March 10, 2023

Why Police Budgets Matter: The Physical and Psychological Toll of Chronic Mental Stress

There’s been a lot of discussion in the news recently over the “staffing crisis” in policing.  This presents a real occupational health and safety concern for police officers in our province. We all know that police officers will be subjected to traumatic events over the course of their careers.  But what happens when an officer encounters this trauma, in the context of understaffing and an intense workload? Here’s one officer’s story. We’ll call him Detective […]
February 28, 2023

Total Disability vs. Competitive Unemployability – What’s the Difference?

Can an injured worker be eligible for 100% LOE to age 65 even where there is no medical opinion confirming total disability? When determining whether an injured worker able to work in the general labour market, consideration must be given not only to their physical and/or psychological injuries, but also their personal characteristics such as their age, level of education, experience, transferable skills. This notion of holistic adjudication allows for the decision maker to deviate […]
February 9, 2023

A Stroke of Bad Decisions: A K-9 Officer’s Pursuit of Justice from the WSIB

It started like any other regular day at work for this K-9 officer.  But just before he finished his shift, he received a call about a suspect who was in pursuit.  Lights and sirens on, he had to get to the opposite side of town and track down the suspect. Imagine the adrenaline rush while running with the dog, an excited 60-lb German Shepherd, tugging on the leash in your hand, tracking the scent of […]
March 16, 2022

Exonerated but Injured: A Police Officer’s 15 Year Fight for WSIB Entitlement

It’s a story that’s so unbelievable, you’d think it was an episode of Law and Order. But the only fiction in this story is the second life that my client’s co-worker created while impersonating her though electronic communications with another individual. My client, who we will refer to as “X”, is a police officer.  She was arrested on January 31, 2007.  Prior to her arrest, she was a respected police officer, a highly-regarded 16 year […]
February 18, 2022


Today marks the 6 year anniversary for the announcement of presumptive legislation for Ontario First Responders.  I will never forget that day.  A lot has changed in 6 years, but there is definitely more work to be done to address the stigma around the PTSD diagnosis, to support those who dedicate their lives to serving our communities and keeping them safe.
June 30, 2021

WSIAT Decision 616/21: Right to Sue for Wrongful Dismissal not barred by WSIA in case of Mental Stress Claim

In Decision 616/21 the Vice-Chair ruled that a Plaintiff’s right to bring a civil action for punitive damages is not removed by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.  This is because the Act does not provide compensation for the loss experienced as a result of wrongful dismissal.  It is up to the Court to determine the extent of that loss.  However, a Plaintiff cannot sure for personal injuries resulting from the workplace injury.  Read the […]
March 4, 2021

Bullet-Proof Vests Protect Body Not Mind: Recognition of Entitlement for Chronic Mental Stress in Law Enforcement

When the Ontario Government passed Bill 163 on April 5, 2016, there was a collective sigh of relief among First Responders and their advocates.  The expectation was that this new legislation would facilitate access to benefits and treatment for First Responders diagnosed with PTSD.  But what happens in situations where a First Responder may suffer from elements of PTSD, but does not meet diagnostic criteria for a formal diagnosis? Or if a First Responder is […]
June 19, 2020

Hips Don’t Lie: Duty Belts Found as Culprit in Police Officers’ Hip Tears

  The first case of its kind was heard at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal on February 1, 2017.  A female police officer developed a tear in the labrum of her hip.  The Tribunal concluded that her job duties, and in particular, the use of the duty belt, significantly contributed to the tear.  (You can read Decision No. 310/17 here: While the study of labral tears is a relatively new area in […]
March 12, 2020

10 Years of Advocacy

As I sit down to write the inaugural blog post for the launch of our new website, I realize that it is a great opportunity to reflect on the past year.  2019 was a big year for us at Zare Paralegal Services.  We moved to our new location in July, and on November 1, 2019 we celebrated 10 years in business. I can honestly say that the past 10 years have flown by, and today I […]