Dec 142018
 

By Gerald

Click on the following link:

 https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/opinion-story/9081455-peterborough-letters-wsib-caught-up-in-culture-of-denial/ 

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.

Dec 122018
 

By Gerald

The following story supports my argument that you cannot provide 
presumptive status to some occupations and not to others. Click on the 
following link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sick-worker-groundbreaking-case-wsib-benzene-1.4649680


It is obscenely illogical to provide presumptive status to firefighters 
when other occupations have a greater risk than fire fighters. Truth be 
told, there need not be any occupational disease that requires evidence 
based on medical certainty which the Supreme Court has determined is too 
high a standard meaning that no one has to provide epidemiological 
evidence to support causation. Causation in the workers compensation 
system is any contributing factor which consists of a very broad base 
from a trivial cause to a probable cause. It need not be more probable 
than not which is the civil legal standard,not the legal standard in 
workers compensation systems according to the Supreme Court. There are 
no complex cases that are filed with WCB as in all claims the benefit of 
doubt is supposed to go to a worker meaning that if a cause is unknown 
and WCB cannot determine an alternate cause, the claim remains in a 
neutral state where the benefit of doubt goes to a worker. In the past 
and at present, if a cause is unknown, the claim is denied with no one 
questioning if the cause is unknown and WCB cannot provide an alternate 
cause, why is the claim denied as the benefit of doubt is by law 
supposed to go to the worker.

No occupation should be treated differently than any other occupation 
but unfortunately the Alberta Human Rights legislation in the preamble 
it states that all persons are equal in dignity, rights and 
responsibilities and then states in the same paragraph, that these 
rights are only extended to the so named protected classes and if a 
person does not fit in the so named classes, according to the AHRC there 
is no equal rights protection. You would think that instead of enacting 
laws that treat all persons equally rather than naming the classes that 
are protected would be the intelligent way to enact legislation. It 
makes no sense at all to keep adding specific classes rather than to 
simply enact legislation whereby all persons are treated equally.

I did file a human rights complaint when the presumption legislation was 
passed and the complaint was denied because occupations were not a 
protected class which means that the Government can pass laws providing 
differential treatment for any occupation that they feel should be 
provided differential treatment. If they felt that all MLA’s should not 
have to pay provincial taxes, could drink and drive, possess and use 
heroin, crack cocaine etc and no other occupation could do like wise, 
they could do so under the Human Rights Act. I do believe that under the 
Charter, Section 15.1, that presumptive status for any occupation 
according to a large consensus of lawyer would be struck down. Studies 
have shown that other occupations have far more of a risk for certain 
cancers than firefighters and a recent study has determined that 
firefighters risk of cancer is due to a genetic factor which predisposes 
them to cancers and in the U.S. some States are rescinding legislation 
because studies have determined that the only firefighters to get any 
cancer have a genetic link to cancer which predispose some firefighters 
to cancers while other firefighters without the genetic link have no 
more of a risk than any one else. By testing firefighters for this 
genetic link prior to employment, those candidates with the genetic link 
would not be hired thereby reducing or eliminating any risk.

When this bill was presented by Richard Magnus who I knew quite well 
from his days as my Alderman in Calgary, I told him that in Canada 
adjudication is based on an inquiry system which means that all persons, 
whether firefighters or not firefighters have presumptive status simply 
because when there is any doubt on any claim, and if there is no 
evidence to support an alternate cause a claim is considered to be in a 
neutral position, this establishes presumption. I explained to him that 
in the U.S., because adjudication is based on an adversarial model, the 
burden of proof was on workers which made it impossible for any worker 
to prove causation, thus because of their high profile and a feel good 
feeling for elected officials to gain favor with the electorate, 
presumption for firefighters was enacted. Mr. Magnus had no idea of the 
difference between an inquiry system and an adversarial system and was 
under the impression like many of his colleagues that when a worker 
filed a claim, they were the ones bringing forth an action and 
considered to be plaintiffs in the case and had the burden of proof.

Dec 102018
 

By Gerald

According to the historic agreement, adjudication within the workers compensation system is supposed to be based on an inquiry system, not an adversarial system. At some time in the past, this all changed from an inquiry system to an adversarial system. Rather than a worker being a claimant, they are considered to be the person bringing forth an action as a plaintiff. No one including Notley, Gray, Ganley or the former Conservative Government would explain or define what an inquiry system is based on.

