Questionably is what kind of morons would enact a law as stupid as Section 17(4) of the WCA which states; Each matter shall be decided on the merits and justice of the case and the Board is not bound to follow any previous decisions or ruling of the Board as a precedent in reaching its decisions or making its rulings.This in effect would interact and bring into effect human rights legislation or section 15.1 of the charter as it is illegal to treat individuals differently.While it is apparent that the drafters of the legislation gave discretion to the Board, discretion to rely on previous decisions or precedence, this results in discrimination when one or more workers receive compensation and others don’t. On review of a multitude of Appeals Commission decisions, it is evident that there is a cesspool of incidents of differential treatment. When the Board provide benefits or compensation to one or some disabled workers and with hold the same benefits from one or other disabled workers based on identical claims, this obviously brings human rights into the claim. The WCA is subservient to human rights legislation as legislated in Section 1(1) of the Human Rights Act which states; “Unless it is expressly declared by an Act of the legislature, that it operates withstanding this Act, every law in Alberta is inoperative to the extent that it authorizes or requires the doing of anything prohibited by this Act” Can WCB provide benefits or compensation to white workers and withhold benefits or compensation from visible minorities. I think not. Using this as an analogy, it is evident that WCB must treat all workers equally by providing equal benefits. In order to comply with human right legislation, if one worker receives benefits for a specific injury, then all workers must be treated equally and all receive the same benefits that were provided to another worker.
Decisions must be consistent based on precedence. With thousands of claims, on review every claim when compared to other claims become identical but result in different decisions which is reason for a human rights complaint. Differential treatment is illegal and contrary to the human rights act and section 15.1 of the charter. Once a decision has been made, all decisions must have the same result.
I have chosen two claims that were brought to my attention, both claims are specific to diagnosis of dry mouth and medical marijuana so I will keep my analysis to these specific issues.
The reason why I am pointing this out is now that marijuana is legal and proven to be beneficial for chronic pain, rather than prescribing opioids which have very serious side effects and has resulted in thousands of accidental over doses or deliberate suicides. Based on common sense and in compliance with human rights legislation, if one worker is prescribed marijuana and WCB pays for it, all workers must receive the same benefits if prescribed by a physician. If not, a worker can file a human rights complaint based on prima facie evidence to support the complaint by simply going to Canlii and read the Appeals Commission decisions.
It is relatively easy to determine if a worker is being treated differently by simply using Canlii as the source to gather evidence of differential treatment. Go to Canlii and click on Alberta. Scroll down to Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers Compensation Board and click on that. In the document part, input marijuana or dry mouth. Every claim from 2003 to 2018 will come up. Using the document part as a reference, you can input anything that is of interest. Using Canlii as a reference you can also determine how decisions were made in every province in Canada. This is also useful in determining how the courts determine certain issues. For example: in the document text for “dry mouth” Decision 2010-253 by the Alberta Appeals Commission determined that dry mouth was caused by opioids. Therefore, every worker who are taking opioids and diagnosed with “dry mouth” must be treated equally. By inputting “marijuana” Decision 2018-0463 by the Appeals Commission determined that WCB must pay for medical marijuana. Once one worker is receiving medical aid for medical marijuana, then all workers must be treated equally. Being treated differently is a valid human rights complaint and a person would be able to provide a comparative individual or group of individuals who received benefits that a worker complainant did not receive.
Questionably is who are the morons who enacts laws that are illegal under the workers compensation act. For example Section 24(1)(a) is illegal as was determined by the courts simply because workers compensation is based on a no fault system. Crap like this must be rescinded rather than to have morons denying claims without questioning the validity of the statute or WCB policy. Section 24 (3) is even worse. If a worker is found dead where the worker had the right to be, it is presumed that his/her death arose out of and during the course of the worker’s employment. That being said if a worker fell off a 15 story building and was not using fall protection, the most logical thing to do would be to get some one to hit you over the head with a hammer repeatedly until you died as if a worker was to survive and the worker broke safety rules, the claim would be denied. Better dead than having a claim denied and workers not being able to support themselves or their family. What a crock of shit. Section 24 (2) also is questionable as WCB did not provide benefits for serious injuries until 2013 as in order to receive benefits they injuries had to be severe according to WCB policy. No one knew the difference between a serious injury or a severe injury until 2000 when the definition of “severe” was finally defined. Any injury that is prolonged is now considered to be severe and if it is not prolonged, then it is serious. WCB did change the definition in their policy 04-07 Part I but never told any one as the change would have resulted in workers whose injuries were prolonged would be entitled to back pay and life time pensions. This is the shit show that goes on but what can be expected when no one is in charge of this wretched and corrupt organization.