Jimmy Valgakis’s third hunger strike against Ontario’s WSIB
Yes, a hunger strike, in 2015 - in Toronto. Whatever you think of Jimmy Valgakis's claims, at least the man is drawing the media's attention to the incompetence, greed and double-talk that the WSIB has sadly become...
By Alec Caldwell
Desperate stuff on a hunger strike from Jimmy Valgakis, a former City of Toronto ice rink worker, in front of Queen’s Park. The man is now into his third hunger strike in four years, trying to bring attention to his plight- a denied claim from Ontario’s WSIB for an injury that certainly appears legitimate. Valgakis’s claim looks like thousands of other denied claims that this have helped this government monopoly insurance agency to reduce its deficit after years of mismanagement.
Valgakis survives on his half pension from the City of Toronto and CPP. According to Valgakis, these troubles created financial pressure that contributed to his marriage falling apart – and then his relationship with the rest of his family.
Ontario MPP Cheri DiNova said in a recent Toronto Star article about Jimmy that “at every turn this poor man has been shut down. He really is literally at the end of his tether now.” DiNova even went on hunger strike herself with him in 2013 for 10 days and I’m assuming WSIB didn’t even blink or loose a wink of sleep.
Has WSIB finally become a law unto themselves? Moving from, as some say, an inquiry-based organization into an adversarial one. Meaning pulling down the metal shutters on claimants, where even an MPP who sees grave wrongdoings, cannot even get the attention of WSIB, nor the Ontario premier, nor the Ministry of Labour. Nor city hall. All have rebuffed her, as they did Jimmy.
How does this situation relate to you, as a self-employed renovator or sub contractor?
Bill 119 forced mandatory WSIB on the majority on the self employed and it seems you’ll need luck on your side, if you get injured and need to make a claim through WSIB.
Right now is a good time to consider adding to your tool kit, by buying a low cost 24/7 private individual accident disability insurance. Issued without medicals and in my experience, there’s no fuss at claim time, which is a neat idea WSIB needs to hear about. I’ve yet to hear of claimants standing outside private insurance companies carrying placards or going on hunger strikes.
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