Director's Message

 
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Farewell And Thank You

After six years, I recently retired as Director of the Office of the Worker Adviser. I’m very pleased to have served our clients and staff through challenging times and to leave OWA well-positioned for the future.
 
2017-18 was a turnaround year for OWA, as we began to see the benefits of our new service delivery model, including:
 
·         Major progress on our highest priority, the reduction of our WSIAT appeals inventory
·         Resulting improvements in our ability to move cases through the system
We also played an important role in some of the most complex cases in the system. These included major clusters of occupational diseases, particularly in Peterborough.
 
In our Occupational Health and Safety Reprisals Program, we helped more workers as demand for representation services increased significantly.
 
I have so many people and groups to thank. Please allow me to acknowledge:
 
·         The amazing, caring and dedicated staff of the OWA, who consistently amazed me with their knowledge, skill and dedication to our clients
·         The Ministry of Labour and our colleagues at WSIB, WSIAT, and OEA, who worked with us to serve the public and solve problems
·         Our partners in the worker community, who collaborated with us in dealing with another year of major change, and
·         The many employer representatives who worked with to resolve cases and tackle strategic issues. 
Finally, I would like to recognize and thank the thousands of vulnerable workers and their surviving family members who came to us for information and who entrusted their cases to us.  We tried our best to serve every single worker with dedication and care  and we learned much from those workers as well.
 
I also am very pleased that my successor, Kathleen Therriault, brings such a depth of experience, knowledge and commitment to the OWA and to the system as a whole.  I wish her and OWA’s staff and partners the very best as they continue their vital work on behalf of vulnerable workers.
 
Alec Farquhar