Jan 302019
 

By Gerald

I have been diligently working on two long standing claims, one ten years old and the other 46 years old that resulted in denied claims and benefits that now have been reviewed and benefits that should have been paid 46 years ago are now being paid on the most minimal method WCB can think of. Most if not all long standing claims if reviewed by competent persons like myself would be overturned because of major, most likely blatant denials and not simple mistakes by all three levels of appeals and the only thing standing in the way was the Klein government and now the Notley government  who for whatever illogical reason are or were convinced that the same decision made previously by any of the three levels of incompetence would not change. I beg to differ as the devil is in the details and the proof is that any one with any expertise in workers compensation would have very little trouble in having most if not all the past denied claims and benefit decisions over turned, just as I have began to do.  

First and foremost is that workers by law do not have to appeal a claim thus eliminating any statute of limitations as there is no statute of limitations based on new evidence. Those workers who have filed appeals have placed themselves into a quagmire of uncertainties by appealing a decision of a Case Manager to the DRDRB who more than likely will uphold the decision of the Case Manager even when the evidence does not support a denial. Appealing a decision of the DRDRB to the Appeals Commission is one of the most foolish things I have ever done and in hindsight, I would advise no one to appeal anything because as long as the claim remains at the Customer Service level and new evidence becomes available, there is a better chance of having the new evidence used to have the initial denial over turned. 

I have put a great deal of thought into this and I must apologize for the lengthy e-mail but once I get going, everything that is wrong with the system comes to the fore and in my opinion there is nothing good about the system. I was recently requested to assist a worker whose claim goes back 28 years and I have never seen a claim so convoluted, so disgusting in my entire life. The worker in question came to Canada as an immigrant chasing the Canadian dream. A well educated man, former member of the Polish Navy and emigrated via Germany. He worked very hard when he arrived and very shortly become an apprentice electrician and several months into the job, he injured his back in a work related incident. He was accepted on workers compensation and endured two subsequent back surgeries that resulted in failed back surgery leaving him a broken man with his hopes and ambitions of fulfilling the Canadian dream totally out of the question. Still convinced that even after failed back surgery, he requested WCB pay for upgrading his education which they refused.He paid his own university expenses (University of New Brunswick) on borrowed money and received his degree. All the jobs he had were interrupted by problems with his failed back surgery. WCB treated this young ambitious man with contempt, disrespect, lying to him as to what he was entitled to, cheating him of what he was entitled to and made his life a living hell which he is still enduring.

Not being able to express himself fluently in the English language he was insulted by WCB personnel and also by the Appeals Commission. Not knowing the WCB system he was forced to pay for WCB Advocates like Thomas Lukaszuk who took his retainer fee and left him high and dry. This was followed by our illustrious Justice Minister, Ganley who took his money posing as an expert in workers compensation law. He went to the Courts on Judicial Review and to the Alberta Court of Appeal but unfortunately there are very few Judges who are experts in administrative law that is specific to workers compensation and the advice he was given by the Court was to give up. Like many other workers he heard of me and requested my assistance. I was utterly flabbergasted by him referring to an Appeals Commission Decision 2018-0311 https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abwcac/doc/2018/2018canlii67014/2018canlii67014.html?autocompleteStr=2018-0311&autocompletePos=1

Reading though this should be a convincing argument that the worst thing that a worker can do is to file appeals. The claim is so convoluted that the Appeals Commission have no idea who has jurisdiction, them, the DRDRB or Customer Services. Despite my expertise, I also have no idea who has jurisdiction to hear new evidence, appeal to who and the worker himself is confused by appealing or requesting a reconsideration for claims he made that were accepted. As well he was diagnosed with drop foot, bilateral metatarsalgia, left ankle equinus, bilateral functional hallux limitus  which are all compensable conditions, high blood pressure, major depressive disorder as a result of his disability and unable to work and support his family and did not receive any compensation for any of these conditions. Being that WCB uses PCI ratings as a direct method of rating a disability which was found to be illegal by the Alberta Court of Queens Bench and upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeals, he received a PCI rating of 20% which they did not convert to a disability rating to determine a loss of  earnings. He received no PCI or PPD (loss of earnings) for any of his lower extremity diagnosed conditions and as well for his psychiatric assessment diagnosed as major depressive disorder which a psychiatrist attributed to his treatment by WCB. Again, no PCI ratng for the major depressive disorder caused by WCB. Unfortunately for him, all of this was denied and not knowing the system and how WCB and the Appeals Commission use manipulative methods for much of the illegal methods used by WCB, many of his appeals and requests for reconsideration were subject to the statute of limitations and the worker cannot proceed despite the fact that he was entitled to receive an  increased earning loss based on total disability. 

