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Where have we heard this before with a reference to a culture of denial. This was the findings of Justice Friedman. As usual, the problem with the system is causation. No system can operate when the deciding factor is causation as in most cases no one knows why an injury or disease developed other than to provide opinions that will not and have not stood up in the Supreme Court of Canada. The SCC makes a decision and workers compensation systems in Canada ignore the findings of the SCC and carry on as they did before. In Alberta we have a Justice Minister that also ignores the findings of the SCC and allows the Alberta WCB to circumnavigate the law. We have a toothless tiger in charge of WCB and when asked what her responsibilities are by being in charge, there is no answer. The last MLA who was in charge of the WCB, Iris Evans when asked the same question replied that she is not in charge of the WCB, she is responsible only for the WCA which then leaves the question, “who is in charge of WCB”?
It is about time that a task force be appointed to determine if the system is working. Problem with a question like this is that it is working but only for those workers who suffer an acute injury that after a short healing period, the worker makes a full recovery. The major costs of the system are those 20% of injuries or diseases where the worker never does recover, their claim is terminated and all of these workers apply for Social Services and becomes the responsibility of tax payers. No one has or will ever deny that WCB does in fact deny claims and benefits when a causal relation cannot be determined and the benefit of doubt then goes to employers whose premium are kept artificially low by not having to accept claims and provide benefits.
I have said it before and I will say it again, the system should be abolished and disability benefits should be paid without causation which is the provided to public servants, many unionized workers and MLA’s themselves who have dual benefits through workers compensation and private disability insurance through most likely Sun Life. When a public servant is injured, suffers any sickness or disease, they immediately receive benefits with out having to fight WCB for 40, 50 or more years. There have been numerous comparisons to the two systems and private insurance is far better than anything that is offered by WCB. It is rare to hear of a worker committing suicide, attempting suicide or threatening to kill any one who is providing disability insurance privately. When Meredith proposed some sort of disability insurance for workers, there were no private insurers that offered this type of insurance so this was better than nothing and in today’s workers compensation system, nothing is what workers get.