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The impact of royal commissions on public policy : worker’s compensation in British Columbia, 1941-1968 Chaklader, Anjan K. 1992

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byAnjan K. Chakiader(1985) General Sciences, The University of British Columbia(1987) Political Science, The University of British ColumbiaA THESIS IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of HistoryTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAMay, 1992© Anjan K. Chakiader, 1992THE IMPACT OF ROYAL COMMISSIONS ON PUBLIC POLICY:WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA - 1941-1968B.Sc.B.A.We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of N ,‘ yThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate________DE-6 (2/88)IABSTRACTDuring the years 1941 to 1968, issues relating to workers’ compensation in BritishColumbia were subjected to the unprecedented number of three royal commissions. Anexplanatory framework that evaluates the merits of the commissions and theirrecommendations, both perceived and otherwise, and the degree to which governmentsadopted the recommendations, is presented in this paper. The framework is designed tomake use of the available relevant primary sources, particularly minutes of the commissionproceedings, newspaper accounts and legislative statutes.All three of the Commissions were thorough, well-received exercises whoserecommendations were almost wholly adopted by B.C. governments, though in differingtime frames. The need for the second Commission, which was created a mere six yearsafter the finish of the first, primarily arose because of rapid developments in the B.C.labour movement during the mid-1940’s. An infusion of leaders with communist tiescaused it to harden demands for workers’ compensation benefits and reforms. The firstCommission had been considered a success by all parties, but the context of itsrecommendations had changed due to the increase in labour’s militancy. This secondCommission was also considered to be reasonably successful. However, dissatisfactionwith a Workmen’s Compensation Board that had completely turned over shortly after thesecond Commission, led to demands, particularly by labour, to create another commissionto review its work and procedures. Board members, at that time, were subject to longtenures and were without any formal mechanism with which to be reviewed.Critical to the success of the three Commissions was the independent, non-partisannature of their proceedings and recommendations. Because of this, the credibility accorded11to the recommendations, particularly by labour, caused the Commissions to supercede thetraditional mode of cabinet or legislative committtee deliberation for public policyformation in this case. The series of Commissions ended because of satisfaction with theWorkmen’s Compensation Act, a much higher turnover rate of the Board and increasedstrength of the provincial labour-backed New Democratic Party. Thus, the Commissionsand the three B.C. Supreme Court Justices that served as the Commissioners, must godown in history has having played a significant role in the evolution of occupational safetyand health policy in British Columbia.‘HTABLE OF CONTENTSPageABSTRACT jACKNOWLEDGEMENT jy,List of Tables - Table 1 82Table 2 85Table 3 89INTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER 1: Royal Commission 3History 4Characteristics 5CHAPTER 2: Workers’ Compensation 9CHAPTER 3: Methodology 16CHAPTER 4: Explaining the Creation of Royal Commission II 20Conclusion 37CHAPTER 5: Explaining the Creation of Royal Commission III 40Conclusions 58CHAPTER 6: Explaining the End of the Commissions 61CHAPTER 7: The Commissions in Retrospect 77REFERENCES 95BIBLIOGRAPHY 106ivACKNOWLEDGEMENTThe author wishes to express his gratitude to his Committee members,Dr. George Hoberg, Jr. (Department of Political Science), Dr. Paul Krause (Department ofHistory), and especially his Thesis Supervisor Dr. Charles Humphries (Department ofHistory) for their advice and encouragement during the formative stages of this thesis. Thediverse interests of these professors, which the author was exposed to in course work anddiscussions, is reflected in this dissertation.2INTRODUCTIONOne of the most enduring institutions in the British parliamentary system hasbeen the royal commission. The use of this extra-parliamentary body appointed by thegovernment on an, h basis to inquire about problems of societal importance, hasbeen dated as far back as the eleventh century by one scholar1. Governments in Canada,which adopted and continue to utilize the British parliamentary system, have madeextensive use of royal commissions at both the federal and provincial levels. Yet, despitetheir often heavy costs, high profiles and the usual prominence of the issues they areinvestigating, royal commissions in Canada have received little scholarly attention.There are at least two reasons why this may be so. One has to do with the rathercynical view many academics, politicians, bureaucrats and members of the media have ofroyal commissions. It is argued that these bodies of inquiry are essentially irrelevant,that they are tools allowing governments to place controversial issues on the backburner,especially if an election is imminent. Thus, one might conclude that the study of royalcommissions would reveal little about the public policy process or governmental viewson an issue. However, the evidence, though limited, suggests otherwise.2Another reason for the lack of academic study of royal commissions may have todo with the number of them and the variety of issues they cover. Hundreds of thesecommissions have been held in Canada with foci ranging from sexual psychopaths to freetrade. Any comparative or systematic analyses of royal