Because he kept appealing and requesting reconsiderations he was subject to the statute of limitations whereas if he simply gathered more evidence and not appealed, his claim would have never have gone through the appeals process. 

The worst case scenario is appealing a claim to the Appeals Commission and having the claim turned down based on falsified documentary evidence provided by WCB Medical Consultants who despite a worker requests to subpoena the doctors,the Appeals Commission refuse, thus allowing doctors of having no responsibility in defending their opinions. The Appeals Commission have rules of procedure that makes it impossible to present new evidence and is why it is far better to not appeal and when new evidence becomes available a worker presents the new evidence to WCB who have very little reasons to deny any new evidence. 

It is clear to me that the Government in 1988 believed another level of appeal would be beneficial to workers which clearly is a mistake as prior to 1988, an appeal could be made to the WCB BoD and they were far better at reviewing claims than the Appeals Commission. The WCB BoD were comprised of equal representation of workers, employers and the general public as opposed to the Appeals Commission who are made up with most likely political appointments with no worker representation at all which leads to a reasonable apprehension of bias when adjudicating claims. Further to this when there is a Judicial Review, both the Appeals Commission and WCB join forces using money out of the accident fund to fight a worker who is forced to represent themselves leading to procedural unfairness or in the words of Justice Maclean, not a level playing field. Fortunately for some workers, the NDP Government did rescind legislation that would allow the Appeals Commission to not being able to review or adjudicate claims prior to Nov. 1988 but neglect to enact legislation as to who has jurisdiction to reconsider claims prior to this date.

The present Government brought in the Fair Practices Office which based on one workers experience is as useless as the Appeals Commission as some workers are now finding out. According to a letter sent to a particular worker who e-mailed me the letter, the Fair Practice Office is simply another name for the Office of the Appeals Advisor but now under the Minister who is as dense as they are. The worker in question believed that the Fair Practice Office would assist him and in a letter he received which he sent me a copy, they refused to assist him and recommended that he contact some one else to assist him. This is the copy of the letter that he sent to me from the worker that he received from the FPO.

I am writing in response to the Worker’s Authorization form you recently submitted to the Worker Appeals
Branch of the Fair Practices Office (FPO).

The Worker Appeals Advisor Branch was formally the Office of the Appeals Advisor (OAA) department at the
WCB. The department transitioned to the FPO on December 1,2018.

I reviewed the numerous correspondence sent to you over the years from the Office of the Appeals Advisor
which confirmed that the office was unable to provide any assistance to you regarding ongoing appeal issues.
The most recent letter was sent by Janet Welch, Manager of the OAA, on June 1-, 2018. In that letter, it was
confirmed that we were once again unable to provide any assistance to you.

I have reviewed your claim file and your most recent correspondence to the WCB and to the Appeals
Commission and I am in agreement that we are unable to assist you with any current appeal matters.
However, you are able to obtain alternate representation or to continue representing yourself.

Perhaps Ms. Notley and Ms. Gray could explain why the FPO have refused to assist him and then recommending that he represent himself or pay thousands of dollars to people like Ganley and Lukaszuk for a  retainer to have some one else represent him. According to Section 3(1)(e) of the Fair Practices Office Regulation it says per verbatim; The Commissioner shall establish procedures respecting the following: “the assistance of workers, workers dependants,or employers in navigating the workers compensation system, including procedures respecting the direction of workers, workers dependants or employers to an appropriate resource, person or organization for assistance”.  

