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November 25, 2006
McPherson vows to overhaul the WCB By
MICHELLE MARK, EDMONTON
Tory leadership hopeful Gary McPherson vowed to overhaul
the Workers' Compensation Board if he becomes premier.
"I know that the Tory party needs a makeover from the
inside ... and the same smell is coming from the WCB, maybe even worse,"
McPherson said yesterday.
"Every day I hear something wrong that's going on with the
WCB and it seems to me that there are some injustices that need to be righted."
McPherson's pledge comes on the heels of Sun writer Jeremy
Loome's feature series exposing complaints of mistreatment of injured workers
and bungling bureaucracy at the WCB.
McPherson said he's concerned that a shortage of skilled
labour is leading to less skilled workers taking high-risk jobs, putting their
well-being in jeopardy.
"Because they might be going in there before they're ready
because of a shortage in workers, we expose ourselves to safety concerns," he
"When a safety concern occurs in an injury as a result of
an accident on the job, they wind up at WBC. If they have a short-term problem,
they get pretty good treatment and can be turned around quickly, but if it's
something more serious, they seem to get the runaround and get screwed."
McPherson said he believes that can change.
"There are many remedial activities that can be done to
attain the goals the WCB seeks, but you can do it by taking the high road
rather than kicking people when they're down."