypto Exchange, Is Suspected of Violating Sanctions (US)
Ontario court certifies class action on former patients’ anxiety from notice of risk of infection
The stakes couldn’t be higher as Canada’s top court decides whether to hear climate class action lawsuit
Professor Barnali Choudhury selected by EU as trade and sustainable development expert
The Supreme Court decision on the ‘Ghomeshi’ amendments will help sexual assault victims access justice
AFN Reaches $20 B Final Settlement Agreement to Compensate First Nations Children and Families

Ontario MPP’s Bill addresses flaws in occupational disease claims adjudication

Bill features four primary demands, while disease reform group says proposal is about closure, not money.

PHOTO: GE workers Paul Thompson and Ted Millar, next to a large wire spool
NDP MPP Wayne Gates recently announced that he will introduce the “Justice for Victims of Occupational Disease Act, 2022” as a private members bill to provincial parliament. “The Bill brings justice and efficiency to the adjudication of occupational disease claims,” says Gates, in a statement issued by the Occupational Disease Reform Alliance (ODRA).

ODRA says that they are “heartened” that the NDP has “taken up our cause to reform the way the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) adjudicates occupational disease claims.” According to the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC), out of 3,000 people diagnosed with occupational cancers each year, only 170 receive compensation.

The proposed Bill covers ODRA’s four flagship demands, namely:

➟ To allow a claim for a work-related disease that exceeds the rate in the community

➟ To recognize the role of multiple chemical exposures in disease causation

➟ To allow the placement of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Group 1 and 2 carcinogens into Schedule 3 (and where applicable, Schedule 4)

➟ To adopt a clarified and more appropriate standard to establish work-relatedness.

“What we’re looking for is something that would be concrete and significant to the systemic issues that we see,” says Sue James, Chair of ODRA. James also worked at General Electric (GE) in Peterborough for 40 years. “Every worker is one step away from an injury, but also one breath away from illness,” she says, which is why it is so important for ODRA that victims and their families benefit from a more efficient claims system.

“When ODRA got together, we started comparing our different clusters around the province,” says James. The organization looked at the barriers for people to achieve justice in occupational disease. “We put our heads together and we came up with what we called our four demands, which we thought would be good solutions to starting to open the dialogue.”

One of the major commonalities that the group found that most of these clusters are in “company towns” where ODRA was noticing a pattern of disease. “We found that one of the roadblocks was that in their compensation system, these [diseases] were not being recognized or acknowledged,” says James.

Better recognition and understanding of occupational diseases is essential, but there is still a lack of research into the topic. But workers can’t wait. “We can’t wait for science to catch up,” says James. “We need them to recognize the patterns in the community coming out of all these different industries.”

Despite a recent rollout of worker safety measures, James says that the current government is still not reactive enough when it comes to this issue. She says that though ODRA presented the bill to the Minister, the government ultimately decided to not go with it. This is why Gates, the Official Opposition critic for Workers’ Health and Safety, has taken it on.

“We are very grateful that he has taken it on, but we really do hope that the current minister, and any and all parties will support the bill,” says James.

“We are fighting so hard to have these people recognized and acknowledged, that’s all we’re asking for. It’s not about the compensation,” she says. It’s about closure. “The experiences that I have heard from different people is that they need that closure, just to know that they did everything in their power to bring this to light. And they’re still struggling.”


Want direct access to the latest LITN content?

Stay in the loop ➞ Subscribe to LITN instant notifications.
Receive the latest content delivered directly to your device.
Unsubscribe at anytime.

Latest News


Join the LITN Newsletter ➞ the latest news delivered to your inbox. Unsubscribe at any time.


Instagram Feed