What does navigating the workers compensation system mean and what assistance do they give as evidently they did in fact refuse to offer any assistance to the worker. The worker compensation system also includes Judicial Reviews which can be very costly. Rather than have workers left with having to represent themselves through the system, why not simply get rid of the FPO and bring in legislation allowing workers to utilize the accident fund to hire some one to represent them throughout the process including legal representation in Judicial Reviews, thus creating a level playing field if in fact a worker is able to find a lawyer who is an expert on workers compensation systems which at this time, there are no lawyers in Alberta who are experts in workers compensation. 

Workers through being forced into a system that does not work not only cannot sue the employer, they cannot sue WCB, DRDRB, FPO, Appeals Commission, Medical Panels, they cannot subpoena witnesses and have lost all their rights under the Charter simply because they were forced by Governments to give up their rights to in exchange for the insecurity of having claims and benefits accepted, burden of proof placed on them illegally and forced onto Social Assistance. On top of all of this workers were forced into an administrative system rather than have their day in court, go through a fair trial and adjudicated by a real judge rather than the morons who have never been trained in administrative law that is specific to WCB systems, deciding medical issues without any training in medicine. This is the historic agreement that workers were forced into by Governments who through legislation provided absolute power to adjudicators without any checks or balances provided by Government. A letter from Gray to a worker explained that the Government has no control over WCB or the Appeals Commission. That being the case, who does have control. If I may, the people who do have control over WCB, DRDRB, BoD and the Appeals Commission is the Government who have the power to enact legislation that would force WCB, DRDRB,BoD and the Appeals Commission to comply with the legislation but choose not to protect workers from the corruptible and blatant abuse of power that the Government has given them. For example: no one knows who has the burden of proof, for and against. Under the Charter, can the Appeals Commission deny the attendance of witnesses despite all the evidence in all workers claims being based on documentary hearsay and without the right to have witnesses subpoenaed and cross examined, the Appeals Commission make their decisions on documentary hearsay. Should workers not be entitled to be represented by legal counsel and have this paid out of the accident fund. In the workers compensation system specific to causation, if the cause is unknown, why is the benefit of doubt not given to the worker. Legislation could remedy all the inhumane decisions made by all three levels of adjudication but even when the SCC determines that chronic non discernible pain must be compensated for, the Alberta Government does not enforce the decisions of the SCC. WCB and the Appeals Commission deny paying for medical marijuana as the archaic legislation in the WCA allows WCB discretion to pay for medical marijuana which legislation could force WCB to pay for any medical assistance that is prescribed by the workers doctor. Numerous states in the U.S. are enacting legislation to force WCB insurance companies to pay for medical marijuana which has been scientifically proven to assist chronic pain rather than opiates which are addictive, have serious side effects and is a major contributing factor in suicides.

Administrative law is not the same from one body to the other and how a decision is made has no real consequences in any other administrative functions unlike workers compensation decisions that can and does result in suicides and homicides because of grossly illogical decisions made by incompetent or blatant denial of claims or benefits. It is crucial that no mistakes be made to prevent unnecessary deaths. There should never be any mistakes especially when a claim is in doubt which in many cases it is, the benefit of doubt must go to the worker. There are numerous administrative bodies that work quite well. There are administrative bodies that are appointed to determine how many chickens that a poultry producer can send to market, how much milk to send to market, labor board etc. A farmer does not commit suicide or kill his family because the egg marketing board cut back on the amount of eggs the farmer can send to market. Another good example is human rights which is an administrative system based on an adversarial principle but a complainant need not pay to have some one represent them as once a complaint has been accepted, Legal Counsel for the Director takes over the complaint and the complainant receives legal representation at no cost.  