I have had over the last several years, had to argue that the burden of proof is on the Board with Case Managers, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission who are adjudicating claims based on civil law which is clearly the incorrect legal standard in workers compensation.  Yesterday, I talked to a Case Manager who in a case I am representing a worker argued that the burden of proof is on a worker, not the Board. I attempted to explain to her how an inquiry system is supposed to work and she said that has has no idea what an inquiry system is and that all her colleagues place the burden of proof on the worker despite the WCA and WCB policy that clearly places the burden of proof on the Board. I have had that same argument  presented to me by a senior member of the Appeals Commission during a heated discussion at an in person hearing, who is a lawyer and oddly enough makes over $175,000.00 a year as a hearing chair. Her argument was quashed at a Judicial Review by a Court of Queens Bench Judge who had to explain this to the Appeals Commission’s and WCB’s legal counsel how an inquiry system works and how it differs from civil law. 

A number of years ago, I had a letter from a former Minister in charge of WCB who told me that WCB rarely if ever performs any investigations involving a claim because it was to time consuming and expensive thus resulting in numerous claims being denied because WCB did not do their due diligence to perform any investigations and when the claim was illegally denied, the blame for not providing the evidence was placed on the worker who they claim has the burden of proof, not WCB. 

Oddly enough, the Appeals Commission when a worker requests to subpoena a witness or witnesses, the Appeals Commission refers to the Alberta Rules of Court which are rules for civil procedure where a plaintiff who brings an action has to pay for the attendance of witnesses which they should. Why should workers have to pay for the attendance of witnesses when WCB can have witnesses subpoenaed and have the witnesses conduct fees paid out of the accident fund. Questionably is why  WCB Medical Advisors who are the worst offenders when knowingly providing false medical evidence do not have to sign an affidavit to swear that the evidence they are submitting is true and when it is proven to be false, they should be charged and imprisoned.Section 151.1(1) does make it illegal for any one to provide false or misleading information to the Board and that would include their own employees. According to Section 152(1) of the WCA a person can be fined up to a maximum of $25,000.00, a further fine of $10,000.00 a day if the offense continues or in lieu of a fine be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 6 months. Problem is that we have a Justice Minister that would not allow charges against any one in the system, thus negating the WCA. What is the point of enacting laws if these laws are not used to punish people for contravening the law. 

While it cannot be disputed that WCB places the burden of proof on workers, the Appeals Commission also places the burden of proof on the worker. This fact is presented in their rules specific to reconsideration where they do in fact undeniably place the burden of proof on a worker. This is proven by the Appeals Commission stating that “with due diligence, the evidence could have been presented at the previous in person hearing. What evidence could be presented when WCB has exclusive jurisdiction to gather the facts and their own policy directs that they perform a thorough investigation to gather the facts. A good example of this is in a case where a Case Manager lied about the employer offering modified work and the employer and worker both presented evidence that there was no offer of modified work. WCB and the Appeals Commission acknowledged that modified work was never offered but refused to pay the worker the loss of earnings he was entitled to and had been directed by the Court of Queens Bench to pay the worker $9000.00 in earning loss. This was refused by the Appeals Commission who should have complied with the Judge, sent the claim back to WCB and direct that this sum be paid. Instead, Wispinski, the now head of the Appeals Commission represented the Appeals Commission which questions her ethics and sense of decency to represent a body who would defraud a worker from what he was entitled to and his entitlement had been determined by a Judge. The second incident I was involved in and still am is specific to concurrent earnings.  The worker at the time of her injury had two sources of income and WCB did not investigate contrary to the WCA and their own policy. and using only the one income to determine an ELP. Once this was brought to their attention, they denied the second concurrent earnings because they believed that the worker had the burden of proof to provide this evidence. Most, if not all workers have no idea what concurrent earnings are and would not have the knowledge to question WCB as to why only their earnings from the accident was used to determine a loss of earnings. Gathering this evidence is the sole responsibility of WCB, not the worker. These are fundamental questions that WCB must ask a worker during the course of their investigation.  

In reviewing the revised WCA, it appears in the preamble that the purpose of the workers compensation system is to provide appropriate compensation to workers and the central focus of the workers compensation system is the health and well being of workers, this is a lie and is proven to be a lie based on my own personal experience in the workers compensation system. The central focus of all workers compensation system is to protect the accident fund to maintain low premiums for employers to encourage or maintain employment. Accepting claims and benefits destroys jobs and the economy as opposed to denying claims and benefits that increases employment and the economic benefits of low premiums. What was considered the “grand bargain”is not and has not been a grand bargain for workers but has been a grand bargain for employers who cannot be sued and have their premiums subsidized by tax payers who pay taxes and these taxes are used to provide income support for disabled workers through social assistance. As well, Alberta Health Care provides medical care and benefits for disabled workers. No one can deny that this is not true. If it was not true, then then why are there so many disabled workers on social assistance. If a person can name one, one is too many and when naming one, some one else could name other disabled workers who are on social assistance. Why is the Government so secretive about this. Perhaps this would be a request submitted to FOIP. Obviously, the Government knows when a person applies for social services what medical condition they have that is considered to be prolonged and severe and whether the injury or disease is work related or not work related..

