Statement by Jaclynne Hamel regarding Ross Romano’s exchange with Michele McCleave-Kennedy on WSIB


Last Night, the United Steelworkers Local 2251 hosted an all-candidates meeting for the
upcoming provincial election. During the debate, Mike De Prat, President of Local 2251,
asked all of the candidates a question regarding workers’ safety and WSIB.

While answering Mr. De Prat’s question, NDP candidate Michele McCleave-Kennedy
referenced injuries that she has sustained on the job as an educational assistant,
stating that due to her latest injury she has been on modified work.

In Mr. Romano’s response to that same question, he dismissed the lived experience of
Ms. McCleave-Kennedy by suggesting that her being injured on the job “by children”
was not significant. Mr. Romano went further to call on the NDP candidate to “clarify”
her statement, urging her to backtrack on legitimate and relevant comments she made.

Safety in our schools for teachers, support staff, and administrators is a growing
concern in recent years. These are significant challenges that our education workers
face. The safety of our employees in any workplace is paramount. For Mr. Romano to
undermine these incidents faced by professionals like Ms. McCleave-Kennedy and
others is insensitive. I call on him to apologize to our colleague, and for him to rethink
his views of the work all educational workers provide.


  1. Hopefully you’ll get an NDP MPP so you can hold their feet to the fire since they made this promise: “We will work to reduce workplace injuries and better support injured workers. We’ll require regular updates of workplace safety rules and WSIB rates and coverage. We will expand coverage and definitions of occupational illnesses, and set up a task force to remove barriers between injured workers and the compensation they deserve. WSIB will pay benefits that recognize lost wages. And we will ensure workplace safety inspections are stringent, transparent and publicly run.” It’s a start anyway.

  2. It’s very disappointing to know they don’t give a #### about injured workers. The government needed to pay for the pipeline so they decided our lives didn’t matter. Our futures don’t matter and the fact that we have lost almost everything we have worked so hard for doesn’t even phase them. Our wages that we are not getting are paying for the pipeline. So the next time I hear someone trashing people on welfare Because that’s our only means of survival……I’m gonna snap!

  3. Sadly, injured workers are in the whirlpool of the election debates. We get a question in now and then, but are they hearing us? Hurt at work, and slowly but surely left to book the appointment with welfare to save the housing we’re in. Some still can’t make it. Wsib and Deeming, Determining, or whatever they wish to call it has to end! No straight answers from any candidates and that is very disappointing.

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