Appeals could be drastically reduced or eliminated entirely if at the Customer Service level, witnesses such as doctors were subpoenaed and cross examined under oath. Cross examination of witnesses in all legal systems is a corner stone of the justice system but for some grossly illogical reason most if not all claims go on for years because of in most cases doctors knowingly or ignorantly providing false medical evidence that becomes a part of the documentary file that cannot be cross examined as you cannot cross examine a piece of paper. An example that I experienced first hand is when I filed a claim on behalf of a worker for post polio syndrome caused by trauma. A WCB Medical Advisor (Dr. Grieve) falsely claimed that post polio syndrome was not caused by trauma. I contacted two of the world’s leading experts in post polio syndrome (Dr. Richard Bruno and Dr. Lauro Halstead) and both verified that post polio syndrome can be caused by trauma, either through a physical or mental cause. The Appeals Commission questioned the qualifications of the two worlds leading experts and found the opinion of an unknown and incompetent General Practitioner more compelling and accepted the opinion of the WCB Medical Advisor by the name of Dr. Grieve who incidentally also provided false evidence on behalf of WCB and the Appeals Commission who denied a claim based on her evidence. This claim went to Judicial Review cited as Boyd v. Alberta (Workers Compensation Board) where the Court of Queens Bench overturned the decision of the Appeals Commission, the DRDRB and the Case Manager determining that Dr. Grieve did not provide a valid or compelling medical opinion which made the schmucks that denied the claim look like fools. In the 46 year old claim that I was involved with, WCB in the meantime, had arranged for a Physiatrist  who had experience in PPS and he supported trauma as being he cause of the worker’s PPS thus forcing WCB to provide benefits ($92,000.00) that obviously will be appealed as the amount of money is far less than what he is entitled to as he received more money from Social Assistance in 46 years than what he is getting from WCB that in reality is only $2000.00 a year. As usual there was no interest added or COLA increases.   

Unfortunately for all workers, even though an injury may have occurred 40 years or more ago, WCB according to policy do not have to provide a loss of earnings going back to when the injury occurred. Policy 04-04 Part II Application 5 Question 7  allows WCB to select a half way point between when the injury first occurred and the date of the examination that confirmed the injury. For example in the case of a worker I represented it was noted by the surgeon performing back surgery that the worker did not have a claw foot at that time but when examined several months later, he noted the worker had developed a claw foot as a result of his back injury that severed his sciatic nerve which never did grow back. It took over 40 years for WCB to acknowledge the claim for a claw foot and then they took the half way point which was 1974 and the date of the examination by a doctor in 20015 that confirmed that the claw foot developed in 1974 but the worker received half of what he was entitled to. To suggest that this is not corruption would suggest that Clifford Olson was a good honorable man even though he raped and killed numerous children. Obviously Gray and Notley are aware that the system is broken and has been for decades and still persist in ignoring the obvious. 

Another example of outright lying was when a Case Manager lied about an employer offering modified work when both the employer and the worker denied that modified work was offered. Despite the evidence from both the worker and the employer, both the DRDRB and the Appeals Commission accepted the documentary report of the Case Manager who blatantly lied to receive her bonus after terminating his claim when she wrote in her report that the employer offered modified work and the worker refused the offer resulting in the DRDRB and the Appeals Commission denying his claim. Despite my request to subpoena the Case Manager and the employer, my request was denied by the Appeals Commission and documentary evidence provided by the Case Manager which cannot be cross examined was used to deny the claim. I have reason to believe that the decision to deny subpoenaing the Case Manager and the employer was done deliberately by the Appeals Commission to ensure that the DRDRB and the Appeals Commission were not made to look like fools. These are but two of the many instances where I have requested subpoenaing of witnesses and been denied because under cross examination any witness will eventually fold especially when their evidence provided by documentation becomes subject to cross examination. I have had the Appeals Commission question the qualifications of world recognized medical experts supporting me in other situations and then denying the claim based on local doctors who provided falsified documentary evidence that cannot be cross examined. Although we have what is referred to as an Inquiry based system in Canada, the appeals process does not use this model as the appeals process is conducted on an adversarial model but adjudicated on a documentary basis leading to a culture of denial. In the U.S. adjudication is based on a adversarial model but adjudication is based on having the litigants (worker and employer) along with witnesses, generally doctors, appear in court, heard by an ALJ, (Administrative Law Judge) not some ignorant Case Manager, DRDRB or an Appeals Commissioner. An ALJ who has extensive training in workers compensation law listens to the evidence and makes a decision based on the evidence that is provided and cross examined by lawyers on both sides. Because of the expertise of worker’s lawyers versus the expertise of employers lawyers, it is rare that a worker’s lawyer ever loses. Worker’s lawyers because of their expertise and track record of winning represent workers on a contingency basis with many of them earning very lucrative earnings. 