If in fact, the Fair Practice Office does determine that the Board has the burden of proof in an inquiry system, the only remedy is to re-adjudicate all long standing claims on the correct legal standard and in compliance with Section 157.1 rather than to continue to believe that the Government and the courts should provide deference to the Appeals Commission when they have been adjudicating claims on the wrong legal standard. While it is not surprising that Case Managers and the DRDRB  would not be expected to understand the difference between an adversarial system and an inquiry system, Appeals Commissioners who earn close to two hundred thousand dollars a year should not be pleading that they were making honest mistakes by using the incorrect legal standard when adjudicating claims.

WCB is sending a message to workers who have long standing claims that to have their claim accepted or to receive any benefits, that a worker must commit suicide, threaten to commit suicide, attempt to commit suicide or threaten to kill WCB employees or Appeals Commissioners. Gregory Jacks committed suicide and WCB apologized to his family and provided compensation to his widow. Another fellow set himself on fire and received compensation. Patrick Clayton threatened to kill WCB employees and was sentenced to prison. When he got out, he received compensation for his work related injuries which indicates that had WCB provided him with compensation he was entitled to, he would have not of had to threaten to kill WCB employees and then be sentenced to prison. I have a copy of one of his checks for fifteen thousand dollars presumably for a NELP as WCB did not explain what the fifteen thousand dollars was for with several hundred thousand dollars still coming in for an ELP. Obviously this should indicate to workers that to receive their entitlements, they have to either commit suicide, threaten to commit suicide, attempt to commit suicide or get a shot gun, take hostages and threaten to kill WCB employees. 

Rather than continue beating my head against a wall arguing with Case Managers, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission, I sent the following letter to the Fair Practice Office who now have to explain what an inquiry system is and who has the burden of proof in an inquiry system.

Fair Practices Office

Braithwaite Boyle Building

602 1701 Centre Street NW

Calgary, Alberta

T2E 7Y2

Dec. 3, 2018

This is a question that needs answering. Workers compensation in Canada is based on an inquiry model, not an adversarial model. There is no one who disagrees that workers compensation is based on an inquiry model, yet there is a reluctance by WCB, DRDRB, Appeals Commission or the Alberta Government to explain how an inquiry system works. The question that seems to be evasive is “who has the burden of proof in an inquiry based system”.

The gold standard for adjudicating claims in Canada is found in Dr. Terrence Ison’s book Workers Compensation in Canada 2nd Edition. According to Dr. Ison who was Canada’s foremost expert on workers compensation systems who is now deceased, he states in his book, “The Acts provide for an inquiry system, not an adversarial system. There is, therefore no burden of proof on any one except the Board. In common law litigation, it is normal to place the burden of proof upon the plaintiff and in medical science, the negative is commonly assumed from the absence of positive data. Neither of these approaches is appropriate to a workers compensation system operating in an inquiry model. The worker, the employer and the attending physician are responsible for supplying information to the Board which is within their power to provide. With regard to any other information that may be required, the obligation rests with the Board to make the necessary inquiries. The absence of any evidence on any point leaves the adjudicator in a neutral position that calls for further inquiry. It is not a ground for any particular conclusion. Where an injury arose in the course of employment, the claim must be allowed unless there is affirmative evidence of an alternate cause and evidence that the employment was not contributory”

In the workers compensation system in Canada, adjudication by WCB, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission is therefore not based on the correct legal standard as the burden of proof has been placed on the worker as evidenced by numerous decisions of the Appeals Commission. As noted by the SCC adjudication in workers compensation systems is based on a lesser standard than civil standards, which ranges from a trivial contributory factor to a balance of probabilities. If a claim remains in the neutral state, the benefit of doubt is supposed to go to the worker. Many claims submitted to WCB have unknown etiologies which should result in a neutral state but the claim is denied despite no evidence to the contrary. If in fact it cannot be determined whether an injury or disease arose out of and occurred in the course of employment, WCB must provide an alternate cause as the negative cannot be assumed from the absence of positive evidence.

On Judicial Review where I was allowed to represent a worker, Justice Bruce Millar had to explain to the Appeals Commission Legal Counsel and WCB Legal Counsel that in an inquiry based system the burden of proof is on the Board and not on a worker. This decision is not on Canlli but I have the transcript of the action and Justice Millar’s explanation. This question was also asked to the Office of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman also verified that in an inquiry system the burden of proof is on the Board.

