Workers comp improvements badly needed

Injured workers bore burden of changes made during '90s
February 19, 2002

Winnipeg -- Manitoba's Workers Compensation Act leaves thousands of injured workers without adequate compensation, or with no compensation at all. And the rate-setting policy adopted by the Workers Compensation Board during the 1990s violates the historical compromise upon which the system is based -- a compromise that benefited employers and workers.

These are the main conclusions of a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba. Turning the Tide: Renewing workers compensation in Manitoba, by Doug Smith, shows that, following sweeping changes brought in during the 1990s, fault and conflict have been brought back to what was supposed to have been a no-fault system. At the same time, the system has not properly addressed the full range of sickness and disability caused by the contemporary workplace.

"The Filmon government did not just tinker with workers compensation - it made major changes that had significant results," said Doug Smith. "The resulting problems are not minor failings, they are festering injustices."

The report identifies the key reforms that need to be implemented in Manitoba, and discusses the possibility of a national universal disability insurance system.

The report, and a summary of recommendations, will be released at a media conference:

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
11:30 am
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba
309-323 Portage Avenue