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Minister Boulet invites IVAC employees to denounce their working conditions

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “We support them,” assured Minister Jean Boulet. We have an employee assistance program, there is support because there is a transition period and that requires a higher volume of work. Everyone’s psychological health is worrying.”

The Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, on Thursday invited IVAC employees to “denounce” their working conditions.

“Qu we raise our hands. If there are employees who have particular difficulties, let them report it,” suggested Mr. Boulet. The minister is responsible for the CNESST, which is responsible for compensation for victims of criminal acts (IVAC).

Mr. Boulet suggested that he was unaware of the extent of the distress among IVAC employees, but said he was made aware of a “transition period” and a “significant” number of files.He said he had spoken with the interim president and CEO of the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST), Bruno Labrecque, following the publication of an article in Le Devoir.

This text reported the feeling of abandonment and powerlessness of IVAC employees responsible for announcing to victims of crime that their benefits will end in October 2024. An IVAC reform adopted in 2021 expanded access to this plan, and employees must, in fact, manage a thousand pending files.

“We support them,” assured the Minister of Labor, noting his discussion with Mr. Labrecque. We have an employee assistance program, there is support because there is a transition period and that requires a higher volume of work. Everyone's psychological health is worrying. »

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Mr. Boulet did not want to say how many victims were notified of the end of their benefits for “temporary total incapacity” in October 2024. He said he was working “with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that the transition takes place in the most humane way and the most respectful of psychological needs.

The upcoming end of benefits creates a shock wave among victims, some of whom fear a wave of suicides.

No access route fast towards social assistance

The Minister responsible for Social Solidarity, Chantal Rouleau, walked quickly in front of the journalists. “It’s being discussed,” she simply said.

Victims compensated by IVAC will be redirected to its ministry's programs – aid and social solidarity – if they are unable to return to work once their benefits are cut. However, the State has not provided any particular access route for these victims. The only path to these programs is last resort financial aid. To be eligible, a person who does not have dependent children must have a maximum of $887 in their possession. The most generous program, with benefits of $1,273 per month ($15,276 per year), requires the filing of evidence that a victim has had severe employment constraints for a minimum of five and a half years.

The oppositions have once again asked the Minister of Justice, Simon Jolin-Barrette, to review his reform of the IVAC. “Do you still find that your reform is good ? A victim is considering medical assistance in dying…” wrote Liberal MP André A. Morin on X. Its leader, Marc Tanguay, criticized the minister for having poorly assessed the “tangible” impact of his reform on the ground.

“These are calls for help from the victims, but also from the people who are responsible for helping them,” underlined MP Pascal Paradis, of the Parti Québécois. “How come he [the minister] had not seen this even though he had been alerted, in particular by the Public Protector ? »

The MP invited the minister to “listen, to consider the effects of his reform and to see if there are any problems to resolve”. Despite the good intentions behind the reform, we must ask ourselves “if there are not angles that had not been poorly considered”, he argued.

With Alexandre Robillard

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116