What's Wrong with Workers
Injured Workers' Stories
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.
OF INTEREST: Provinces are in a conflict of interest situation
regarding workers compensation in several areas:|
(Keep in mind that WCBs ARE NOT FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS.
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
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
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
Workplace Safety Inspections - 'Out of
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
of interest between the province and WCB investment funds).
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.
provinces have allowed WCB to ignore orders of the court and to suppress and
hide information about decisions that were unfavourable to the provinces
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.
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.
Provinces have repeatedly failed to respond to
by injured workers to investigate
wrongdoing in the WCB system.
Because if provinces investigated these
they would be investigating their own complicity
conflicts of interest.
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
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
". . . 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