Despite the WCA in Alberta giving Case Managers and the DRDRB the same powers as the Court of Queens Bench, they can in all claims, conduct an in person hearing, subpoena witnesses, hear the evidence under cross examination which they argue they do not have the power to do that. My argument is that if they have the same powers as a Judge, they do have the power to conduct an in person hearing, subpoena witnesses and cross examine the witnesses under oath which if done, would save millions of dollars in added costs by reducing or eliminating the hundreds or thousands of claims going to the DRDRB and the Appeals Commission on documentary evidence that cannot be cross examined. 

Researching the people involved in the WCB system, they all have a a common link based on their curriculum vitae. In the case cited as Boyd v. Alberta Workers Compensation Board, the Appeals Commission Legal Counsel was Dale Wispinski who was arguing against Mr. Boyd who is now the Chief Appeals Commissioner. In my opinion this would be a reasonable apprehension of bias when the Chief Appeals Commissioner is a former opponent of a worker.  The recently appointed Chair of the WCB BoD who was supposed to represent workers when she served as a member of the WCB BoD assisted in enacting Policy 04-04 Part II Application 5 Question 7  that allows WCB to pay only half of what a worker is entitled to. When looking at the Appeals Commissioner’s CV they all share a common thread, that being former members of WCB (New President of WCB is a a former WCB executive) and as you go down the list of Appeals Commissioner’s all or most are former Government employees, lawyers, managers, and employers with no blue collar workers selected by the Government to serve as Appeals Commissioners. The only person who would be considered to be a genuine blue collar worker is Stephan Dussault who was selected by the Government on May 8, 2018 and when looking on Canlii he has been involved in only 4 decisions and supported the worker in 3 of the four decisions. Questionably when reviewing the fourth decision he was involved in which is obviously in error as you cannot use the Alberta Guides in conjunction with the AMA Guides. The reason being is that impairment ratings taken from the AMA Guides are based on difficulty performing simple basic activities of daily living as opposed to the Alberta Guides that assess impairment ratings based on how an impairment rating may impact the workers life outside of the workplace which includes personal and social activities resulting in different reference points. On top of that, WCB by law cannot use the AMA Guides because the doctors who provided the impairment ratings are American doctors who are not licensed to practice the healing arts in Alberta, thus negating any impairment ratings provided by American doctors. Please read the WCA that makes it illegal to use foreign doctors assessment of impairment rating. Along with this, the AMA Guides do not use ROM in determining impairment and began using DRE (Diagnosed Related Estimates) in the 5th Edition and carried over to the 6th Edition. ROM assessment were found to be inaccurate as range of motion assessment and found to be subjective (under the control of the patient) which led to false assessments when a patient was malingering.  A person does not have to be a rocket scientist to be an Appeals Commissioner as blue collar workers with a junior high school education could adjudicate claims and make the same mistakes as the people selected. 

Questionably is why there is only one blue collar worker on the Appeals Commission when there are more blue collar workers injured or killed on a yearly basis. The overall makeup of the Appeals Commission are white collar workers who have more than likely have never done a heavy manual job in their life. Generally in law when being judged, you have the right to be judged by your peers, not people who have no understanding of what it is like to be forced to live in poverty , work hard to make a living in many cases in inclement weather as opposed to desk jockeys that have no idea what it is to perform blue collar work. Obviously the Government has this idea that blue collar workers are not intelligent enough to adjudicate claims and based on my experience any dummy could adjudicate claims as there is nothing difficult about studying the WCA, WCB policy or WCB regulations. When people are given jobs and allowed to make numerous mistakes and not beheld accountable, you could appoint Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, feed them bird seed and not have to pay the excessive wages to the Appeals Commission.  

