Jul 142017

By Gerald

According to the Meredith Principles, all workers compensation systems in Canada were to operate under the legal standard which was to be an Inquiry model, not an adversarial model, yet all decisions made by the WCB and the Appeals Commission are made under the adversarial model where the burden of proof is placed on the worker which is the civil standard. We now have more presumptive legislation that removes the burden of proof from some workers while placing the impossible burden of proof on other workers. 

Odd that in Manitoba, the Inquiry model places the burden of proof on the “Board” and it is stated;

V Principles of Adjudication 

Inquiry Model 

The WCB operates on an inquiry model, which means that the WCB must either prove or disprove a claim through investigation. It is not the responsibility of the worker to prove the claim, nor is it the responsibility of the employer to help prove or disprove a claim. There is no formal or legal burden of proof on any party but the WCB. The WCB is responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient information on which to base a decision. Workers, employers, and health-care providers are required to report to the WCB. The WCB then undertakes whatever additional inquiries are necessary to determine eligibility and compensation entitlement.

From the Osgoode Hall Law Journal it also states;

With regard to the burden of proof, workers’ compensation in Canada has always been different from common law proceedings. Our systems were established to work on an enquiry model, not an adversarial model. There is no burden of proof on anyone except the board. Since workers’ compensation was not to be adversarial, a rule was required for situations in which the evidence for and against employment causation is judged to be evenly balanced. In that situation, a common law regime would require that the claim be denied; but a more benevolent view was taken in workers’ compensation. It has commonly been provided that, where the evidence relating to the disputed probabilities is judged to be evenly balanced, the matter should be decided in favour of the claimant

This being the case why then in Alberta is the impossible burden of proof placed on workers?

Click on the following link; https://www.mykawartha.com/news-story/7421045-coalition-for-ge-workers-agrees-on-how-to-proceed-with-compensation-from-the-province/

Legislation providing presumptive status for some workers and not for others is obviously discrimination. Why is legislation not enacted to provide all workers with presumptive status and enact legislation that places the burden of proof on the Board to prove that work was not causally related to an injury or disease which is the most logical way of stopping some workers from collecting benefits while other workers claims are denied because of the impossible burden of proving causation when workers are financially incapable of funding studies to determine causation. This defies any logic or common sense when the “Board” has exclusive jurisdiction to investigate all matters and rather than place the burden of proof on the “Board” places the burden of proof on the worker. This is called administrative fairness. What the hell is wrong with our elected Governments to allow this.

Jul 072017

The Government of Alberta has announced the WCB review recommendations. You can read them here. CIWAA would like to share your comments with the government, as there is still some disconnect of how many injured workers view the WCB.  Please read the review recommendations and comment on CIWAA’s open forum below, which will be sent to the government in September. Please make your comment and questions free of swear words/vulgar language so your voice can be heard.

Thank you:  CIWAA would like to thank Premiere Notley for her due diligence  in requesting a WCB review. 

Big thanks to the panel for their time and effort  and most importantly understanding and willingness to listen.
Thank you John Carpenter,  Pemme Cunliffe & Mia Norrie.

CIWAA encourages the  NDP government to delve into to day-to-day activities and govern operations at the WCB. Open up all long-term claims denied on bought opinion or when medical panel was used to deny eligibility.

If  criminal activity has been uncovered strictly for monetary gain that intentionally hurt/slandered or killed injured workers, punish those involved in a court of law. All within the WCB should include personnel from the top down as well as those doctors they consistently pay for opinions. 

CIWWA begs the NDP government on behalf of all injured workers their families  and taxpayers not to ignore the panels findings and the plight of injured workers. 

Injured workers deserve compensation for their injuries, period.

Granted, the government cannot give the injured workers the life they lost back, nor can they ease the pain and suffering. But the government can make the years they have left on earth  free of stress and financial worry. Prioritize accessible medical needs for injured workers.

Injured workers that passed on from their injuries and left their families in poverty and depression deserve the benefit their loved ones should have had in life. 

CIWAA asks very little for the injured worker who was hurt working in Alberta. 
Apr 292017

By Gerald

Provincial and Federal Governments tax workers without questioning or taking responsibility for where our taxes go. We know from several studies provided in the U.S. that the majority of disabled workers in Canada are not funded by provincial worker compensation boards. At the Federal level taxpayer dollars are collected and put into CPP where the Federal Government then provides disability pensions for work related disabilities. Even worse is that 50% of the taxes collected by the Federal Government are paid for by workers and provincial WCB systems claw back 100% of the disability pensions to reduce or eliminate paying earning loss supplements.

