WCB - violations of fundamental human rights and
"the general public remains blissfully unaware"
is Hilary Balmer and I am Executive Director/Consultant with RAINET, (Research,
Advocacy and Information Network), which is based in Uxbridge, Ontario.
Uxbridge is located about 60 Km north east of Toronto and has a population of
about 19,000. RAINET is an non-governmental agency that I established in 1997
and provides representation and support to persons with disabilities that may
or may not be work-related. RAINET has clients in Ontario and some other
Over the years, and spending a great deal of blood, sweat
ant tears, my clients have been able to access some form of disability benefit
- provincial disability, CPP or workers compensation. (RAINET does have clients
in some other provinces). HOWEVER, there is a caveat - almost without
exception, such benefits were obtained only after very long and very protracted
battles with government agencies. My clients were subjected to incredible harm
and hardship. So many lost everything for which they had ever worked and many
have sacrificed their dignity. The human cost is huge! Frequently, I continue
to be truly amazed by their courage and determination. They are my inspiration!
The hard won successes in which I have been instrumental, are the main reason
why I continue to do this at all!
As I am quite sure you are becoming
aware, I am greatly concerned with violations of fundamental human rights and
dignity and I believe that this is what we are really seeing with regard to the
way in which workers compensation boards continue to behave. Recently, I was
watching a television presentation by Amnesty International. The violations of
human rights in third world countries is absolutely beyond anything I could
possible imagine and I would never intentionally minimize such horrors.
However, the damage to injured workers that I have witnessed at the hands of
compensation boards is a type of carnage about which the general public remains