The worker in question along with hundreds or thousands of other workers would benefit from having his long standing claim reheard by competent, knowledgeable people like myself rather than the scum bags that are adjudicating claims at present. While I have continuously stated that the whole system is corrupt which it is and can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. When a worker files a claim, a Case Manager will usually deny the claim, knowing that a large percentage of workers will not appeal. If they do appeal to the DRDRB, the DRDRB will deliberately deny a claim knowing that a large number of workers will not appeal to the Appeals Commission. The Appeals Commission will deliberately deny a claim knowing that most workers do not have the financial capability to hire a lawyer to go to Judicial Review and despite the fact that I am considered an expert, I cannot represent a worker in the court because the Government has enacted the Legal Professions Act to stop me from representing workers in court even though I was legally entitled to represent workers before Adjudicators who had the same powers as the Court of Queens Bench which is grossly illogical. If I had the expertise to represent workers in the system, then on Judicial Review, I should have the right to represent workers in a private Chambers setting before a Judge who has less power than the Appeals Commission as a Judge cannot overturn the decision of the Appeals Commission, by law all he can do is to send the claim back to the same body who denied the claim and they have the legal right to deny the claim again sending it back to the same body who denied the claim which is a violation of the Rules of Natural Justice. The same body cannot judge their own case but in the sick system, the Rules of Natural Justice are kicked to the curb. Any  worker who files for a Judicial Review without an expert to represent them is a damn fool and are made to look like a fool by WCB and Appeals Commission Legal Counsel who can lie to a Judge and have lied to a Judge simply because most Judges do not have a clue how the system works, are unfamiliar with the WCA, WCB policies and WCB regulations. 

Workers are not advised by Case Mangers what thy are entitled to despite workers being described by WCB as being clients, instead they are treated with contempt, rude and unacceptable behavior when they question their claim. Many workers are totally ignorant as to what they are entitled to such as personal care allowances, house keeping allowances, home maintenance allowances, interim relief allowances, PCI ratings due to every imaginable medical condition that range from sleep disorders, erectile difficulties, dry mouth, constipation, high blood pressure, liver disorders, stomach disorders, difficulty urinating, difficulty defecating, obesity, gait, chronic pain, sensory deficits, loss of muscle strength, any side effects of prescription medications, etc. which would include anything that makes it difficult to perform simple basic activities of daily living or the impact an impairment would have on activities outside the workplace such as riding a bike, dancing, playing ball, soccer, golf which are all social or personal activities that a worker may have difficulty with.  

I have no idea why the Government provided regulations giving WCB the right to not having to pay interest on claims that were illegally or blatantly denied and then after years of fighting for acceptance of the claim and benefits,there is no interest on the monies that WCB pays out. According to the B.C Supreme Court in a class action Judicial Review cited as Johnson v. Workers Compensation Board, Madam Gray determined that WCB has to pay interest from the  effective policy date and also retroactively. She provided a common sense explanation. The class action became totally convoluted when WCB and WCAT appealed the decision to the B.C. Court of Appeal. The B.C Court of Appeal determined that she had made an error in law and determined that she did not have jurisdiction on the retroactive issue and directed she rule on the WCB BoD new policy providing interest only if it could be proven that the decision to deny was blatant. On a rehearing, it was determined that the WCB BoD have by legislation the right to do anything they wanted as long as it was not patently unreasonable. The interesting part of the Johnson case was that the argument that was presented as being the reason for not paying interest was to protect the accident fund which is what I and many others have claimed was the primary reason for the way WCB adjudicates claims and not to ensure that  workers do not become a charge on family, friends and society which was supposed to be the primary purpose of the system. The whole system had evolved from what was intended by Meredith to nothing more than protecting an employer from litigation and protecting the accident fund which questions why the NDP bothered to put in the preamble of the WCA what is pure and simple bullshit by stating; “whereas the purpose of the workers compensation system is to provide appropriate compensation to workers who suffer workplace-related injuries and illnesses, whereas the central focus of the workers compensation system is the health and well-being of workers. This sounds good in theory but in practice the whole purpose of the system is to protect employers form litigation and to protect the accident fund to keep premiums lower than other provinces to entice employers to stay in a location or have other employers in other provinces re-locate. Why would Government pass legislation empowering WCB to avoid paying interest on a debt owed to workers unless they are complicit in defrauding workers. That being the case, no one should have to pay interest on any outstanding debts to protect their savings accounts. There is very little doubt that claims are blatantly denied, knowing that if at some time in the future if they are forced to accept a claim or benefits, they do not have to pay interest on the accrued benefits which in essence encourages the denial of claims and benefits. Workers cannot sue WCB for making a mistake, they cannot collect interest on monies owed leaving workers who have lost their homes, broken marriages, children growing up in poverty and the Government sits back and does nothing. Little wonder workers turn to violence when the Government fails to protect them from a body like WCB who in many peoples minds are nothing more than organized crime or racketeering.

