The CIWS Congratulates Firefighters But Reinforces
Presumptive Status For All Injured Workers
Saskatoon - The Canadian
Injured Workers Society would like to congratulate firefighters in Ontario for
the new Bill 221 passed in the Ontario legislature on Thursday May 3 giving
firefighters presumptive status for certain occupational diseases.
"This win for firefighters is great news," says CIWS President, Beth
McQuinn Nixon. "It will not only benefit firefighters but will also give hope
to other workers with other occupational illnesses and diseases that are often
overlooked by worker's compensation boards across Canada."
CIWS is pointing out that firefighters should never have had to fight for this
redundant legislation because the intent of the original WCB Act legislation in
all provinces was that ALL workers should have immediate presumptive status
regardless of their industry and that the burden of proving that the injury was
NOT work related is the sole responsibility of the workers compensation board.
Presumptive status for all injured workers was an original part of the
'Historic Compromise' about 100 years ago, when workers gave up their right to
sue companies for damages in exchange for immediate and fair wage loss
compensation. Workers agreed to the 'Compromise' with the understanding that
they would always have the 'benefit of the doubt' or 'presumption' in any
dispute with the workers compensation board regarding whether the injury or
disease was work related.
Unfortunately, this 'presumption' is not
always followed by workers compensation boards and workers routinely find
themselves forced into bearing the burden of proof against a well-funded
Now, 'presumptive status' is being granted to
certain groups - ignoring the fact that it should already be guaranteed for all
Sections 13-2, and 15-3 and 4 of the Ontario Act lay out
presumptive status referring to Schedules 3 and 4. It seems Schedules 3 and 4
attempt to limit that presumptive status falling short of the intent of the
original Historic Compromise.
The CIWS believes that any worker who
suffers financial hardships due to workplace injury, illness or disease should
be compensated fairly.
The Canadian Injured Workers Society is a
non-profit organization committed to promoting fair compensation for injured
workers across Canada. For more information, please contact: [email protected] or
506-432-9115. The society's web page is http://www.ciws.ca