Injured@Work - March 2021I have created this E-newsletter, called Injured@Work
• Please Update Your Contact Information
• Next Meeting to Discuss a National IW Class Action - March 14, 2021 at 3pm (est)
• Meeting to discuss the issue Are healthcare professionals being unlawfully controlled by WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe to disqualify legitimate claims for Workers Compensation? - Date to be determined
• WorkersComIsARight Speaker Series – Pre-Existing Conditions - March 11, 2021 at 2pm (est)
• Update on my Application for Judicial Review
Please Update Your Contact Information!
I will be sending you free stuff. This will be promotional materials to raise awareness of the plight of injured workers. Previously, I have sent out stickers, pole signs, and facemasks, with the WorkersCompIsARight logo on it. In the future I will be sending out other promotional materials like buttons, hats, t-shirts, etc. However, you will not get this free stuff if you don’t update your contact information.
You can update your contact information now by clicking on the sign-up page button on the navigation bar above or
Then complete the information in the form.
To protect your privacy, I will NEVER sell or give your information to ANYONE!
If an organization and/or a group, wishes to reach you, then I will give you that organization and/or a group’s information directly. This way I will be able to protect your privacy and provide you with important information.
Click Here to Return to Top of Page
Next Meeting to Discuss a National IW Class ActionMarch 14, 2021 at 3pm (est) or 12 noon PST
To register for the next meeting simply go to the webpage dedicated to this subject Nation Class Action.
Then scroll down part way and you can then click the link to register for the next ZOOM meeting.
Alternatively, you can click here to go directly to the registration page.
I have setup this meeting to have a registration page to protect the privacy of the attendees.
Click Here to Return to Top of Page
Are Healthcare Professionals Being Unlawfully Controlled by WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe to Disqualify Legitimate Claims for Workers Compensation?At a previous Thunder Bay injured worker ZOOM meeting, the thought of how the WSIB controls healthcare professionals through the way it pays them was of great concern to injured workers. While doctors and others swear an oath to do no harm, as the saying goes everyone has a price. It has been observed by many injured workers that some doctors are refusing to take on patients who have active WSIB claims. Some more ethical doctors are choosing creative ways to bill provincial health insurance, as opposed to billing the WCB/WSIBWorkSafe. Either way, it is wrong!
Simply put, our Doctors should NEVER have to be forced to do this.
At the meeting, where this subject came up, I said I would hold a meeting to discuss the subject further. I am now looking to hold such a meeting to further discuss and possibly investigate this subject further.
I believe the most viable way to investigate this is through an in-depth research study. A study where it looks at information obtained from the WSIB, and information obtained from doctors through a survey.
Some of the questions the study can answer might be:
How much does the WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe pay our treating healthcare professionals?
How is the WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe billing process?
Are Healthcare professionals paid right away or is there a complex elongated process? Remember a healthcare professional can not sue the WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe for payment of their fees.
How much does the WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe pay its own medical consultants?
Are there billing issues for these medical consultants?
Do the WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe pay incentives/bonuses?
How much does Provincial/Territorial health insurance pay healthcare professionals?
Are there billing issues for healthcare professionals who deal with Provincial/Territorial health insurance?
How much does private insurance pay healthcare professionals?
Are there billing issues for healthcare professionals who deal with private insurance?
Should the study be limited to Ontario, include other provinces & territories, include other countries, or not?
Ultimately the study will confirm or deny that the WCB/WSIB/WorkSafe is using their billing process to manipulate healthcare professionals. This is speculated to be done through paying treating healthcare professionals much less than standard fees and providing difficulty in payment to healthcare professionals.
Conversely, it is speculated that healthcare professionals who work for the WSIB are paid well and may even have incentives and are paid on time with no complex difficulties.
To advance this issue I believe that a meeting/group/committee should be set. This way we can discuss this subject further and how to approach getting a study done and what to do with the results when obtained.
For those interested, I will be scheduling a separate ZOOM meeting for this and will let everyone know by the next newsletter.
Click Here to Return to Top of Page
WorkersCompIsARight Speaker Series – Pre-Existing ConditionsMarch 11, 2021 at 2pm (est)
Stop Cutting Our Benefits Based On Pre-Existing Conditions!As you know, last fall marked the 3rd Anniversary of Workers' Comp Is A Right campaign. Since then, they have hosted two "Speaker Series" events, on each of our first two core-demands: No More Deeming; and Listen To Our Doctors.
On Thursday, March 11th at 2pm, they will stage another event, this time about their third core demand: Stop Cutting Our Benefits Based on Pre-Existing Conditions.
Please join us for an online conversation (on Zoom and Facebook) to recap, rejuvenate, and further these important demands. The event will feature:
• Health Professionals
• Legal Experts
• Injured Worker Stories
• Strategy Sessions
To Register for the event click here
To join and share the facebook event click here
For more information about WorkersCompIsARight click here.
