New construction detour – updated directions to Osgoode Hall

For guests going to Osgoode Hall for the Oct. 31 Thursday dinner and keynote speech please note that the Law Society sidewalk from Queen Street is closed for construction starting October 30.

The new detour:  Walk along Queen Street to City Hall, located on the east side of Osgoode Hall. Walk towards the front entrance of City Hall and immediately before reaching the doors, turn left (west) and walk towards Osgoode Hall. Turn left again at the building and follow the sidewalk down the east side of the building back towards Queen Street. The Law Society entrance has a ramp to the door and is signed. The staff will direct you to the Barristers’ Lounge.

For those arriving with the bus tour, we will direct you in.

We regret the unforeseen extra challenge!

Bringing awareness about injured workers and fighting for a just compensation system

Rabble.ca , the progressive Canadian online news source, reports on the reconvened Meredith Commission  hearings held around the province ahead of the upcoming No Half Measures Conference, (Oct 31-Nov. 2) to commemorate the release of Sir William Meredith’s final report in 1913. Author Ella Bedard, a Masters student of Canadian labour and indigenous history, interviews the  “new” commissioner, Robert Storey, Director of Labour Studies at McMaster University who, with his acting Secretary and co-Commissioner, PhD student Carol Elston, has held 11 sittings across Ontario since May 2013, listening to injured workers. Their experiences dealing with today’s increasingly adversarial workers’ compensation system powerfully illustrate why a return to the true founding principles as outlined by Meredith is needed to restore justice and fairness. [read full article]

The poverty of austerity

In the current issue of Canadian Occupation Safety magazine (Oct. 10, 2013) Ontario’s WSIB Chair reports benefit costs have been reduced by $500 million since 2008, and that transformation and efficiencies of the Board, “one of North America’s largest insurance companies”, are creating a system important to the economic growth and productivity of the province.

However a recent submission to the government’s 2013 Poverty Reduction Strategy Consultations by Injured Workers Consultants Community Legal Clinic details a different reality. For many injured workers these system “enhancements” and austerity cuts have resulted in additional harm and poverty. Continue reading

Conference registration update

Just announced: Additional space has now been opened for this conference.

Please register (online or by mail) by October 26th to ensure your place in the Oct 31st dinner and Meredith tour.

Registrations will be accepted until the start of the conference (but please note payment at the site is by cash or cheque only).

If you have questions about registration, please contact meredith@mcmaster.ca

View from Toronto IslandsLocation details with maps and information on how to get around Toronto and what to see have also now been posted on the Meredith website.

We look forward to seeing you here!

Raising coverage (issues)

The Workers Compensation Union Coalition (Sep. 30, 2013) has recently released a statement on universal coverage: “The time to expand Workers’ Compensation coverage for ALL Canadians is NOW”

“The group is calling upon each province to mirror the North West Territories by implementing workplace injury coverage for all of Canada’s workers.

CUPE 1750 President Harry Goslin of Ontario said, “The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has fallen behind the rest of Canada with the least amount of workplaces covered. Thirty (30) per cent of the workforce representing approximately two million workers is not covered under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act (WSIA) making them the most vulnerable. Private day cares, private health care practices, banks, trusts and insurance companies are among the employers who are exempt from the Ontario WSIB, leaving those workers unprotected.” …” [read full  News release]

Additional reading:

  • Current comparative rates of coverage by province in the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada’s   “Scope of Coverage”
  • “Ontario labour, employer groups weigh in on new mandatory workers’ comp coverage”  / Linda Johnson  (Canadian Occupational Safety  16 Jan. 2013)

Continue reading