November 30th, 2021

NDP vows to repeal WSIB claw-back

Official Opposition votes for labour bill, but vows to undo its poison pill

QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath and the NDP say, if elected in 2022, they’ll reverse a nasty pill Doug Ford included in his labour bill — a clause that takes money away from injured workers and gives it to employers.

“Injured workers are put through frustrating wait times and delays at WSIB, and far too many legitimately injured workers’ claims are denied. Getting hurt at work is incredibly hard on a person and their family — it should not also be a sentence to spend months coping with frustration, delays and poverty,” said Horwath. “Government after government has forced WSIB to turn away more and more injured workers, so the barebones operation has money left over. Ford handing that money over to corporations is wrong — it should be going to clear the backlog, end the crushing waits and give injured workers the help and support they need.

“It’s time for a government that’s here for workers — not just corporate CEOs. If I’m elected in 2022, we’re going to repeal this callous law, and finally give workers the respect they deserve.”

The government’s Bill 27 is an omnibus labour bill. Handing WSIB surpluses to employers is one of its actions. NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), the Official Opposition critic for Worker’s Health and Safety, said workers trying to rebuild their lives after a workplace injury deserve better.

“Under the Liberals and now under Ford, the WSIB have cut billions of dollars in compensable claims,” said Gates. “People and families lives are being destroyed because WSIB forces them into poverty after they get hurt at work. By giving surplus money to big corporations instead of helping injured workers, Ford is showing exactly whose back he’s got — and it isn’t working people.”

The government’s Bill 27 passed with all-party support. The NDP voted in support of changes that take a small step to address licensing some foreign-trained professionals in Ontario; a long-overdue change to permit professional drivers access to washroom facilities; and a change that begins to license temp employment agencies.