At the Provincial level tax payers are forced to pay for medical benefits for disabled workers through Alberta Health Care. Added to this tax payers are forced to provide social service benefits for disabled workers. There has to be accountability of our elected Governments to pay to have studies as to how many millions of dollars of tax payer’s hard earned dollars are going to subsidize employers Alberta employers to enable Alberta to have the lowest premiums in North America other than North Dakota which has lower premiums than Alberta and worse yet is when billions of dollars paid to WCB by workers is returned to employers in the form of dividends while tax payers pay the majority of the benefits to care for disabled workers.

The NDP Government must fund a study to determine just how much of tax payers hard earned dollars both Federally and Provincially are used to subsidize employers as an economic incentive to employers to stay in Alberta to take advantage of lower premiums or to entice employers from other provinces to relocate because of lower premium costs which in reality, this economic advantage is paid for by tax payers with the majority of tax payers being workers and their families.

Mar 312017

By Gerald

Perhaps if our elected politicians would read this link presented by a lawyer in a video they would understand why the Calgary Commercial Crimes Unit supported filing criminal charges against WCB for equating an impairment rating to a disability rating resulting in criminal fraud. You also may find that the Alberta Court of Appeals in the Penny case also determined that an impairment rating cannot be used as a direct method of rating a disability. This is also supported by the Hayden decision in Nova Scotia and the decision by the Yukon Supreme Court, all determining the same thing. The in person hearing with the Appeals Commission on Nov. 8 and 9th of 2016 was specific to using an impairment rating of 20% and not converting the 20% PCI rating to a PPD which is the correct methodology when determining a permanent partial disability. The Appeals Commission still after nearly 5 months have not made a decision as to how they intend to cover up my appeal regarding this matter. A 20% PCI rating does not equate to a 20% PPD rating and WCB, the AC the WCB BoD, WCB Legal Services and WCB Medical Services have known this for over 20 years and covered this all up by changing WCB policy on Jan 1, 1995 by redefining the purpose of an impairment rating by using impairment ratings to provide a non economic loss rather than an economic loss that was used prior to Jan 1, 1995. Click on the following link where the lawyer presents all of this in an easy to understanding video https://iln.isba.org/blog/2017/03/28/quick-takes-your-practice-ama-impairment-ratings-workers-compensation-cases

Perhaps Ms. Ganley should go after the real criminals in Alberta who have criminally defrauded workers knowingly for over 20 years.

Mar 272017

By Gerald

Notably, the process of deeming came under attack during the WCB Review Panel’s meetings with the various groups. While the process of deeming workers to imaginary jobs is grossly illogical, it becomes even more illogical when a person understands how deeming is used to determine an earning loss such as an ELS or an ELP. Having been taught in grade school that apples must be compared to apples and oranges to oranges, WCB does not do this when it involves earning losses.

I shall explain. If a worker was injured and suffered a permanent disability and permanent work restrictions their pre-injury earnings on their DOA would be used as a reference to determine an earning loss by comparing pre-injury to post-injury earnings which is the correct method. However, when comparing pre-injury to post-injury earnings this must be done by comparing earnings in the year of the DOA. For example if a worker’s pre-injury earnings are $40,000.00  in 19991, an earning loss must be calculated using 1991 dollars either by using actual 1991 earnings or 1991 deemed earnings. You do not determine an earning loss by using 1991 dollars and compare post-injury actual or deemed earnings twenty or thirty years  later which is how WCB determines an earning loss. No worker would ever be entitled to an earning loss as evident by the fact that over time with higher earnings over the course of 20 or 30 years later and then comparing the higher earnings to considerably less earnings 20 or 30 years ago. This is grossly illogical and mathematically incorrect as you have to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