Click Here to Return to Top of Page
Update on my Application for Judicial Review
I have explained in detail my arguments and I hope you learn from it. I believe the arguments will be very helpful to other injured workers and their advocates.
I had filed a motion to a panel of, usually three judges, with the Divisional Court to have a decision of a single judge set aside. The grounds of my motion are that when the judge dismissed my application for judicial review, they committed an error of law. This error of law was when the Judge granted the tribunal standing in a review of its own decision. The Judge also committed an error of law by failing to apply the correct test for dismissing an appeal/application for delay.
significance of my application
As I had previously mentioned there is some significance with my application for judicial review. This is because workers compensation boards (“WCBs”) and/or workers compensation appeals tribunals (“WCATs”) should not have standing as a party in appeals/judicial reviews. Also, that delay should never be a reason to dismiss an injured worker’s appeal/judicial review.
My first point is that, in Ontario, the WSIAT, claims they have a right to be a party in an application for judicial review. A judcial review is in effect an appeal to the court. I argue that the WSIAT will have the ability to defend their own decision in the appeal or review. This is is a violation of the Rule of Law, being a biased decision maker the WSIAT and the reviewing courts. I prove this by confirming in a review of previous judicial reviews applications before the courts only two applications have ever been successfully reviewed in the WSIAT’s 40-year history. Confirming that any attempt at doing a judicial review would be futile. This is also confirmed in the WSIAT’s annual reports such as this statement taken from page 20 of the 2015 WSIAT’s annual report, which states that:
“The Tribunal has compiled an impressive record on judicial review over its 30-year history.
The Tribunal has released over 69,000 decisions, but only once has a final decision of a court quashed a Tribunal decision.”
Therefore, any reasonable person would feel that to bring an application for judicial review of a WSIAT decision to the court, knowing that any application for judicial review will fail, as it would be completley futile.
Futility is a key point that the Supreme Court of Canada established what defines a biased decision maker in their decision ofIdziak v. Canada (Minister of Justice)where the Supreme Court of Canada stated that:
“that any decision of the decision maker prejudged the matter
to such an extent that any representations to the contrary would be futile!”
I also argue that the Supreme Court of Canada missed a key point in its previous decisions of granting status to tribunals. This is because there are two types of administrative boards and tribunals. Those administrative boards and tribunals that issue decisions in the public best interest. A good example is the Ontario Energy Board (“OEB”). The OEB mandate is to issue decisions that protect the public’s best interest regarding the maintain of fair energy pricing. So, it is reasonable for this board to issue biased decisions and can be biased. However, in matters where a tribunal/board is resolving a dispute between two parties, like that of a court. Then in that case the board/tribunal should be given no deference. The distinction of the two types of boards/tribunals can be easily made using the Baker test established by the Supreme Court of Canada in their decision of Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) where the court set the test for procedural fairness that a board/tribunal is to have. This test compares it to a court or not. In the case of workers compensation boards and tribunals the Baker test confirms that the workers compensation boards and tribunals are much like that of a court.
I also argue that granting standing of workers compensation boards and tribunals is an unfair imbalance of power. This is opposite to the reasoning of the courts granting the boards/tribunals standing. This is because often injured workers are self-represented. Whereas the boards/tribunals are well represented. This creates a clear imbalance of power on the part of the boards and/or tribunals. This is confirmed in the unrealistic success rate of Ontario’s WSIAT, as previously mentioned.
I would also argue that granting standing in workers compensation matters is contrary to the intentions of the Supreme Court of Canada. This is because when an injured worker loses, it harms society. This is because in most cases, taxpayers are then forced to care for injured workers. This is because workers compensation systems are solely and completely funded through privately paid employer premiums. However, when legitimate claims for workers compensation are denied, injured workers are then forced to use taxpayer funded social programs. This was proven, in Ontario, in data I obtained from the Ministry responsible for social assistance income programs. I learned, on average each month, there are over 4,000 injured workers on these programs. This conservatively costs Ontario taxpayers more then $30 million per year. This is conservative as it does not include the many other taxpayer funded social programs injured workers are forced to use. So, the number is much higher!
Therefore, workers compensation boards and tribunals should never be given standing in appeals/applications of judicial review of their own decisions.
My second arguement is that appeals/judicial review should never be dismissed based on length of delay for injured worker matters. This is because the decision makers are not considering the widely accepted standard for granting of extension of time. The standard includes:
– the length of the delay and any explanation for the delay;
– the intent of the party to bring the appeal/judicial review within the required time;
– the justice or merit of the case; and
– any prejudice to the other parties.
