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Advocates rally for changes to workers compensation system

Dozens of injured workers advocates gathered outside the Nova Scotia legislature Thursday hoping to change the workers compensation system.

Dozens of injured workers advocates gathered outside the Nova Scotia Legislature Thursday hoping to change the workers compensation system.

The rally came on the seventh anniversary of a report that recommended extensive changes to the system. Larry Maloney, vice-president of the Pictou County Injured Workers’ Group, said nowhere near enough has been done.

“We want this to be an election issue this year,” he said. “People are living in poverty.”

But Labour Minister Mark Parent said he could only tell the protestors one thing — there’s just not enough money.

“Frankly, I’m going to have to be honest with them and tell them that in light of the financial crisis, I don’t see that I have room to do anything on the benefits side without having to raise the fees to employers, which are already amongst the highest in the country,” he said.

But Maloney said some changes could actually end up saving money. He said inefficiencies in the system have led to waste, and there needs to be more of a focus on injury prevention.

“I know that this is an economic crisis. I understand that,” he said. “But look at the dollar savings that could be made by reducing accidents. If there’s no claims to start with there’s millions of dollars being saved.”

 
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