Prior to Jan 1, 1995, WCB used PCI ratings as a direct method of rating a disability which was found by the Court of Queens Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal to be illegal which it always was illegal but the morons with high paying jobs never realized that there was no correlation between an impairment and a disability which WCB defines as a loss of earnings which resulted in workers receiving life time pensions when they received an impairment rating when they did not have a loss of earnings. Using impairment ratings a s a direct method of rating a disability also provides inadequate pensions for those workers who may be totally disabled from working at any gainful employment and receive an inadequate pension based on an impairment rating that has nothing to do with the ability to work or to determine a loss of earnings from pre-injury to post-injury. Workers or more likely their representatives who clued into this fact began filing claims for every imaginable impairment rating to increase their life time pensions despite the fact they may never had a loss of earnings. The high paid morons at WCB finally decided that after the Alberta courts determined that impairment ratings used as a direct method of rating impairment was illegal and separated the impairment rating from an earning loss by now using impairment ratings for a NELP and an earning loss as an ELP. 

Jan 232019
 

By Gerald

Unfortunately for workers in Alberta the WCA (Section 80(1) allows WCB to deny any payment for necessary medical treatment that has been determined to be a necessity by medical experts. The blame for this repressive attitude lies entirely with the Government who refuse to peruse the WCA to delete oppressive powers that have been provided by the Government leaving workers at the mercy of unqualified WCB Medical Consultants who do not have a clue what they are doing which is followed by case managers who do not have a clue what they are doing, DRDRB who don’t have a clue and the Appeals commission who also don’t have a clue what they re doing. Prompt and necessary medical care is required to eliminate or reduce the medical complications of a work injury to prevent workers from becoming totally disabled or god forbid dying because certain medical procedures were denied. The whole system is a total disaster and has been for decades with no improvement seen even after reviews by Doerkson, Friedman and the latest by Norrie, Carpenter et al who probably meant well but dd not have a clue how to improve the system. 

Our courts in Alberta would most likely refer to Section 80(1) of the WCA and comply with the WCA rather than uphold the principles of the right to appropriate medical care under the Charter based on security of the person. 

Jan 222019
 

By Gerald

Gray (Minister of Labour)

Hoffman (Minister of Health)

Sabir (Minister of Community and Social Services

As a tax payer and  stake holder in workers compensation in Alberta, I 
question why Alberta Health Services and Social Services are providing 
services to workers for work related compensable injuries or diseases 
that have been accepted by WCB as being work related but WCB are not 
providing any health benefits or earning losses for disabled workers. As 
Ministers who are in charge of these services, you are responsible to 
the tax payers of Alberta to ensure that what we pay in taxes is spent 
responsibly for programs such as health care and affordable housing to 
ensure that there are no homeless people, better access to health care 
etc. rather than squander our tax money in assisting WCB to defraud tax 
payers which include workers and employers. This is not hearsay as I can 
publicly name these people as these people have graciously provided 
their claim files to me. If you are familiar with the Meredith 
Principles, the whole idea of workers compensation was to provide 
benefits to workers so they would not become a charge on family, friends 
and society. That being so, why is the Minister in charge of WCB dumping 
these people unto Alberta Health Services and Social Services and why is 
the Minister in charge of Alberta Health Services and the Minister in 
charge of Social Services accepting disabled workers on tax payer funded 
services. Why should tax payers (workers and employers) be burdened with increasing health care costs, long waiting lists for MRI examinations 
and providing social assistance to disabled workers whose claims have 
been accepted but workers compensation not paying for these services 
such as personal care allowances, house keeping allowances, home 
maintenance allowances and earning replacements. This being the case, 
why not simply abolish the whole system, eliminate premiums for 
employers and have workers simply apply for services from Alberta Health 
Services and Social Assistance as that is what is happening now. The 
Government performs audits on every thing else but fails to perform any 
audits as to how many disabled workers are on Social Services and 
medical care by Alberta Health Services.