Section 17(1) of the WCA provides exclusive jurisdiction to the Board to examine, inquire into, hear and determine all matters and questions arising under this Act. Read correctly, only the Board has jurisdiction to gather evidence and it would be contrary to the Act for a worker to gather any evidence which thus would prohibit a worker or an employer from having any burden of proof. Section 17(4.1) also provides direction to adjudicators that when a claim remains in a neutral state, the benefit of doubt goes to the worker. Section 20 of the WCA also gives WCB all the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act. Questionably then with absolute and exclusive jurisdiction to gather evidence, how then could the burden of proof be put on a worker or an employer.

Adding to this is WCB Policy 02-01 Part I, it states in part, “When WCB is notified of an accident, it initiates inquiries to obtain all relevant evidence and adjudicates the eligibility of the claim based on the weight of that evidence” Interpretation 4 of the same policy then states “if the information received on the required reports is not sufficient to adjudicate the claim, WCB is responsible for gathering additional evidence relevant to the claim”This then is contradicted in WCB policy 01-03 Interpretation I where they state “A worker is not required to prove beyond any reasonable doubt in support of a claim for compensation” This would indicate that the worker is required to bear the burden of proof which in essence is typical of an adversarial system and not an inquiry system where the burden of proof is on the Board.

Going into this further, it is apparent that the “but for” test and “material contribution” test that is used in civil law is being applied in the lesser standard of proof in the workers compensation system. This can be found in WCB policy 02-01 Part II Application 7. Curiously, when reading this policy, WCB places the civil standard on themselves as having the burden of proof, yet when adjudicating a claim, they place the burden of proof on workers. Even in civil law, the burden of proof is shifted from the plaintiff to the defendant if the defendant is more knowledgeable then the plaintiff. Refer to the SCC decision cited as Snell v. Farrell. This case was also based on precedence cited by McGhee v National Coal Board. Clearly, WCB is the knowledgeable party, has exclusive jurisdiction to gather the facts and yet places the burden of proof on workers with no burden of proof on employers questioning what system are adjudicators using, an inquiry system and a lesser standard of proof, an adversarial civil standard where workers filing a claim are considered plaintiffs without any defendants as employers rarely bother to get involved resulting in WCB representing employers as the defendants. This being said, how then would workers have the burden of proof. This is an extremely important question that has to be answered as the Fair Practice Office has a responsibility to ensure the correct legal standard is being used when adjudicating claims.

Dec 102018
 

By Gerald

Click on the following link: 
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/12/09/wsib-staffers-decry-chaos-caused-by-broken-system-thats-putting-injured-workers-at-risk.html

Sadly  enough, the system in Alberta has been broken for years and 
questions why the system is not simply abolished as it serves no useful purpose other than to create jobs for doctors who evidently have taken over the system and has become a total disaster. Questionably whether any system can work when the medical profession gets involved and the 
whole adjudication process is based on medical opinions as to causation, work restrictions, impairment ratings, compensation, psychological evaluations.etc. Any body, organization or system that is based on doctors opinions are doomed for failure.  Workers lives are turned upside down by doctors, especially WCB doctors who provide opinions that are totally false and any one with any access to real medical experts or reliable internet medical information can provide a better medical opinion than WCB Medical Advisors who clearly are not medical experts. I have yet to come across a complex claim and I have reviewed hundreds or thousands of claims.

Why ask doctors anything when the Supreme court of Canada has determined that in the workers compensation system, claims should be based on common sense and logic rather than waiting for decades to determine a claim on medical certainty which in the workers compensation system is not required. No one has to spend millions of dollars on medical studies when the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that in all workers compensation systems there only needs to be a trivial probability of a work related cause.

A much better system could be provided by removing causation from the system and simply going to a system where workers are provided compensation without the need for doctors opinions as to what caused the injury or disease. Who cares other than doctors whose livelihoods are maintained through medical piss fights with each other with the worker caught in the middle. Rather than having employers fund the system which is a lie as employers do not have the financial capability of funding the system so the Government subsidizes the system through our tax dollars by having taxpayers provide income support through Social Assistance and Alberta Health Care. To deny this, a person would have to deny motherhood. A much better system could be put into place where 
employers and employees share the cost of premiums with the same agreement where a worker cannot sue the employer or other workers, causation is no longer the deciding factor and every one could get on with their lives with doctors having to work for a living rather than to prey on workers and fill the heads of ignorant Case Managers, DRDRB deadheads and worse yet the apathetic deadhead Appeals Commission who have been given absolute power to destroy peoples lives whose decisions cannot be overturned by the Minister in charge of these retards who in reality are in charge of the Minister.

We elect governments to be innovative, not to carry on with a dead horse that has long been dead but every one is attempting to resuscitate a horse that has been dead so long that all of the body cavities are filled with rot and maggots. We have had numerous investigations over the last 40 to 50 years and none of these investigations have found anything good about the system and attempting to fix the system has been a dismal failure.

