Shame, shame - Liberal Steve Peters Broke
Promise to Injured Workers
Labour draws eyes to injured workers
Holding placards and chanting, Shame, shame, a
group of about 50 people journeyed from Toronto, Windsor and elsewhere in
Ontario to the Elgin-Middlesex-London campaign office of Liberal candidate
By Kyle Rea Times-Journal Staff They arrived with a
message for all parties in the coming provincial election. Do something
about the crisis in workers compensation -- and do it now. Holding placards
and chanting, Shame, shame, a group of about 50 people journeyed
Tuesday from Toronto, Windsor and elsewhere in Ontario to the
Elgin-Middlesex-London campaign office of Liberal candidate Steve Peters.
While they held an hour-long protest outside Peters office, organizer
Karl Crevar from the Ontario Network of Injured Workers said its a
message directed at all parties.
We constantly hear all of them
blaming one another. Theres enough blame to go around. Were
demanding that whoever gets elected, we expect them to do something about this
The crisis Crevar referred to is the process of
deeming or how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board determines
benefit levels for injured workers. He says its hurting lower-income
Ontarians -- and that Peters, who became minister of labour, broke an election
promise by not eliminating deeming.
Crevar said his group will continue
to press the issue beyond the Oct. 10 election.
challenged the groups allegations.
I dont agree with
their statement that its a broken promise, Peters said.
Starting on July 1, 2007, Peters explained, compensation for injured workers
increased 2.5 per cent. Similar 2.5 per cent increases are slated for Jan.1,
2008, and Jan. 1, 2009.
As for the process of deeming, Peters said a
WSIB policy committee began meeting in the summer and is working with injured
workers to come up with a policy. That review, he said, is expected to be
completed in November.
The goal is that the policy reflects the
needs of injured workers, said Peters. Its to formulate
policies so that they get good jobs, they get properly retrained. In many ways,
they (protesters) have jumped the gun because this process is ongoing as we