Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Have your say

  • Print

Suppression is rampant

In his Nov. 20 column, Modern workforce needs new illness, injury insurance, Graham Lane dismisses concerns that incentives in the Workers Compensation Board rate assessment model are encouraging many employers to suppress workplace injuries and deny fair compensation to injured workers. Unfortunately, his claims don't stand up to scrutiny.

Send a Letter to the Editor

  • The Free Press welcomes letters from readers

    To send a letter for consideration on our Letters page: Fill out our online form at the link above, or Email letters@freepress.mb.ca, or Fax (204) 697-7412, or Mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.

In response to workers' complaints that too many employers are preventing or discouraging injured workers from filing compensation claims, Lane downplays such abuses as a rare occurrence. Yet earlier this year, an expert external review of Manitoba's Workers Compensation Board (WCB) found "persuasive evidence of under-reporting of claims and claims-suppression activities."

Similarly, in Ontario which has a similar rate-assessment model, an independent study commissioned by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board said, "the most important conclusion to be drawn from the research is that claim suppression appears to be a real problem."

To the extent that Lane admits claim suppression occurs at all, he asserts "the penalties against the employer are significant enough to promote good behaviour." In fact, the penalty for claims suppression is a mere $450, significantly less than the amounts an employer can save by suppressing claims.

More important, as the Free Press reported on Oct. 8, documents obtained through freedom of information reveal Manitoba's WCB has never once penalized an employer for claim suppression.

Lane defends the status quo WCB rate-assessment model by asserting it "promotes workplace health and safety." The author of Manitoba's recent external review of the WCB came to a very different conclusion: "I found little persuasive evidence that the assessment rate model provided a substantial direct incentive to develop and implement effective safety programs."

Even a 2011 internal WCB report to its board of directors admitted, "there is no connection between the rate model and employers choosing to implement accredited safety and health programs."

On the contrary, the external review found the rate model actually encourages claims suppression and management "at the expense of resources that would otherwise be available for safety programs."

For all of these reasons, workers are calling for a WCB rate-assessment model that promotes genuine workplace injury and illness prevention.

KEVIN REBECK

Manitoba Federation of Labour

Winnipeg

Paper, please, not cyberspace

Regarding your Nov. 19 poll question, "What would you like to see in terms of new development at The Forks?", I would like to see the responses in the print edition.

Instead, on Nov. 20, you ran a Blippar icon to scan. I still do not know the results of the poll, since I do not have anything to scan the response.

GERTIE BARRON

Winnipeg

What's in Ford's pipe?

From what I understand after reading your Nov. 18 feature, Sick or stupid?, Rob Ford is in trouble because he has abused a chemical drug.

Would he be in this much doo-doo had he had marijuana in his pipe or a glass of wine in his hand at a staff Christmas party?

GISELE BEDARD

Beausejour

ñº

It wouldn't surprise me if a Rob Ford mask isn't next Halloween's biggest seller.

I bet the brothers Ford have already placed an order for thousands of them.

ALLAN HUTCHINGS

Winnipeg

ñº

Your Nov. 19 editorial cartoon was great. It gave us our morning laugh with the depiction of Rob Ford and the kitchen knives.

That cartoon should be sent to The Walrus, Canada's New Yorker.

CARMEN LOPEZ

Winnipeg

ñº

I'm confused. Rob Ford admits to smoking illegal drugs and the media want him to resign. Yet Justin Trudeau admits to smoking illegal drugs and the media want him as prime minister.

There seems to be a double standard here.

HARRY STAERK

Pinawa

Good news about ethanol

Finally, one government is coming to a realization and is in the process of making a correct decision about ethanol (Americans rethink their love affair with ethanol, Nov. 19).

We utilize and waste vast amounts of finite water in this process and using a source of food to produce ethanol is, to me, a sacrilege.

Hopefully, this will be a cue for other countries, such as Canada, to follow suit.

JOHN FEFCHAK

Virden

Encouraging initiative

Re: Look to causes, not symptoms of poor health (Nov. 20). The initiative to take a new perspective on health care is encouraging. It's clear our present model is symptom-based.

The doctor asks, "Where does it hurt?" The doctor should be asking, "What's eating you?" I would like to refer readers to the work of Dr. John E. Sarno and his theory of chronic pain, called tension myoneural syndrome (TMS).

An article states that health efforts should relate to "physical, mental and social well-being." TMS theory addresses one of these three areas with new knowledge and treatment.

ED LABOSSIERE

Winnipeg

Humanizing the staff

Thanks for the Nov. 21 insert featuring biographies of your columnists and photographers. As an avid Free Press reader, I have often wondered about the background of the people whose work we read and view. But, at the same time, I do not take the time to go on the web to see if I can read more about who they are.

Your insert section was helpful and puts a human face on your staff members. A sports hunk like Gary Lawless just becomes more of a mensch when we visualize him in his off-work time having a tea party with his little girl.

Carol Sanders is also someone we all admire for her fearless and intuitive reporting, especially on cultural communities here in our province. She has a way of crawling into our minds and challenging our preconceptions.

One suggestion: As a former Winnipegger transplanted into a rural community, I would like a few more rural stories. Thanks for what you do to keep us informed and to challenge our thinking.

KEN REDDIG

Pinawa

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 22, 2013 A15

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you be hitting up any Boxing Day sales?

View Results

Ads by Google