Jan 312018

By Gerald

Click on the following link:  https://www.appealscommission.ab.ca/Website%20Documents/03.%20Practice%20Guideline%202A-Notice%20to%20Attend%20or%20Notice%20to%20Produce%20Documents_Feb-15-2017%20(20170215).pdf 

This is another good reason why the system does not work when workers request to have witnesses attend such as their own primary care treating doctors or specialists who support the worker and the worker does not have the money to pay for conduct money. It is extremely rare that doctors agree on anything which is complicated by the fact that everything in a workers claim is based on documentary evidence,with much of the documentary evidence provided by either doctors who are not experts or the doctors provide false and misleading documentary medical evidence. Medical Review Panels are not experts but are nothing more than more doctors with opinions that are not accepted by their peers or medical literature. Further to this is decisions made by Appeals Commissioners who themselves have no expertise in medicine determining  which doctor’s opinion they are going to base their decision on. Without the right to cross examine the dissenting doctors in the presence of better qualified doctors who support the worker, the administration of justice obviously results in disrespect.

Questionably is why the Appeals Commission use the Alberta Rules of Court for guidance as to who pays conduct money when the Alberta Rules of Court are in fact Alberta Rules of Civil Procedure. Administrative Law is not based on civil law, it is based on administrative law and subject to the Meredith Principles where workers claims were taken out of the civil justice system and administered under administrative rules that apply only to workers compensation systems. Workers are not plaintiffs, they are claimants who by agreement under an administrative system all costs specific to their claims were to be borne by WCB and taken out of the accident fund.

Oddly enough, if a worker was financially capable of paying conduct money, WCB will pay the conduct money of their Medical Advisors to attend, paid for out of the accident fund. Seems a little one sided when WCB can use the accident fund for their purposes and workers are forced to pay the conduct money out of their own pocket and if they can’t, they are up shit creek without a paddle. This is the fair and great system that exists in this province and condoned by the Government. If the Government would provide unlimited finances and absolute power to the Fair Practice Office who would represent workers at an in person Appeals Commission hearing and also have legal representation if a Judicial Review/Appeal was filed, this would allow a level playing field for workers rather than the shit show they are exposed to now.