"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

My friend and co-worker, Ed Spaans, redirect

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I had written previously about the untimely death of my co-worker, Ed Spaans.

One of Ed’s cases ended up going to the Supreme Court of Canada, which issued its decision today. In a 7-0 decision, the court fully supported the interpretation of legislation that Ed’s panel had conducted.

This is likely a bit esoteric for most people, but a great cause for celebration for us, and for Ed.

The summary of the decision:

M, an employee of Parks Canada, was notified that disciplinary action would result if he did not provide an adequate response to a request filed under access to information legislation. M alleged that this letter, following the stress of years of conflict over another workplace issue, triggered a psychological condition. He initiated a claim for compensation for chronic onset stress.

Under s. 4 of the Government Employees Compensation Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. G‑5 (GECA), federal workers who suffer workplace injuries are entitled to compensation at the same rate and under the same conditions as provided under the provincial law where the employee is usually employed, and compensation is determined by the same board, officers or authority as determine compensation under provincial law. The GECA and the Workers’ Compensation Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. W‑15 (WCA), both define “accident” as including a wilful and intentional act of someone other than the claimant and a fortuitous or chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause. Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors’ Policy 03‑01, Part II, Application 6 (Policy) made under the WCA identifies four criteria which must be met in order to establish eligibility for compensation for chronic onset stress. The third and fourth criteria require that the work‑related events are excessive or unusual in comparison to the normal pressures and tensions experienced by the average worker in a similar occupation and that there is objective confirmation of the events.

M’s claim was denied by the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board, the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Body, and the Appeals Commission for the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (Commission) on the basis that it did not meet the third and fourth criteria set out in the Policy. On judicial review, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench concluded that s. 4(1) of the GECA set out a complete eligibility test for federal workers and the provincial Policydid not apply. The matter was returned to the Commission to be determined solely by the GECA. The Alberta Court of Appeal restored the Commission’s decision, finding that the provincial Policy did apply.

Held: The appeal should be dismissed.

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Written by sameo416

March 28, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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