Ontario News


Canadian Disability Benefit Initiative

Our guest speakers, Al Etmanski, parent advocate for persons with disabilities and Rabia Khedr, co-chair of the Canadian Disability Alliance Initiative, will join us at 11 am until 12:30 pm.  Our session will still begin at 10 am.  Last fall in the Throne Speech the federal government promised to create a Canadian Disability Benefit. This is the first time any national government anywhere in the world has committed to address the poverty experienced by disabled people.  In response a group of disabled people have created the Canadian Disability Benefit Initiative. Our goal is to hold our government to account and to make sure we end the poverty experienced by disabled Canadians once and for all. This presentation will discuss the 3 core actions that need to take place to make sure the disabled community takes advantage of this exciting and unprecedented opportunity. 

Topic: TB Tuesday Injured Worker Session

Time: 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)       

Apr 20, 2021 10:00 AM        Apr 27, 2021 10:00 AM        May 4, 2021 10:00 AM        May 11, 2021 10:00 AM        May 18, 2021 10:00 AM        May 25, 2021 10:00 AM        Jun 1, 2021 10:00 AM        Jun 8, 2021 10:00 AM        Jun 15, 2021 10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82906526888?pwd=bHFsdDJtWWhTNUZjNHRYdVNCczhjZz09

A View from the U.S.

As we know, our workers compensation system in Ontario has been under attack for the past 30 years. Finding ways to cut benefits to injured and disabled workers and cutting costs to employers. We are not alone. Below is the link to a report by the US Department of Labour done about 5 years ago near the end of Obama’s administration.  

Take a look at the executive summary and you will see a lot of similarities in the States to what we see happening in Ontario.

Let’s keep up the fight for workers’ rights and look for ways to build our movement.


Read more here.

An interview with Katherine Lippel on the TV show Community Conversations. As you may know, Katherine is a professor at the University of Ottawa and the distinguished research chair in occupational health and safety law.  She has been involved for more that 40 years and is a friend to workers and supporter of workers rights.

Does WCB label injured workers to avoid compensating non-organic , non-discernible chronic pain? The Supreme Court of Canada Martin/Laseur  2003 SCC 54, all disabled chronic pain suffers should be treated equal it is their human right. Do you have a complaint for Human Rights? 

York University of Toronto conducted a new research on chronic pain “Chronic Pain, Psychopathology, and DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder”.

Please review the article below

The new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Somatic symptom disorder overpsychologizes people with chronic pain; it has low sensitivity and specificity, and it contributes to misdiagnosis, as well as unnecessary stigma. Adjustment disorder remains the most appropriate, accurate, and acceptable diagnosis for people who are overly concerned about their pain.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, and Chronic Pain
The golden rule: an underlying medical illness or medication side effect has to be ruled out before ever deciding that someone’s symptoms are caused by mental disorder. . . . There are serious risks attached to over-psychologizing somatic symptoms and mislabeling the normal reactions to being sick − especially when the judgments are based on vague wording that can’t possibly lead to reliable diagnosis. DSM-5 as it now stands will add to the suffering of those already burdened with all the cares of having a medical illness.

2 major criticisms have been levelled against the DSM-5: diagnostic inflation and inadequate field testing. Both appear to apply to the new diagnostic category of SSD. The main criticism of SSD is the high probability of misdiagnosing a medical illness, including chronic pain conditions, as a mental illness. Further, the conditions that qualify for a diagnosis of SSD are extremely variable. They include a highly mixed group of patients with medically unexplained symptoms, medical patients with significant symptoms of emotional distress, patients with typical chronic pain conditions (for example, low-back pain, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis) and patients with health-related anxiety.

…given the problems with current diagnostic criteria for SSD, noted above, alternative diagnoses have been suggested as appropriate for people with chronic pain; including, psychological factors affecting other medical conditions and adjustment disorder. The distinction between SSD and psychological factors affecting other medical conditions is not clear-cut, especially for people with chronic pain conditions, as both involve a diagnosable medical condition. For SSD, the emphasis is said to be on “maladaptive thoughts, feelings and behavior,” whereas for psychological factors affecting other medical conditions the emphasis in on “the exacerbation of the medical condition.” This distinction seems arbitrary for people with chronic pain, as pain is known to produce worry and worry is known to exacerbate pain. Until the criteria for SSD are appropriately revised, adjustment disorder is a “safer and more accurate” diagnosis when one is needed for someone who is “medically ill or otherwise troubled by puzzling symptoms” Chronic pain is highly comorbid with anxiety and depression.