Mar 132017

By Gerald

Seems that the Australian Government are also having to perform a review of a corrupt and dysfunctional system which most if not all workers compensation systems are. The buck has to stop somewhere when a public body has been determined to have a culture of denial and is considered to be dysfunctional. The buck stops at the Ministers in charge of the WCB and the Appeals Commission who are or have  been turning a blind eye to the abuse of workers and simply ignoring the recommendations of selected bodies such as Justice Friedman and a former MLA Doerkson. What is the point of having reviews of the system and then not doing anything to fix a broken system. Oddly enough the Alberta Education Minister can fire all the members of a school board but the Ministers in charge of WCB and the Appeals Commission cannot or will not fire the dysfunctional members of the WCB and the Appeals Commission when independent reviews of the whole system has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that all the problems of the workers compensation system is because of dysfunctional people making decisions that they are not qualified to make. Time to fire the whole bunch of arrogant, pompous ignorant bunch of misfits that have to be selected on the basis of political patronage and not on their qualifications.  It is obvious that reviews must be held at least every two years to ensure that once and if the system is fixed, that it will continue to run for the benefit of workers and not for the benefit of employers. Premiums can be reduced by ensuring that employers stop injuring and killing workers to increase their profits and if that takes filing criminal charges against employers and incarcerating them, then so be it. The safer the work place, the lower the premiums.

An indication of just how dysfunctional the Alberta workers compensation system is can be found by reviewing claims specific to psychiatric or psychological disabilities which I am presently reviewing which are absolutely dumbfounding as to the stupidity of WCB, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission. I say stupid because any one who denies a psychological injury based on the report of a WCB contracted Psychiatrist who determined that the diagnosis of major depressive disorder was not work related and not compensable because the psychological injury was caused by WCB has to be pathetically stupid. When anyone causes bodily harm to another person they are guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years (Section 221 of the Criminal Code) Any first year law student would have advised WCB, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission to destroy the report and not use it to deny a claim. Oddly, two other totally independent Psychiatrists after reviewing the workers files determined that the diagnosis of MDD was caused by an emotional reaction to a work related physical disability which is compensable (Refer to WCB Policy 03-01 Application 6) which is one of the conditions in determining a work related cause. The worker had been diagnosed with failed back surgery syndrome that rendered the worker unable to support himself and his family which was found by the two dissenting Psychiatrists to be not only the major cause but the only cause of his MDD. The diagnosis of MDD was noted to be severe as the worker was diagnosed as being suicidal and homicidal as within the report which I have reviewed, the worker expressed the desire to kill his Case Manager. Obviously, WCB, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission shot themselves in the foot by attempting to cheat the worker from having his claim accepted for MDD and placed themselves in the position of being charged under the criminal code although the chance of this happening when it involves WCB, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission will never happen as the Alberta Government will not and does not prosecute WCB, DRDRB or the Appeals Commission for any criminal actions even though on another claim I requested that the Calgary City Commercial Crime Section investigate and after investigation they recommended that criminal charges be filed. The Crown refused to file charges as it is obvious that the Justice Minister at the time directed that no charges be filed.

Will the Alberta WCB Review Panel come to the same conclusion as the Australian WCB Review Panel or will they simply sugar coat their findings as I believe they will do. At least Justice Friedman had the balls to determine that the appeals system does not work and there was a culture of denial although over a decade later, the Alberta Government has done nothing to fix a badly broken system. The only people who have made any progress are first responders who have been provided discriminatory presumptive status while other workers struggle to have their claims and benefits accepted. Why should some people be given special status and other workers are treated with contempt and abused by the system. What makes first responders any more eligible for benefits than any other or other workers. First responders can like any other worker quit their job if the risks outweigh the benefits. There is no reason why all workers should not be provided presumptive status in all circumstances and then let the “Board” prove their case which is the way it was supposed to be done under an Inquiry system. I believe in total equality with no exceptions regardless of any ones occupation.

It is evident that the Alberta Human Rights Act is seriously flawed when in the preamble it is stated that “all”  persons are equal in dignity, rights and responsibilities and then contradicts itself by including only those people who fit into the protected category and excludes all other persons who do not fit into the protected category resulting in treating people differently under the law and before the law. This is evident by the number of times the courts have struck down differential treatment of people who have been excluded with the latest being “age” added to the protected category. This is pathetically stupid legislation that by inclusion, it results in exclusion and having to go to court to have people that are not in the protected category added. Section 15 of the Charter does in fact provide equality to all persons without specifying any protected category but does take note of “in particular” the mentioned protected groups without excluding every one else that does not by exclusion fit into with the people who are fortunate to be included in the protected group under Alberta legislation.

