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Injured workers helping injured workers to represent themselves!

To help people fight their respective workers compensation boards and tribunals, this section of the website has been setup to provide injured workers with information about representing themselves at each level of the workers compensation appeal process.

PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this section and in fact the entire website is NOT to give legal advice
but to provide you with legal information about how all the legal systems work.

A submenu has been provided above, which lists each jurisdiction to explain the appeal process.

Injured workers have a right to be represented, when they have maters before the workers compensation boards, tribunals, and the courts. Sadly, we do not YET have a right to be provided a representative free of charge, or even to be compensated for the costs we paid to win our case - Our Legal Costs! Often, injured workers are forced to represent themselves before the workers compensation board, tribunal/commission. At times even before the courts. The reason injured workers are forced to represent themselves is usually because they are unable to work and cannot afford to pay for representation. While there are some limited free representation services for injured workers, often these services are intentionally and drastically underfunded by governments. The underfunding is ironic, as the governments often claim the cuts are to save taxpayers. However, the workers compensations systems are not funded by taxpayers. They are solely funded by employer premiums. As a result of the underfunding, it takes years for them to help injured workers. Often leaving injured workers to fend for themselves. This is why this section of the website has been created to provide those injured workers information to aid them in representing themselves before their respective compensation board, appeals tribunal/commission, and the courts.

It is important to note any time limits for appealing decisions and following procedures for meeting time limits.
It is important that when ever you receive a decision to notify the board or tribunal of your intention to appeal, within the required time limit. This is usually done by sending in a form or writing a simple letter to the board or tribunal.

Representing yourself is an extremely difficult thing!
You must learn the process, procedures and formulate convincing legal arguments!
All the while dealing with institutional prejudices against SRLs!
Therefore, it is strongly suggestted, if you are able to get a representative, then do it.
You may not realize it but just doing that, will provide you with a much better chance of success.

That said, it is well known what it is like to be in a difficult position of not being able to afford a representative or wait for a long time for a free service you might get.
This is why this website has been started.

Right to Self Representation

A right to represent oneself is a protected right, across Canada and in most other common-law countries.
Unfortunately, in most regions across Canada, there is little help or even any information for people that represent themselves.
This is commonly believed to be because an injured worker can hire a representative or they can use a free representative available to them. However, there is an assumption made that one can afford to pay for representation whether a lawyer, paralegal or agent.
If we can't, then we are told there are free options available to us.
The problem with the free options is that they often come with massive delays.
In my own experience I was advised by several free services that I would have to wait anywhere from two to five years for them to consider representing me or not. To me and most, having to wait even two years is not a service of any kind.
Therefore, in most cases, people end up representing themselves, or sadly in many cases they give up!

A great place for general information on representing yourself is a website created by a group out of the University of Windsor Law School and headed by Professor Julie MacFarlane. Their group is called the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP).

Their website is

This group has done amazing work in the advancement of Self Represented Litigants – SRLs.
They have performed many studies on the effects of SRLs within the justice system, across Canada.
While the majority of their information and research focuses on Canada's Court justcie system, it is still a great place to learn from.

Making an Arugemnt for a Right to be Provided Free Represenation

An Arguement on Why Boards and Tribunals Ought to Provide Services to SRLs
By this I mean that the boards and tribunals do not provide any information or assitance to individuals who represent themselves.
While no board or tribunal offers help for SRLs, one could argue it has been mandated by the Supreme Court of Canada.
There are two points to understand.
First, that the Supreme Court of Canada has long recognized that tribunals and boards are a court of competent jurisdiction.
Second, the Canadian Judicial Council on December 12, 2006, created principles for the Courts, Court Administrators, and Lawyers, to follow when interacting with SRLs.
You can see the CJC’s press release here
You can also download a complete PDF copy of the CJC Principles here

Within the CJC Principles, are requirements that Judges, and Court Administrators should follow.
Judges and Court Administrators should meet the needs of self-represented persons for information, referral, simplicity and assistance.
Forms, rules, and procedures should be developed which are understandable to and easily accessed by self-represented persons.
To the extent possible, judges and court administrators should develop packages for self-represented persons and standardized court forms.

Now, many would say these are principles and are not mandated so the judges and courts do not have to follow them at all, and they would be correct! However, in 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with a matter of an SRL and in the case of Pintea V. Johns 2017 SCC 23. The Supreme Court of Canada set aside the lower’s court’s decision against the SRL. The Supreme Court of Canada also endorsed the CJC principles. This sort of made the principles into law, not like a written law or precedence, but it creates great influence on a court or appellate court when you reference it.

Now if you refer to the first point that the Supreme Court of Canada said that tribunals are in effect courts of competent jurisdiction then one could easily argue the CJC principles apply to administrative tribunals, just as it does courts.

Additionally, there are many benefits to the boards, tribunals, and society as a whole, in providing assistance to SRLs.

Making Arguements

While the systems of appeal maybe slightly different, the way you make your arguments are all the same. The difference is what form or style you use.

A simple chart has been provided below to provide the basics of makign an effective arugement.

Often SRLs tell their story. Instead of making arguments by stating facts, referring to evidence, and referring to law/board policy. This is the important connections. Even more is that SRLs believe once they have convinced themselves of their arguments then they do not have to do no further convincing of anyone. Others should just accept what the SRL has stated. To avoid this always assume you are being treated as a liar and work to prove everything. Especially the conneciton between the evidence, the facts, and the connection between the fatcs and the law/policies.