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Why Don't the Provinces Fix Their WCBs?

Under the influence of the insurance industry, workers compensation boards
are increasingly taking an adversarial stance against injured claimants
and are delaying or denying legitimate claims.

Yet provincial governments refuse to address the issues.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Provinces are in a conflict of interest situation regarding workers compensation in several areas:
They are provincial government administrative boards that are funded by fees to corporations, not by general taxation.)

a.) provinces need to attract business investment by keeping WCB fees low

b.) provinces gain political support by keeping WCB fees low

c.) provinces gain political support by keeping workplace injury stats low

d.) the provincial government as an employer (example, hospitals, schools, etc.) avoids costs to government when workers compensation denies a provincial employee's compensation claim.
For example, the routine denial of chronic stress due to "workload" allows provinces to understaff their health care and education systems. (See: Understaffed & Under Pressure and Nurses refuse to staff Hull ER for 2 hours
WCBs refuse compensation for occupational diseases caused by exposure to toxins and chemicals at provincial government workplaces: Health concerns extend beyond shipyard workers, council told - " . . . few are aware the provincial government, which had owned the facility, hired environmental consulting firm Jacques Whitford to carry out a four-year assessment and cleanup of the shipyard area, as agreed when the province sold the operation . . . we think that people in that area are still at risk, have been and are showing the effects of it."

e.) the provincial government as an employer avoids occupational safety investigations when workers compensation denies a provincial employee's compensation enabling the province to avoid workplace safety costs in their provincial workplaces (such as hospitals and schools)
"For instance, according to the CBC's analysis of B.C.'s inspections database, nurses are nearly 20 times less likely to be inspected than workers in more traditional sectors such as forestry." - Workplace Safety Inspections - 'Out of Synch'

f.) provinces benefit from workers compensation "reserve" or "unfunded liability" investment funds which are invested in select industries within their province and even select businesses. (see the Manitoba Auditor General's report on conflicts of interest between the province and WCB investment funds).

g.) provinces are able to appoint WCB policy-makers and write WCB legislation that caters to provincial government interests while eroding injured workers' rights, and their access to due process and natural justice.

h.) provinces have allowed WCB to ignore orders of the court and to suppress and hide information about decisions that were unfavourable to the province’s position.

i.) Provinces download their WCB costs onto other provincial and federal agencies which has a "collateral damage" effect on other agencies such as welfare, Canada Pension Plan, the health care system, other disability programs, charitable agencies, other provinces, businesses, the education system, etc.

Provinces have repeatedly failed to respond to
requests by injured workers to investigate
wrongdoing in the WCB system.


Because if provinces investigated these allegations,
they would be investigating their own complicity
in these conflicts of interest.

The inability of injured workers to get their legitimate issues investigated is a violation of natural justice and the Rule of Law upon which all Canadian society is based.

That is why the CIWS is calling for a Federal Public Judicial Inquiry into WCB wrongdoing. (see PETITION)

Yet it is not just injured workers who find problems in having their concerns addressed. Even the Auditor General has experienced interference with their investigations of WCB. In the Manitoba Auditor General's 2006 report on WCB (referenced at our 'Employers' page where we discuss conflicts of interest regarding WCB investment funds.)
the Auditor General's report states:
". . . The concerns brought forward to the former Minister by WCB's former CEO related to the operations of the Board and the former Chair. The issues were not addressed by the former Minister, but instead were referred to the former Chair to handle in conjunction with the Board. The former Minister considered this to be a personnel matter. In our opinion, this was inappropriate as several of the concerns raised dealt specifically with the former Chair.
". . . We are also aware of one other instance in which a former CEO's letter of complaint to a Minister received insufficient action on the part of the Minister.

Injured workers also have stated that their concerns were not addressed by Ministers but that they were referred back to the WCB, the same organization that they were complaining about. This 'arm's length' approach by provincial Ministers has left the WCBs able to do anything to injured workers without any oversight or accountability.