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Virtual session discussing Ontario workers’ health and safety rights during the COVID 19 pandemic

About this Event

In March 2020, work in Ontario changed dramatically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 18 March 2020, the Government of Ontario declared an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Following this declaration, the government declared what businesses and which workers were considered essential and conversely who was going to be on the front lines of the pandemic.

In this virtual session, Kevin Simms and Linda Vannucci from the Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic (“WHSLC”) will highlight what this pandemic has meant for workers’ health and safety; including a brief background of the basic health and safety rights of Ontario workers, the trends in the Ministry of Labour’s inspections, how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is addressing and ignoring the pandemic, and the changes in the practice at their Clinic.


Kevin Simms: Kevin Simms is a Staff Lawyer at the Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic (“WHSLC”). Prior to joining the WHSLC in 2019, Kevin was a Worker Representative with the Office of the Worker Advisor – Reprisals Unit where he represented workers who were reprised against for raising health and safety issues at work. Kevin has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, representing the WHSLC as an intervenor in the Uber v Heller case. In addition to his law degree Kevin holds a B.A. and M.A. in History from McMaster University.

Linda Vannucci:

Linda has worked at the Clinic since 1989 first as a Staff Lawyer until 2008 when she became Clinic Director. She has represented clinic clients at hearings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Workplace Safety And Insurance Appeal Tribunal, and Human Rights Tribunal Of Ontario.

This is a free, public session, and it is open to all.

Registration is required in order to receive secure virtual link to the session.

Please note that this workshop will be hosted online using Zoom. A Zoom link and password to access the talk will be sent via email to all persons registered. You can download Zoom on your device for free using the following link:

This session is co-sponsored by the Canadian Association for Work & Labour Studies, and Ryerson University’s Centre for Labour Management Relations.

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