Wayne Gates, Ontario NDP Health and Safety and WSIB critic, and Guy Bourgouin, Ontario NDP critic for Trades, Training and Apprenticeships, are urging the Ford Conservatives to do more to protect workers after the tragic death of an 18-year-old following an on-the-job accident, rather than following through on Doug Ford’s plan to cut training, safety and protection for workers.
Vadim Buczel was doing work in a condo building in Toronto last week when he was electrocuted. Buczel died days later. A Global News report suggests the recent graduate was one of hundreds of unregistered electrical workers across the province. “My heart aches for Vadim’s family, who is going through a loss that no family should have to go through,” said Gates. “We owe it to workers and their families to do everything in our power to keep people safe on the job in Ontario.
“Alarmingly, we have seen the Ford Conservatives take step after disturbing step backwards on safety measures and supports for injured workers.”
The Ford Conservatives have:
- Moved safety training out of the classroom to online;
- Cut the number of hours of safety training workers must complete;
- Extended the deadline for completing safety training, leaving workers at risk for longer;
- Lowered supervision requirements for apprenticeships, meaning less experienced workers will have less support on the job;
- Opened the door to allowing workers with less training to complete tasks currently restricted to specialized trades;
- Cut back on proactive workplace safety inspections;
- Cut employer contributions to WSIB instead of enhancing benefits for injured workers; and
- Cut funding for the legal aid clinics that help injured workers access the support they’re owed.
“Workers in Ontario — including young people starting out in the trades — deserve so much better,” said Bourgouin. “We should be doing more to prevent workplace tragedies, not actively dismantling the safety measures and supports put in place as a result of them.”
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