The international conference No “Half-Measures” explored the state of workers’ compensation 100 years after Sir William Meredith presented his options for reform that would remove injustice for injured workers.
Half measures which mitigate but do not remove injustice are, in my judgment, to be avoided. It would be the gravest mistake if questions were to be determined not by a consideration of what is just to the workingman, but of what is the least he can be put off with … ” (W.R. Meredith)
Held in Toronto (October 31 – November 2, 2013) the conference commemorated the anniversary of the publication of the “Final Report” of Meredith’s three-year Royal Commission – and the passage in 1914 of Ontario’s first “modern” Workmen’s Compensation Act. Meredith’s principles and recommendations have come to be understood as the foundation of workers’ compensation also in other Canadian provinces and Commonwealth jurisdictions. [see Conference Program]
Ahead of the conference, a Revived Meredith Commission co-chaired by Robert Storey and Carolann Elston held a province-wide series of hearings to learn from injured workers of their experiences dealing with the current system. The Commission visited eight cities: St. Catharines, Toronto (four sittings), Hamilton, Little Current on Manitoulin Island, Barrie, North Bay, Thunder Bay and London. They heard from over 100 injured workers and their families, friends and representatives. Preliminary findings were presented to the October Conference; the Final Report was published in 2015.
The Conference Organizing Committee: Terri Aversa, Ontario Public Service Employees Union; Beryl Brown, Injured Worker; Orlando Buonastella, Injured Workers’ Consultants; Carolann Elston, University of Guelph; Marion Endicott, Injured Workers’ Consultants; Laurie Hardwick, Ontario Federation of Labour; Andrew King, University of Ottawa; Alberto Lalli, Industrial Accident Victims Groups of Ontario; Steve Mantis, Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups; Scott McIlmoyle, Canadian Autoworkers Union, Local 112; John McKinnon, Injured Workers’ Consultants; Maryam Nazemi, Injured Worker; Wendy Knelsen, Injured Worker; Jennifer Pothier, Niagara North Community Legal Assistance; Robert Storey, McMaster University; Eric Tucker, York University
A snapshot of the original website created for Meredith100.ca is available on the InternetArchive, though some links may be broken. Links to all the documents mentioned are also available on this site’s Workers’ Compensation pages. The Conference photo gallery will be added shortly.
- Bedard, Ella. 2013 Oct 28. “Bringing Awareness about Injured Workers and Fighting for a Fair Compensation System.” Rabble.ca