REGINA -- An incident involving an injured workers advocate and Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) staff prior to the WCB's annual general meeting in Regina Tuesday is under investigation by Regina Police Service.
Jim Taphorn, who has been banned from attending WCB public meetings, was ejected from the WCB's AGM at a Regina hotel after a confrontation with WCB staff.
"We have a client who by (his) behaviour we feel should no longer be able to meet face-to-face with our employees or . . . attend our building,'' said Janice Siekawitch, director of planning and communications for the WCB.
"It's not the first time it's happened,'' Siekawitch said of the confrontation with Taphorn.
Peter Federko, CEO of the WCB, said Taphorn has been designated as the highest-possible security risk by the WCB because of similar incidents in the past. Taphorn has been banned or ejected from three AGMs and two compensation institutes.
"He is well aware that his particular security status does not permit him to interact with any of our staff at any WCB-sponsored events,'' Federko said.
After he registered for the meeting, Federko said Taphorn was informed by registered letter that he would not be allowed to attend the WCB AGM in Regina.
"For whatever reason, he chose to show up again this year, as he did the year before. So our staff and security people reminded him he was not welcome or allowed to participate in the meeting.''
Federko said the police were called to escort Taphorn from the premises and understood that Taphorn then claimed he was assaulted by one of the WCB staff.
"If the police decide there is sufficient evidence, they'll undertake their investigation and we'll deal with it accordingly.''
For his part, Taphorn said he believed he was entitled to attend the WCB AGM, since it was a public meeting required by the Workers' Compensation Board Act.
When asked to leave the hallway outside the convention, he refused to leave. Taphorn said a WCB employee then gave him "two hard pushes,'' causing him to reinjure his back.
"I don't like getting assaulted,'' Taphorn said.
Elizabeth Popowich, spokeswoman for the Regina Police Service, confirmed that RPS received a call at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and several officers were dispatched "to keep the peace."
"The 51-year-old left willingly with police (and) didn't resist in any way, but he then alleged he was the victim of an assault by a 58-year-old male, also an attendee at the same meeting,'' Popowich said.
"It's currently under investigation to determine whether or not the allegation is founded,'' she added.