I do realize that the Conservative Government who ruled this province 
for 44 years did nothing to address this problem and you did inherit a 
total mess but the role of Governments is to correct the mess,not to 
perpetuate the mess.I commend you on attempting to fix the mess left by 
the former Conservative Government but doing things half assed is not 
the solution. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Workers are the 
back bone of our society as without workers our economy would crash, so 
why is it that workers in Alberta are treated with contempt and inhumane 
treatment by a body such as WCB when the whole intent was or is to treat 
workers with compassion, fairness and respect and not dump them onto a 
scrap heap for tax payers to look after.

Jan 222019
 

By Gerald

Click on the following link:
https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/New_president_CEO_01.18.19.pdf
This is the same guy that came from BC whose track record in BC was to 
assist in denying legitimate claims. Click on the following link:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/worksafebc-uses-questionable-methods-to-deny-claim-1.1311759
Questionably is where they get these people from. Grace Thostenson who I 
knew when I was a member of IBEW Local 348 was recently appointed the 
Chair of the WCB Board of Directors who hired him apparently did not 
check into his background before making a choice to hire him. He comes 
with a lot of baggage and this is a guy that is supposed to care about 
workers and their families just as Guy Kerr cared about workers and 
their families. Donald Duck would have been a better choice as the last 
person any one would or should hire is some one who started off as a 
Case Manager and has never had a real job other than WCB. How much is 
WCB paying him to wreak havoc in the lives of workers resulting in 
family breakups, suicides and homicides. Perhaps the Government should 
make public how much Kerr received as a golden handshake for assisting 
in destroying many workers and their families lives.

Jan 152019
 

By Gerald

Click on the following link:
https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9123231-rubber-workers-should-be-allowed-to-sue-miners-advocate-says/

Just because the WCA protects employers from civil litigation, there is 
nothing in the “Act” that protects WCB from civil litigation. 
Questionably is why the burden of proof is placed on workers when the 
burden of proof is and always has been on the “Board”.  Not only is the 
burden of proof on the “Board” to prove causation, they also have the 
burden of proof to provide evidence of an alternate cause. If not, the 
claim remains in a neutral state and the benefit of doubt goes to the 
worker.

Determining causation according to the SCC does not depend on medical 
certainty as this is too high a standard and all that is needed is to 
determine that the work environment was a contributing factor, even a 
trivial contributing factor. Workers compensation systems are 
prehistoric remedies that a hundred years ago may have had some 
significance but in today’s world, there are better systems that 
guarantee acceptance of claims without spending decades fighting for 
compensation when a mandatory system that does not depend on causation could be brought in which would more than likely result in getting rid of a lot of deadwood at WCB and forcing doctors to get real jobs rather than providing medical opinions that are based on nothing but their 
opinions.

I have in the last several years assisted two workers, one whose claim 
goes back to 1973 and another to 2009, both long standing claims which 
are now under investigation by WCB due to obvious errors by the WCB, 
DRDRB and the Appeals Commission. I suspect that the decisions were 
deliberate but I cannot prove malice or deliberate denial of the claims, 
therefore I have no choice but to call them errors. As well a Judicial 
Review is coming up on Feb. 20, 2019 specifically on how impairment 
ratings have been illegally used as a direct method of rating a 
disability. On top of this I have the Fair Practice Office attempting to 
determine who has the burden of proof and who has the burden of proof of 
an alternate cause which is how the inquiry system is supposed to operate.

The writer also hit the nail on the head when it is a proven fact that 
workers whose claims and benefits have been illegally denied are being 
supported by taxpayers through our health care plan and social 
services. Of course no government wants to admit that this is the way to 
keep premiums low to benefit the economy.

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.