Victims of Workers' Compensation in Canada
Workers’ compensation in Canada goes back almost 100 years. The system was put in place so that injuries would be compensated regardless of fault. The agreement meant that workers waived their right to sue their employer in exchange for access to an employer-funded compensation scheme.
The compensation board, a group of supposedly non-political people free from outside pressure, would have the final authority to assess injury and compensate. All fine and dandy, but something’s gone wrong.
Duncan Storrie is dying from stage 4 cancer from the dust he breathed in the mines. His life has been assessed by the compensation board at $28,000 with no allowance for lost earnings. He doesn’t have the right to sue the company so all he can do is make a plea that the rest of us do something.
Marie Rose Arbour's husband also died of cancer from working in the mines. Since her husband had spent his entire working life in the mines, she expected to live out her remaining years, at least partly, on the modest pension due to all mining widows. Vale, the 2nd largest mining company in the world and the recent recipient of that $1 billion federal loan, has decided to deny her this. They want to claw back as much of her pension as they can. So Marie Rose, with the help of her daughter Helen, is forced to take on this giant company for the right to keep her small pension. Marie Rose and Duncan are but two of the thousands who have been victimized by the workers’ compensation system across the country.