This standard or test is referenced in the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s decision at para 1 of Leighton v. Best where the Court of Appeal stated the test for dismissing an appeal or application for judicial for delay. The test was again referenced by the Court of Appeal in the decision at para 26 of Howard v. Martin.
Length of Delay and Any Explanation for the Delay:
This is self-explanatory. The shorter the length of delay the less likely the decision maker will need to look to the other parts of the test and grant the extension of time. Alternatively, the longer the delay the more the decision maker MUST look to the other issues to decide whether to dismiss the appeal/judicial review for delay or not.
The first is the status of the individual being if they are low-income and lack the resources to bring the appeal/application within the required time. For example, if a party is of low-income and does not have the resources to hire a lawyer. They will be required to learn the legal process and procedures, as well as prepare their own case, to bring their appeal/judicial review on their own. Additionally, if they are self represented and made mistakes because they were self-represented this must not be held against them. This is confirmed in the Canadian Judicial Council’s Principles on Self-represented Litigants and Accused Persons, which was adopted into common law by the Supreme Court of Canada in their decision of Pintea v. Johns.
While some may argue the CJC Principles would not apply to administrative boards and tribunals, I would argue in fact they do under the argue if they are a “Court of Competent Jurisdiction,” which means they can hear Charter arguments. Then they are a Court and subject to the principles. Not to mention it would be in the interest of justice to do the right thing.
This coudl also be used to explain any delay, as well as intent.
The second point one may make is if the individual has disabilities. Then this will likely hinder their ability to form the intent to bring their appeal/judicial review within the stipulated time. For example, the disability can be a psychological one where the individual suffers from depression or another condition. It can also be physical where the individual suffers from severe chronic pain. These factors would also support the first point if the individual were also self represented. As it is a disability, a request should be clearly made to the decision maker for accommodation in the form of an extension of time under the Human Rights Code and/or the Charter s. 15.
Merits or Justice of the Case:
This is where the decision maker considers that if the appeal/judicial review were heard, the decision would likely be overturned. This is not a deep dive into the appeal/judicial review, but the decision maker must make a cursory review of the case to determine if there is merit or justice in granting the extension for delay.
This means the person arguing in favour must make these points for the decision maker to consider them. The most common argument would be a specific example of how the lower decision maker committed an error of law.
For example, in Ontario, the law requires decision makers to apply Board policy when rendering decisions. This means they should cite the policy and quote the applicable section. I have found very few decisions do this. Instead, the decision maker makes up their own policy and/or guidelines.
Any Prejudice to Other Parties:
Often decision makers when reviewing a request for delay will look at the length of delay and dismiss the appeal/judicial review based solely on the delay. Claiming that the delay itself caused prejudice to the other parties. This is an incorrect and “Unreasonable Decision” . I argue this by stating that for a decision maker to use delay as the grounds for dismissing an appeal/application for judicial review is committing a logical fallacy, of circular reasoning. This is where the decision maker uses the conclusion “delay” as its reason “delay” for their conclusion. Hence the term circular. As you go around and around, in a circular, in their reasoning to justify their conclusion. The decision maker may argue “no”, their reason is prejudice. However, the decision maker stated the prejudice was determined by delay, so delay was the real reason and the conclusion.
The unreasonable part is defined in the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision at para 104 of Canada v. Vavilov, where the Supreme Court defined that a decision is unreasonable if the decision “exhibit clear logical fallacies such as circular reasoning”.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario stated the standard or test for determining prejudice in their decision at para 49 to 50 of “Carioca's Import and Export Inc. v. Canadian Pacific Railway”
This was also confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in their decision at para 101 of Blencoe v. British Columbia (Human Rights Commission)
That the mere passage of time is not a measure of whether an appeal/application should be dismissed because of prejudice to the other parties. That prejudice is to be determined based on the facts of the case. Those facts being:
is the record of the case available, specifically all the referenced evidence is available;
is there a transcript and/or an audio recording of the proceeding available;
if there were witnesses at the original proceeding, would they be available; and
the conduct of the other parties, specifically did they act in good faith, or did they act in bad faith, which is defined as “to act with knowing, intentional deception”.
Additionally, it should also be noted that when an appeal/judicial review of an injured worker is dismissed for delay it not only harms the injured worker, their family, but most importantly it harms taxpayers. As previously discussed, this is because taxpayers will be forced to care for the injured workers.
As you can see by my two arguments here, my case is complex. Also, consideration must be made for making Charter arguments and the specific test for each section of the Charter that I will be arguing that was infringed.
Click Here to Return to Top of Page
Thanks for Taking the Time to Read My First NewsletterWell, I hope you have found this month’s newsletter to be informative and even somewhat helpful. Perhaps next month, in addition to providing an update to my case and other updates, I will elaborate on my Charter arguments so others can learn how to make effective Charter arguments.
Click Here to Return to Top of Page