Nov 162018
 

By Gerald

I represented two workers at two in person hearings with a member of the DRDRB on Nov. 14, 2018. The first claim was an appeal of decision to deny house keeping allowance, home maintenance allowance and personal care allowance. Two WCB policies were discussed which were WCB policy 04-07 Part I and II and WCB Policy 04-10 Part I and II. The DRDRB specialist had to have it explained to him how to interpret a serious injury from a severe injury. I had to explain to him that a severe injury was an injury that was prolonged and a serious injury was an injury that was not prolonged. The definition of a severe injury had changed in 2000 by WCB to conform with medical sciences definition by using the word prolong to define a severe injury. This change was also made by the Federal Government by Services Canada to comply with the definition of a severe injury. Severe injury was also defined by AISH. Obviously an injury cannot be considered to be severe if the injury is not prolonged as injuries that are not prolonged will result in total recovery. Having said that, WCB has been defrauding workers since 2000 who have been diagnosed with severe injuries that are prolonged and did not pay them to what they were entitled.

The next issue we discussed was the difference between an impairment and a disability which he argued is the same thing which it is not and was determined in 1993 that an impairment rating was not the same as a disability rating. This also was determined by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and the Yukon Supreme Court. Questionably is whether he could read and comprehend as he stated that he had read the case specific to the Penny case by the Court of Queens Bench and subsequently appealed to the the Alberta Court of Appeal. According to him the Alberta Court of Appeal over turned the decision of the Court of Queens Bench which if any one can read, the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the Alberta Court of Queens Bench and dismissed the appeal of the Appeals Commission. The Penny decision was also reviewed by two Appeals Commissioner Rodney Fong (lawyer) and J. McKenna (lawyer) who also claimed that the Alberta Court of Appeal had over turned the decision of the Alberta Court of Queens Bench. Any one who can read knows that the Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the Appeals Commission and upheld the decision of the Court of Queens Bench that had determined that using impairment ratings to determine a disability was not in compliance with the “Act”

For those interested in checking what I have said about Fong and McKenna being idiots who can’t read, go to Appeals Commission decision on Canlii cited as 2016-0810go down to para 68 and 69 and this is all the proof a person needs to show what kind of idiots that are selected by the Government to adjudicate claims. The other idiot involved in this was Jossa who along with Fong are no longer Appeals Commissioners although McKenna is still there. What is needed is to do a whole shakeup of the entire Appeals Commission, terminate them all and attempt to select intelligent people rather than idiots who cannot read. On Feb. 20, 2019 we will be going to court to have this issue of impairment and disability being settled, once and for all.

Nov 162018
 

By Gerald

Most people are aware that lawyers have very little or no integrity or principles which is evident when performing surveys involving trust. Lawyers are always at the bottom of the list. The case I am presenting is why all long standing claims must be reheard by unbiased, knowledgeable people with integrity. Grandfathering claims that has resulted in grievous harm to workers should be as important as grandfathering the grievous harm caused by Governments to natives and the grievous harm done to Albertans who were forcefully sterilized due to the governments belief in eugenics. Much of the harm done to workers should fall under the criminal code based on criminal fraud not honest mistakes and the people involved including Wispinski  incarcerated. Aiding and abetting criminal action is an indictable offense. Should the Appeals Commission be headed by some one who has allegedly committed an indictable offense. I think not.

The case I am presenting may be be found on Canlii although the Judicial Review presided by Justice Millar was not put on Canlii for obvious reasons because the harm it could of caused WCB and the Appeals Commission. This particular claim goes back to 2007 when the worker was injured although he is still fighting two claims specific to work related accidents that happened 45 years ago. In the 2007 accident, unbeknown to the employer, the worker applied for the job despite the fact that he was on CPP disability and also AISH because WCB on the two previous claims dating back 45 years illegally denied his benefits that he was entitled to. The Case Manager (Neil Swancar) had advised the worker that he was unemployable and that he must lie or hold back any information about his medical condition to obtain work. He followed the directions of Mr. Swancar and on the first day of work slipped on some stairs, fell into a pile of rocks and had to go to the emergency in Olds, Alberta where he was found to have suffered internal injuries and was passing blood in his urine. WCB accepted his claim and a WCB doctor, Dr. Henderson opined he would recover in 3 months. The workers Case Manager told the worker that the employer had offered modified work which was a lie and verified by the employer that it was a lie. The intent by the Case Manager, Carole Couture was to terminate his claim to claim her bonus provided to all Case Managers by WCB to terminate claims. This practice was verified by John Wollcott, another Case Manager with WCB who claimed all Case Managers did this.