Prior to the historic agreement, workers had the burden of proof to prove negligence and after the historic agreement, in Canada the structure of all workers compensation boards were supposed to be under the control of Provincial Governments. Workers no longer would have the burden of proof as legislation placed the burden of proof on the “Board” who had the resources and exclusive jurisdiction to gather the facts. Somehow this dysfunctional system has changed to an Adversarial system where the burden of proof has reverted back to workers who do not have the resources to fight the workers compensation board along with the Appeals Commission who now represents employers as has been witnessed in the courts where both WCB and the Appeals Legal Counsel are fighting against a worker. Worse yet through legislation, if a court happens to overturn the decision of the Appeals Commission, the court has to by legislation send the claim back to the body who denied the claim and the Appeals commission has the power and right to overturn the decision of the court. Is this not a contravention of the Rules of Natural Justice when the same body who has made a ruling and then is tasked by the courts to rehear their initial decision and then make the same ruling that the court overturned.

In a democratic society we elect people to protect the more vulnerable in our society, yet the Government enact laws to protect the people who wreak harm on the people who are supposed to receive care for work related accidents. Rather than care for workers who have had their lives destroyed by a workplace accident they are forced to fight for benefits who by law are entitled to benefits. The whole system is based on protecting the employer by deliberately denying claims and benefits and then hoping that due to the unavailability of legal assistance, financial ability, that workers will give up and apply for tax payer funded programs such as Social Services and CPP disability benefits.

This dysfunctional system was encouraged and promoted by the former Conservative Government and can be changed from a dysfunctional system to a good system by the NDP Government who could through meaningful change leave a legacy that makes Albertan’s proud of the province we live in and proud of the Government that was elected to fix the problems created by the former Conservative Government.

Click on the following link:  http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/review-finds-workers-compensation-complaint-handling-dysfunctional-20170308-gutqn4.html

Jan 202017

From the Canadian Taxpayers Association:

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s 2017 Teddy Waste Awards are coming up fast!
Every year, the CTF takes centre stage in the National Press Theatre on Parliament Hill to hand out golden pig statues to the worst money-wasters in government.
Do you have any nominees you’d like to send to us?
Have you noticed any local, provincial or federal politicians or governments wasting your tax dollars? How about a government department or agency?
If you know a waste story, please email us at jbowes@taxpayer.com. Help us give Canada’s wasteful public spenders the attention they so richly deserve.
Our 2016 winners included Canada’s massive delegation to the Paris climate talks (283 people – more than twice as many as the United States sent!); the City of Calgary for its expensive ‘poop palace’ waste station; and Bombardier for a half century of government handouts.

Many of our winners are such outrageous stories you couldn’t make them up, and we certainly don’t need to!

The Teddys get a lot of media coverage every year: television, radio, newspapers, you name it. So please give us an internet link to a news story, or send us a clipping or a document. We need to be able to prove everything we say about a Teddy nominee. Exposing waste and corruption is serious business, even when it’s seriously funny!
 Thanks for all you do,

–Aaron, Shannon, Scott and the rest of the CTF team

P.S. Your donation is what makes this and other CTF events possible. Please consider making a donation today. Visit our secure donation website at: https://taxpayer.com/donate.

Carbon Rebates

 Our Blog  Comments Off on Carbon Rebates
Jan 092017

By Gerald

I received my first check in the mail for the carbon rebates promised by the Alberta Government. Like everything else governments do, they do not stop to think about what they are doing. I happen to own my own property and also have rental property and the rent I receive includes the utilities. The tenant does not pay utilities so why would the tenant receive a rebate check. When a landlord pays the utilities a tenant has no incentive to reduce their carbon footprint. The Alberta Government had better rethink the rebate program and pay rebates to the person who is paying the utilities. The only way to offset the increase in utilities is to increase the rent and it appears that this may be what the Alberta Government was thinking when they sent every one in Alberta a check based on their 2015 income. Worse yet is when a person over the age of 18 is living at home and has filed their 2015 income tax  but does not pay utilities or drive a car, they too would receive a rebate creating a windfall for people who have no incentive to reduce their carbon footprint. There could be multiple children living at home with their parents and all would receive a rebate check despite the fact that only the parents may pay utilities and no one drives a car.

Please explain why all people in Alberta receive rebates even though they do not pay utilities or drive a car.