Friday, February 22, 2019


Well let's be a little more specific. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) used to be known as the Workman's Compensation Board (WCB). Whether an independent board or not I suspect that they are still under some sort of observation or supervision from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Similarly the Ministry of Labour are represented in our provincial Cabinet by the Minister of Labour. So to call the WSIB corrupt I'm basically saying that our Ministry of Labour and our provincial government are corrupt. Good news though, you can't lay this at the feet of Doug Ford. All those bodies were corrupt long before he came along.

Liz Witmer, former Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister, is the head of the WSIB. Not a bad "retirement" appointment is it? How she managed to stay on with the Liberals in power for so long, I really don't know unless they were as equally corrupt as the PCs and felt that she would continue to keep WSIB payouts in check.

Now to the present. Two days ago the Waterloo Region Record published the following front page story titled, "WSIB had flagged rubber cases as disease cluster." Holy crap! E-mails have been found through a Freedom of Information request that show that the WSIB many years ago knew that rubber workers were among a group of five sectors in the province who formed clusters of occupational diseases. The five sectors are firefighters, herbicide sprayers, miners exposed to McIntyre Powder, and General Electric workers (likely in Peterborough) as well as rubber workers.

So let me get this straight. Our WSIB, Ministry of Labour, and provincial Cabinet have known for perhaps twenty years or more that there are five sectors of workers who are at extremely high risk of developing occupational diseases. That kind of puts a new light on the Horticultural Technologies fire here in Kitchener some thirty years ago, now doesn't it? Firefighters who worked that fire have been dropping like flies with different cancers since then.

Back to the guilty parties. Why did they not inform the public as to the risks they and their loved ones were taking working in those sectors? Why did they insist that each and every rubber worker had to prove their sickness was caused by working in one of our local rubber factories when the facts are long known that those factories and their products caused cancers and much more? Why of the five sectors are only the firefighters given special status and don't have to prove that their jobs caused their diseases?

The answers are painful but obvious. Money and power. Our government has the power and they wanted to spend taxpayers money elsewhere rather than on assisting critically ill rubber workers. Shame on the WSIB, Ministry of Labour and both Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments. You are corrupt, self-serving liars of the worst kind who hold other people's lives as valueless.

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