This claim went through the appeals process and two years later, without any investigation by WCB, at an in in person hearing the Appeals Commission determined that the worker was not entitled to a temporary total earning loss for 3 months but was only entitled to a one month temporary earning loss because according to the Case Manager, Carole Couture modified work had been offered but the worker refused the offer of modified work. Questionably is why the Appeals Commission would not have simply sent the claim back to WCB and directed that there be a written offer of modified work from the employer rather than to assume that the Case Manager was honest which questions their decision making capabilities. Stupid people do stupid things. Needless to say, the Appeals Commission directed that WCB pay one month loss of earnings and denied the additional two months loss of earnings because they assumed that the employer had offered modified work because the Case Manager said that the employer offered modified work.

Undaunted we then put in a claim for a temporary partial loss of earnings which was denied by another Case Manager. Her decision was upheld by the DRDRB even though over 3 years later, WCB had still not investigated or contacted the employer as to whether modified work was ever offered. On appeal to the second group of misfits (3 stooges selected as Appeal Commissioners) I requested that the employer and the Case Manager be subpoenaed to prove that no offer of modified work had ever been made. This request was denied because the 3 stooges decided that documentary evidence was adequate to make a decision which as any fool knows, documentary evidence is only accepted by fools and is rarely or ever used in real courts presided by real judges rather than the stooges or monkeys selected by the Government who are as dumb as the people they select.

During the in person hearing, a question was asked by a member of the Appeals Commission, Patty Whiting if modified work was discussed which was a stupid question as discussing modified work is not the same as offering modified work. Rather than answering the question, the employer replied that had he known the worker had work restrictions was on CPP disability and AISH, he would not have hired him in the first place. This seemed to go over the 3 stooges heads and the claim for temporary partial loss of earnings to the end of May was again denied. We requested a reconsideration based on the fact that I contacted the employer and asked if he had ever offered modified work through the Case Manager or  contacted the worker directly to offer modified work and his reply was that he did not at anytime offer modified work. Not getting any where with these assholes who clearly should have or could have been replaced by monkeys we chose to go to Judicial Review.

The Appeals Commission and WCB in their statement of defense, suggested that the burden of proof was on me to prove that modified work was not offered and suggested that during the in person hearing attended by the employer via teleconferencing that I should have asked the employer if he had offered modified work. The issue of modified work should have been cleared up at the initial stages of WCB’s investigation and not having me having to ask a question that the Appeals Commission should have considered and not after the fact blame me for not asking a question that WCB by law and policy were responsible for obtaining during an investigation. In Justice Millar’s decision the decision to deny the claim was based on their belief that the burden of proof was on me and that it was up to me to contact the employer or ask the employer at the in person hearing if modified work was presented. Per verbatim, Justice Millar replied to this, “with respect, this appears to be the flimsiest of evidence with respect to the offer of modified work.When confronted with Mr. Miller’s repeated denials that no modified work had been offered and no written documentation had been produced, the decision of the Appeal Commission in this regard is under review, which would be respected if it is reasonable. In my view, it was not reasonable. The case notes of the WCB Case Manager is barely worthy of note and amounts to an absence of evidence. To suggest that the Appeals Commission needs more evidence by suggesting Mr. Miller had an opportunity to ask the employer has some merit. However as noted by the applicant, this is an inquiry system, not an adversarial system.  Justice Millar after rendering his decision, he stated per verbatim, “In the result, I find the approach of the Appeals Commission was not reasonable. It is for the Appeals Commission to determine if they will require some written confirmation of the offer of modified work or in its absence, subpoena the employer with a notice to attend to confirm the offer of modified employment. That question should be referred back to the Appeals Commission for a reconsideration with a new panel”  The claim was referred back to the Appeals Commission and they refused to contact the employer as they knew that there was never any offer of modified work, they knew the Case Manager had lied and they knew they had naively believed her making them look like fools. Not wanting to look like fools, they denied the claim for a second time stating again that the burden of proof was on me and that I should have asked the employer at the in person hearing if modified work had been offered despite the fact that Justice Millar had already determined that in an inquiry system, there is no burden of proof on any one other than the “Board” who had not done their due diligence and performed a thorough investigation. Note: in this particular workers claim, it was determined that there need not be a written offer of modified work and when looking on Canlii on an Appeals Commission decision, an employer appealed a decision of the DRDRB specific to whether there need be a written offer of modified work and the Appeals Commission determined that there must be a written offer of modified work, signed by the worker and the employer and dismissed the appeal of the employer because the worker had not received the written offer of modified work because the written offer of modified work went to the wrong address and was therefore not signed by the worker. Either a written offer of modified work is required in all cases or a written offer of modified work is not required. This would be a valid complaint to the human rights commission based on differential treatment. I suspect that every claim would result in differential treatment and result in a human rights complaint due to inconsistent decisions that result in discrimination.

