"I believe at this point that this is
all a racketeering activity and if we have to take it into the federal courts,
we're going to."
"The federal government needs . . . to take a really hard look
at what's going on and ask social security to help injured workers prosecute
these insurance companies because it's the insurance companies that are
basically running the show right now."
If WCBs are not insurance
companies, why do they belong to these insurance industry
What are Canadian WCBs learning by belonging to
these associations? There must be meetings, newsletters, conferences, email,
etc. going back and forth to exchange ideas. By belonging to these American
insurance industry associations, how do you think the Canadian WCBs are being
WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARDS and APPEALS TRIBUNALS:
Private insurance companies have a responsibility to shareholders to maximize
They do this largely by denying claims.
Administrative boards/tribunals have 'quasi-judicial'
status and therefore have a responsibility and a DUTY
to ensure that their policies and legislation comply with federal
Constitutional law and the Charter of Rights.
routinely ignore the legislation, routinely ignore the Charter and routinely deny legitimate claims.
'quasi-judicial' entities, it is the WCB's DUTY to ensure that their policies
ALREADY comply with Constitutional law. However, they
routinely ignore that duty.
Private insurance companies can be sued
for damages by claimants for fraudulently denying claims.
Workers compensation boards/tribunals cannot be sued for damages by claimants because of
their quasi-judicial administrative powers including privative clauses.
Yet WCBs routinely abuse these powers and routinely deny legtiimate claims causing untold
damages to disabled workers and their families. See:
Because disabled workers cannot sue for damages,
they are routinely denied access to natural
law and fundamental justice.
(Cases can proceed to judicial review by an
outside court, but that court cannot award damages - they can only send the
case back to the WCB. Injured workers can rarely afford this step and usually
find the reults unfruitful as WCBs routinely ignore orders of the court.)
Private insurance companies are not permitted to operate with an
'UNFUNDED LIABILITY' because, as private
corporations, they could close down. Therefore, the law requires that private
insurance companies ensure that ongoing claims will be funded in such an
The original Meredith report explained that the concerns that led to disallowing 'UNFUNDED LIABILITY' for
private insurance companies DO NOT apply to WCB because WCB is a
government program and not likely to close down. Therefore, it can be funded on
a pay-as-you-go (current cost) basis (the government can impose fees on a
For the last 80 years,
'UNFUNDED LIABILITY' in WCB was not considered a
problem until the pro-privatization lobby of the 1990s when the
insurance industry started lobbying and positioning for the privatization of
WCB. They hoped to have the system transferred to private hands, in which case
it would have to be fully funded - with no 'unfunded liability'. (see
(Current cost funding leaves vast sums of money in
circulation in the hands of employers and small business where it does more
good for the economy than it does tied up in WCB 'UNFUNDED LIABILITY'
THE CIWS DOES
NOT ADVOCATE THE PRIVATIZATION OF WCBs. That would be EVEN WORSE for
injured Canadians. However, we do believe that WCBs are
taking advantage of their MONOPOLY and STATUS under the legislation to pursue
profit at the expense of people.
INSURANCE LOBBY AND THE RECENT PREOCCUPATION WITH 'UNFUNDED LIABILITY' (since the
"For the past decade employer organizations, the
WCB/WSIB and the Ministry of Labour have raised the unfunded liability as a
central theme in all discussions of workers' compensation reform. The argument
goes that there is an unfunded liability, that this is a bad thing that
threatens the viability of the workers' compensation system, and that the
elimination of the unfunded liability must therefore be a priority for the
Board. . .
. . . . The ongoing pre-occupation with the unfunded
liability is the culmination of political campaigns that began for all the
wrong reasons during the previous two provincial governments. It is a
relatively recent phenomenon and has no basis in the history and philosophy of
Ontario's workers' compensation system. It became an issue in the early 1990's
as part of a political strategy to undermine public confidence in the
government's financial management skills . . .
. . . Employer
organizations joined in 'painting' the WCB as debt ridden and therefore unable
to afford to continue to compensate injured workers as they had been in the
past. This argument served their interest in keeping WCB assessments under
control . . .
. . . pro-privatization and private insurance groups
climbed on the 'unfunded liability bandwagon' because they saw a new government
that was open to privatization of workers' compensation. They hoped to have the
system transferred to private hands, in which case it would have to be fully
funded . . . . Private insurance companies are not permitted to operate with an
unfunded liability because, as private corporations, they could close tomorrow
for any number of reasons . . . so the law requires insurance companies to
ensure that their claim will be funded . . .
. . . the concerns that
lead to a full funding model for individual private insurance companies do not
apply to a collective liability model in which all employers in a class of
industry contribute to the cost of injuries in that class. A collective
liability model very different from a private insurance model . . .
. the unfunded liability, has been monitored, but it was not a burning issue
for workers' compensation for nearly 80 years . . .
The argument goes
that . . . Improving benefits for injured workers . . . cannot be on the table
until later, once the unfunded liability is eliminated. If you accept this line
of reasoning, injured workers will never see the restoration of cost of living
adjustments, compensation will never be improved, and their suffering will only
increase. . . .
Give yourself about 30 minutes to watch
the following video which is about injured worker, Barbara Clark's, amazing and
disturbing story surrounding her interactions with the American workers
compensation system and the insurance companies.
after watching this video, ask yourself how you think Canadian WCBs are being
influenced by being members of American insurance industry
Then ask yourself why our provincial governments are
purposefully ignoring the denial of injured workers' legitimate claims by
workers compensation boards across Canada.
The Canadian Injured Workers Society is calling upon all concerned
Canadians to sign the following petition calling for a FEDERAL PUBLIC
JUDICIAL INQUIRY into wrongdoing by workers compensation systems across