How It All Got Started.
HISTORY OF THE MSSA
Thunder Bay & District Injured Workers Support Group and thought that I should attend, which I
did and that decision, forever changed my life.
One man was giving a speech and right away he caught my attention because like my own father, this man was missing an arm. Right away I knew this would be a good bond for myself and this group, simply because of the way they made me feel and the way they treated me.
I was also introduced to a man named Moses Sheppard, and immediately I was drawn to this guy. I felt that telling him my story about being injured and having to fight withe WSIB which had brought me very close to destruction financially, mentally, and lets not forget emotionally. Moses listened attentively and did not seemed "shocked" as to what I was telling him as if he had heard this before, but showed a lot of empathy.
Moses also told me about the Injured Workers Support Group and that I should attend. Then he asked me to go see him at the TBDIWSG office at the Labour Centre but they were only there two days a week, and for only 5 hours per day. I knew right there and then that this was meant to be. This man whom I never known prior to this was going to help fight this horrid system called the WSIB and being new in town, who else was I going to turn to.
After a few visits with Moses, I decided to join the group and to start volunteering in the office. Since I could not support the group financially I did have some time on my hands to help out answering the phone and what ever else I was capable of doing.
Volunteering with Moses and being able to listen to how he would talk to injured workers and then call the WSIB on the workers' behalf and learning from him as time went on made me feel that I wanted to help others as he was helping me. Soon afterwards under the leadership and guidance from Moses, I began to work on claims, and appeals.
Although I had not won my claim thus far, nor was it brought for scheduling at the Appeals level, I knew that my time would come and when it did, I would have some very strong people in my corner. As they say "the rest is history".
There were many people around helping out, and making sure that everything was going according to their plan. One lady that stood out was Janet Paterson. Although Janet was an injured worker, unlike Steve I could not see her pain, or missing limb. So the question was "is she, an injured worker?" and I soon found the answer. Once she started to move there was no doubt she was in pain and I could only speculate that it was her back, or legs, maybe hips, I was not certain, there were no visible injury.
Moses C. Sheppard
Back in 2003, my family and I moved to Thunder Bay as this is my wife's home town and all her family was here. I was in a battle with WSIB (compensation board) and seen a sign about a group that was focused on helping injured workers. This group's name was the
This is where I met the kindest non-judgemental group of people with an attitude that injured workers did count, and we, although hurt by a workplace injury, still deserving the dignity and respect that non-injured workers were getting. We still have a purpose in life! There were a lot of people that influenced me from that group, and without taking away from anyone, here are some that made a very lasting impression with me.