According to the principles of stare decisis ( When an issue has been been preciously brought to court and a ruling issued) the same issue cannot be brought back to be re-adjudicated) The principles of res judicata (an issue that has been determined by a competent court and may not be pursued further by the same parties) and as well the principles of issue estoppel. After denying the claim for a second time we again had to request another Judicial Review. Rather than WCB having their Legal Counsel represent WCB and Wispinski represent the Appeals Commission, Wispinski represented both WCB and the Appeals Commission which clearly was a conflict of interest as the Appeals Commission is supposed to be a neutral body, not a body representing WCB. Representation was discussed with Yamauchi and Wispinski made it quite clear to Yamauchi that she would not allow me to represent the worker because it was apparent that I knew more than her and after two of their senior legal counsel losing the case before Justice Millar, she could not allow me to represent the worker. Rather than Wispinski doing the right thing and acknowledging that there was never an offer of modified work, an honest person with any integrity would have advised the court that she could not defend the Appeals Commission to criminally defraud the worker out of the two months entitlement for a temporary loss of earnings making her an accessory to an indictable offense which is criminal fraud. Based on the same evidence that was before Justice Millar, Justice Yamauchi should not have allowed the Judicial Review to proceed based on the principle of stare decisis and not disagreeing with Justice Millar and disrespectfully disagreeing with Justice Millar determining that we had the burden of proof in determining whether modified work was offered or that I should have requested this information at the in person hearing which is patently unreasonable as this should have been determined by WCB who were not in compliance with their own policy by not investigating the claim two years before the in person hearing. We could have appealed the decision of Yamauchi to the Alberta Court of Appeal but with limited finances, the worker like thousands of other workers face the procedural unfairness of having to pay for a lawyer while both the Appeals Commission and WCB use money out of the accident fund that belongs to workers which does not belong to them but is held in trust by WCB and not to be used to bully workers into not going to the courts for Judicial Review.

It is apparent that the whole reason by the Appeals Commission not complying with justice Millar’s directive was to teach us a lesson after they had lost the court battle between their senior legal counsel, WCB’s senior legal counsel and I by making this a vindictive and retaliatory lesson for workers who would dare question their expertise in adjudicating claims and then making them all look like fools.

Still not backing off, we filed a multi-million dollar civil action suit against the Appeals Commission suspecting that their statement of defense would be based on Section 13.1 (9) of the WCA which removes or forbids any action against the Appeals Commission if their decision was made in the honest belief that it was within the Appeals Commission to make. Having them admit they made a mistake in denying the claim was worth the $200.00 it cost to file the civil action. Despite in the statement of defense, they admitted to making an honest mistake, they still refused to apologize or pay the worker the $8,000.00 dollars they owed him which questions the integrity of Wispinski and Tadman who should have sent the claim back to WCB directing that WCB pay the worker..

Having experienced shit like this I do not question why workers take the law into heir own hands and seek revenge. According to the criminal code, it is legal to take the law into your own hands when local authorities refuse to protect you as long as you use reasonable force. At the time that Patrick Clayton decided to take matters into his own hands in all the forums that I read, most people agreed with what he done. I also believed that he was justified what he did and in a CBC interview, I expressed my views and when asked if I believed that incidents like this would happen again, my reply was, most certainly it would.

The WCA was changed in 2018 specifically to how the WCB BoD must be selected. The same selection process should be used to select Appeals Commissioners as per Section 5(1.1) effective in 2018 where an equal number of Appeals Commissioners are selected from a list of persons chosen by workers, an equal number selected from a list chosen by employers and an equal list chosen by members of the public rather than now where Appeals Commissioners are chosen based on their political affiliation. There is presently 43 Appeals Commissioners which would mean if this method was put into place, the Government would select 14 Appeals Commissioners from the lists presented by injured workers groups, 14 Appeals Commissioners representing employers and 14 Appeals Commissioners representing the general public. As any monkey could serve as the Chief of the Appeals Commission, this selection could come from the Calgary zoo. At present, at an in person hearing there are no worker representatives and is the reason why over half of the appeals are denied because when choosing the three panel members to serve at in person hearings, all are professional, business, management, former government employees, lawyers, former WCB employees, union business managers with only one of the Appeals Commissioners (Stephan Dussault who has only been in Alberta for 5 years and has never participated in any in person Appeal Commission hearings) being a blue collar worker.

There needs to be some one in charge of the of the WCB and the Appeals Commission as at present no one is in charge or taking responsibility for the corruption that workers experience. Incidentally, I did hear that the person selected to be the head of the Fair Practices Office would be Tadman.

Nov 142018
 

By Gerald

Click on the following link:
https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news-story/9029941-after-nearly-24-year-wait-wsib-approves-claim-in-1995-cancer-death-of-general-electric-peterborough-worker/

This is a long standing claim that was reviewed and accepted after 24
years. Questionably is why it took 24 years to be accepted when the
courts have determined that claims do not have to be based on scientific
evidence. Claims are to be determined based on a contributing factor
which according to the courts range from a trivial contributing factor
to a probable factor. If there is no evidence to the contrary, the claim
remains in a neutral state and the benefit of doubt by law has to go to
the worker.

