Wayne Gates MPP for Niagara Falls, Fort Erie & Niagara-on-the-Lake

Government of Ontario

the Justice for Victims of Occupational Disease Act, 2022


April 13, 2022

Gates announces bill to fix Ford’s failure to help injured workers 
QUEENS PARK —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) announced today he will table, the Justice for Victims of Occupational Disease Act, 2022. The act is designed to bring justice to workers who are victims of occupational cancers and diseases resulting from their workplaces. The bill will legislate the four demands of the Occupational Disease Reform Alliance (ODRA), a group of advocates representing occupational disease clusters across Ontario. 
“For many months the Doug Ford and his labour minister have known of the demands of these injured workers and their families. The ministry has been aware of the diseases and cancers suffered by these workers for decades,” said Gates. “Yet, Tuesday the Ford government announced another study instead of action – these families deserve justice now, not more studies. This is nothing more than an attempt by the government to run out the clock on these families seeking justice. Our bill will say no more waiting. The demands of these families are before the legislature and Ford must support this bill.” 
ODRA represents areas in the province with ‘clusters’ of occupational diseases that are the result of exposures either in, or from, the workplace. The group’s representatives say they have been fighting for decades to get the Ministry of Labour and WSIB to acknowledge their workplace diseases and provide them with the compensation that they are owed. In 2021, they formed a single advocacy group to combine their efforts to get justice for those who have since passed from the diseases and those who continue to suffer from them today. 
“One can’t help but ask why the government waited until just weeks before the election to commission another study. The Demers report has been sitting on his desk since 2020 – Ford has the evidence he needs. No more studies, now is the time for action. These families have waited long enough,” said Gates.