Court Support Needed!
Injured migrant workers forced to defend their right to healthcare!
In October 2013, the Ontario government lost its appeal at the Health Services Appeal and Review Board in which they were seeking to remove OHIP coverage for migrant workers who got injured on the job. When the government lost their appeal, they decided it was worth public resources to continue the appeal to Division Court. These injured workers are now forced to continue to defend their right to healthcare.
On Tuesday March 25th, this extremely important legal case on access to healthcare for injured migrant workers will be heard. We want to pack the courtroom to tell the Ontario Government hands off injured migrant workers access to healthcare!
The case will be heard at Osgoode Hall [130 Queen Street West- closest main intersection University Ave & Queen in Toronto] from 10am-1pm. The case will be heard in courtroom #3.
There is also a request for healthcare providers, if they are able to attend, to consider wearing visible signs of their profession such as white coats, scrubs, stethoscopes to help put pressure on the courts and Ontario government that this appeal is under the scrutiny and being opposed by front line healthcare providers.
If you are able to attend & support please come out.
On August 9th, 2012 Kenroy Williams and Denville Clarke were among nine Jamaican migrant workers who were driving to work when their employer’s van swerved to avoid an oncoming car. The van rolled several times killing one passenger and severely injuring several others. Their employer attempted to return both Mr. Williams and Mr. Clarke to Jamaica after the accident despite their serious medical conditions and before they could receive adequate healthcare and entitlements from the WSIB. Family members, staff of IAVGO Community Legal Clinic and activists with Justicia for Migrant Workers intervened to help the workers remain in Ontario for their desperately needed medical treatment.
Both Mr. Williams and Mr. Clarke were employed under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). As with all SAWP workers, Mr. Williams’ and Mr. Clarke’s OHIP coverage expired at the end of the farming season, even though they both remained seriously injured and in need of healthcare in Ontario.
The pair won their landmark appeal, which allowed them to receive extended healthcare in Ontario, at the Health Services Appeal and Review Board on August 16, 2013. The Ontario government challenged the ruling and, as a result, the Appeal Board reconsidered and affirmed the decision on September 26, 2013.
Please click on the links below to see media coverage and previous legal decisions on this issue.
Province challenges OHIP coverage to injured migrant workers
Injured farm workers could lose OHIP
Migrant workers win healthcare extension
Injured migrant farm workers win back OHIP
Government aims to deny injured seasonal workers health care
Denying health coverage to injured migrant workers is shameful