Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups

October 01, 2007 08:00 ET


Attention: Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2007) - Members of Ontario's injured worker community will travel to St. Thomas to ask the Minister of Labour, Steve Peters why he betrayed their trust.

"The Minister promised to do away with deeming. He promised but he didn't deliver," said Karl Crevar, Treasurer of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups (ONIWG).

Deeming is the process where permanently disabled workers can see their compensation benefits reduced because the WSIB deducts wages they imagine the injured worker could be earning. The Board makes no attempt to determine if the worker actually has a job or actually earns income. They simply gaze into their crystal ball and tell the injured worker "you could be earning this amount" and wave a magic wand and make the worker's benefits disappear.

The Minister amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act with a clear written commitment to injured workers that these changes would eliminate deeming once and for all.

Injured workers wanted to believe him. "For a decade we have been explaining to politicians from all political parties how this practice of reducing our benefits because the Board imagines us to have phantom wages from jobs we can't get hired into, forces us onto welfare and into poverty," added Crevar.

ONIWG met with the WSIB because deeming under the new Board policies will be worse. "Deeming will not be eliminated by these new policies, only be given a new name," Crevar said.

Injured workers will call the Minister to account. We asked for a meeting and he told us to meet with the Board.

That simply isn't good enough. The Minister of Labour committed in writing that the legislation would eliminate deeming and he has the legal authority to instruct the Board to make this change.

Injured workers will demonstrate at Steve Peter's campaign office on October 2, 2007 at 12:00 Noon at 445 Talbot Street, St. Thomas Ontario. We want to help make him understand how seriously we take the issue and how much we object to his broken promise.

/For further information: Karl Crevar

Rolly Marentette
South Western Regional Representative

Contact Information

  • Steve Mantis, Secretary
    Primary Phone: 807-767-9633