If in fact the NDP would honor the commitment made by the former
Conservative Government and open up all long standing claims, most if
not all of the claims would be accepted based on adjudicating the claims
on a lesser standard than the civil law standard that has been used
illegally by the Alberta WCB and the Appeals Commission.

Nov 112018
 

By Gerald

I have been requested to inquire why recipients of Social Services
payments are forced to apply for CPP pensions when they reach the age of
60 and threatened that if they do not, their benefits will be cut off.
This is something the Alberta WCB did a number of years ago to reduce
the amount WCB paid workers by clawing back CPP pensions even though
workers had paid 50% of the premiums for CPP. Of course this is illegal
but being that there is no one in charge of WCB, they are allowed to do
whatever they choose to do.

As you know or should know most of the people on Social Services are
disabled workers who have had their claims and benefits illegally
denied, thereby forcing tax payers to subsidize WCB premiums that are
supposed to be paid by employers. As you know or should know, applying
for CPP pensions at age 60 reduces the amount of a CPP pension by 30%
when a person reaches 65.  The 30% reduction is calculated by a
reduction of 6% per year for every year prior to the age of 65. Forcing
recipients to apply for CPP benefits 5 years early reduces their CPP
pensions by a significant amount resulting in seniors having to live in
poverty rather than having the extra 30% for necessities of life. Of
course no one gives a rats ass bout disadvantaged people so they are
kicked to the curb.

Are you aware of this or is Ms. Notley aware of this and if both of you
are and you allow this it is little wonder why people don’t bother to
vote as if you reach into a barrel of assholes, you pull out an asshole.
Will you or Ms. Notley reply to me which you probably will not even
though your salary and benefits are paid by myself as well as other tax
payers who ask legitimate questions.

I believe that the money that has been clawed back by forcing recipients
to apply for early CPP retirement benefits be returned and at the age of
65, the Alberta Government make up the 30% reduction in CPP pensions to
each and every one of the people who were forced to apply for CPP
benefits at age 60. What do you think?

Nov 112018
 

Additional note from Donna: Check out the background of the Appeals Commission panel. The deck could be stacked – for example, ex case managers, lawyers that just work for Appeals Commission. How could a worker get justice? Many of them were appointed politically years and years ago. Could they be biased?

By Gerald

Click on the following link;
https://globalnews.ca/news/4645307/nb-workers-compensation-rates/

In New Brunswick, they give absolute power to the Appeals Commission and
when the Appeals Commission are doing their due diligence, the
Government and employers want to legislate changes to take away their
power. New Brunswick  has the highest rate of overturning WCB decisions
as opposed to the Alberta Appeals Commission who have the lowest rate of
overturning WCB decisions and is why New Brunswick employers pay more
than double than employers in Alberta, thus supporting Justice Friedman
that the Alberta appeals process is seriously flawed resulting in a
culture of denial.

If employers want their premiums reduced, the answer is very simple.
Introduce safe work practices so that when workers go to work in perfect
health, they should return home in perfect health. If not, then instead
of fining employers put them in jail, not give some Mickey Mouse fine. I
can assure any one if employers were incarcerated for any work injuries,
there would be very few accidents and premiums would be reduced.
Encouraging employers to create unsafe work environments by not coming
down on them severely create jobs for WCB personnel which is much like
our justice system, the more crime that occurs, the more jobs that are
created and maintained. Eliminate crime and there would be thousands of
unemployed lawyers, judges,police, etc.

Nov 082018
 

By Gerald

While reviewing case law I came across a decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal which I had to read several times. I always thought that when a worker filed a claim that WCB was the unbiased neutral party.  Apparently this is not so as explained in a decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal. Click on the following link and scroll down to paragraph 83 https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abca/doc/2005/2005abca276/2005abca276.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAGZGF2aWNrAAAAAAE&resultIndex=3

According to the court it is stated that;  As to the third and fourth factors, it should be noted that Klemke has a more limited interest in this process than the WCB or Mr. Davick. Here, the ultimate dispute is between the worker and the WCB, as any awarded benefits are paid from WCB coffers. The employer has an indirect financial interest only, through a possible increase in WCB premiums.

It would be fair to conclude that when a worker files a claim that WCB takes on the role of the defendant representing the employer who has only an indirect role in the claim and any dispute is between the worker and WCB This being the case, how then would this not give a reasonable apprehension of bias if the dispute is between a worker and WCB with no direct interest by the employer. This certainly is some bastardized part of the law which obviously is not a civil legal standard or any other legal standard.