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What is wrong with Witmer as Chair of the WSIB Board - More bad news for IW's
1) Witmer hammered injured workers with Bill 99, cut benefits to the injured and gave a gift to employers by cutting premiums/assessments (approximately by 30%).
2) Witmer said chronic pain should not be recognized as a permanent disability
3) Witmer said that Chronic Stress at work was not a clear compensable condition and needed to be restricted
4) Witmer was a promoter of the “anti-fraud campaign” that stigmatized injured workers as cheaters. Since then the Board worked with RAACWI to produce a pamphlet denouncing WSIB stigma towards injured workers. (The WSIB had a $10 million initiative to “combat fraud” in 1997)
5) The WSIB has a chart showing if rates were not reduced (by Witmer and co.) the Unfunded Liability would not exist. This was part of the Arthurs review.
6) The Auditor General report says the WSIB recognized that Bill 99 had created huge problems for injured workers.
7) Witmer resisted meeting injured workers - NDP critic Dave Christopherson criticized Witmer in the House for referring to injured workers as a “mob” (June 18, 1997)
8) Witmer privatized vocational rehabilitation. The Toronto Star found that privatized vocational rehabilitation was a disaster.
9) With Bill 15 she forced the “value for money audits” on the WSIB each year, and brought in the duty to report “material change of circumstance”.
10) She forced the WSIAT to apply Board policies, instead of using them only as a guide and following the Act more broadly, she also introduce time limits on appeal.
11) Changed the name of the Act and Board from “workers’ compensation” to “workplace safety and insurance” to reflect the private sector thinking and the abandonment of the Act as “social legislation”.
12) Witmer reduced the board’s contribution to the “loss of retirement income” for injured workers by 50%!
She sure was not a “Red Tory” when it mattered.
Why should the Premier turn to Mike Harris’ architect of misfortune for the injured?