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WCB - violations of fundamental human rights and dignity

"the general public remains blissfully unaware"

My name 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 provinces.

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 blissfully unaware.

Sincerely, Hilary Balmer,

Executive Director RAINET

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