Saturday, May 16, 2020


The second part of Greg Mercer's (Waterloo Region Record) series is published in today's Record. It is titled "The Uncounted ... Just because it's been banned doesn't mean it magically disappears". Two weeks ago the first part of the series described in detail the Ventra (formerly Pebra) plastics factory in Peterborough and the cancer clusters in its' workers. Today focuses on asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. A year ago Greg Mercer focused on the plethora of retired, sick and or dead rubber workers from Kitchener, Ontario. Just like today's article it's all about our WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, formerly WCB) following provincial government direction and avoiding paying compensation to victims of long known and understood occupational diseases.

Almost any quasi or semi-credible excuse will work for our provincial government to avoid paying claims. And you think some insurance companies are shysters? It's like the old joke about the young man telling his father that when he grows up he wants to work in organized crime. His father then asks him "government or private ?" Excuses include lifestyle factors (weight, smoking), evidence demanded of individual workers far beyond reasonable or beyond their intellectual training or capability to provide. This would include affidavits and documentation from personal supervisors attesting to your on the job time and exposure to hazards. In other words if your employer or his designated managers/supervisors refuse to co-operate then you the worker are screwed (yet again). Plain refusal to accept results from longstanding and medically accepted or peer reviewed health studies is also important. In short the goal is to delay, delay and delay some more hopefully until the applicants have either given up or are disabled or even dead. The strategy has been very successful for both private industry and government. Go back to the joke about organized crime a few sentences ago.

Crime requires victims. Our governments are hell on wheels in regards to private industry obvious crime, especially if they the government aren't getting their cut. After all our governments wish to "legally" exploit... i.e. steal from their own citizens. The most straightforward way is via excessive taxation or if possible even taxes on taxes. Income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, inheritance taxes...while the list continually grows on taxes from all levels of government, the reality is that there is but one taxpayer for all of these levels of taxation. Therefore our governments need to curtail as much as possible, private thefts which diminish the taxpayers ability to continually fund bloated, lazy, unnecessary or incompetent governance. The problem for citizens and taxpayers arises when government are the ones providing the so called services such as Workman's Compensation for workers injured by either accidents or occupational diseases.

At that point they adopt the worst behaviours of monopolistic corporations. No competition means no worrying about losing business and revenue from unhappy customers. They have no other options to choose from. Lying, cheating, deceiving and literally sacrificing thousands of future workers on the alter of the gods of economics, money and power becomes standard operating procedure for governments. Rocking the boat by doing the right thing simply isn't an option for them. Political parties live and die based upon money which almost by definition is provided by the already wealthy and powerful who wish to remain that way. The status quo is their god. Change for the sake of amassing more wealth and power by Canadian financial elites is O.K. if necessary.

Hence all our governments are inherently dishonest and corrupt. They are also in gross conflicts of interest. We've all heard the biblical pronouncement against a man serving two masters. Well our governments are attempting it and generally failing.

More specifics on this occupational health article will likely be forthcoming on Monday or Tuesday.

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