The WSIB stands for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. This is the Ontario-based Board set up to support and compensate workers who get injured and/or made ill by their jobs.
Eugene is a long-time injured worker activist and well-known visual artist.
This is his story.
Eugene worked in the bush in Northern Ontario. He got injured in 1985. After the injury, he had 14 surgeries on his knee. It was painful and it changed his life completely.
When he turned for support from the Workers Compensation Board, he was turned down. Instead, the WSIB closed his file right after his injury, he was forced to get social assistance. After fighting the WSIB to open his file, his file was opened, but then the WSIB closed his file again. The WSIB did not consistently help him through his recovery process, which further hindered his healing.
In 1988, he joined the Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group.
The journey has been difficult. If the WSIB had supported him better in his recovery, Eugene would have a different story to tell. See more of his story in a video at https://www.crwdp.ca/en/stories/eugenes-story.
This is the case in many injured workers’ lives (see additional stories). Please check out our Workers’ Comp Is A Right campaign at https://injuredworkersonline.org/workers-comp-is-a-right-campaign/ to see more ways in which the WSIB has systematically failed to support injured workers and how we are fighting back.
An update to Eugene’s story: Eugene just had another surgery in November 2018. He is doing therapy now, and has another surgery scheduled in the next 3-6 months. He continues to be a resilient activist with the injured worker community.