commissions are thus rendereddifficult by the widely varying parameters and objectives of them.What would seem ideal for study, then, would be a series of commissionsinvestigating the same issue and that were held in a relatively short time span. Workers’2compensation3in British Columbia presents such an opportunity. During the years 1941and 1965 the Pacific province appointed three royal commissions on this topic. Such aphenomenon regarding any issue is unprecedented in Canadian history, at the federal orprovincial level.4This paper will present an analysis of these three royal commissions. Whilecomparisons among the three will be made, the more intriguing question of why B.C.governments deemed it necessary to appoint so many commissions in such a relativelyshort time span will be the focus of this paper. Chapter 1 will provide some backgroundon royal commissions and Chapter 2 will do likewise for the Workmen’s CompensationAct in B.C. Chapter 3 will present an outline of the analytical methodology employed inthis paper. Chapter 4 will attempt to explain why a second commission was considerednecessary, while Chapter 5 shall address this same question concerning the thirdcommission. Chapter 6 will by address the question of why this series of royalcommissions ended. Chapter 7 will conclude this paper by talcing a broad retrospectivelook at the three commissions. In Chapters 4, 5 and 6, the general issues concerningimpacts of the royal commissions on occupational safety and health policy in B.C. willbe thoroughly addressed.3CHAPTER 1ROYAL COMMISSIONSDefinitionThe mere task of defining “royal commission” is not a simple matter, at leastfrom an historical perspective. The term “royal” comes from the fact that thecommission is officially appointed by the representative of the crown. In the case ofprovinces such as B.C. this would be the Lieutenant-Governor; in the national case, theGovernor-General - on the advice of his/her Ministers or by an Act of the LegislativeAssembly. Such commissions are authorized by the Public Inquiries Act in B.C. and theInquiries Act in Ottawa. The usual procedure is that, after the royal warrant is issued, anorder-in-council is passed. The problem in definition arises because of proceduralvariations. Some commissions have been deemed “royal” even though a royal warrantwas not issued nor an order-in-council passed. On the other hand, some commissionshave not been given “royal” status even though the procedural dynamics have conformedto typical royal commissions.1 Once the commission is established, the times and placesof the hearings are to be advertised in the British Columbia Gazette by thecommissioner(s). After the commissioner(s) has gathered the evidence he or she issuesthe report to the Lieutenant-Governor. The commissioner(s) has no specified deadline tohonor in writing the report. The report is usually presented to the Legislature which inturn usually has it printed in the annual Sessional Papers.2 However, on a few occasionsthe report has been first printed in the Gazette.3The following working definition of a British Columbian royal commission hasbeen adapted from John Courtney’s definition of a Canadian federal one:4A royal commission of inquiry is an ad hoc, advisory body of one or morecommissioners, appointed by the Cabinet of the day to investigate, study and report upona matter of immediate societal concern, that matter having been defined by that sameCabinet; the term royal” is retained because of the executive nature of the appointment.The power and authority granted to a royal commission is contained in the PublicInquiries Act. The government has no obligation to adopt legislatively or otherwise anyor all of the recommendations presented by a royal commission in its report. Once thefinal report is delivered the commission ceases to exist.4The original Public Inquiries Act of 1872 contained only two paragraphs. Asidefrom establishing the authority to hold a commission, the Act gave a commission thepower of summoning witnesses, compelling them to produce documents and givingevidence under oath, and generally running the proceedings as if they were held in acourt of law.5 Interestingly, a clause allowing a witness not to testify on grounds of selfincriminaton was later dropped. In later years, the Act was expanded to deal withhousekeeping issues such as the replacing of a commissioner who resigned or died whilethe proceedings of the commission were still active, serving notice in the BritishColumbia Gazette, appointing staff, tendering the final report to the Legislature and othermatters.HistoryAs mentioned in the introduction, royal commissions have deeproots in thehistory of the British parliamentary system. Different historians have placed the date ofthe first British royal commission from the eleventh to the sixteenth century.6 Thediscrepancy arises from the different definitions of a commission that these scholars use.Royal commissions also have deep roots in Canadian history. J.E. Hodgetts even claimsthey existed before Confederation.7 Courtney argues that the first Canadian royalcommission occurred in 1870.85According to Marjorie Holmes, the first B.C. royal commission took place in1872, and like many of its immediate sucessors, it was concerned with individualcriminal cases involving charges of corruption, fraud and other improprieties.9 In otherwords, many of the early commissions were held in lieu of what is today termed,Attorney-General’s investigations. The first major B.C. royal commission, an inquiryinto the forest industry, was held in 1909-10. The year 1914 witnessed nine royalcommission reports being delivered, an all-time annual record in the province. Includedin this nonet was the Report of the Royal Commission on Labor, on which today’sWorkers’ Compensation Act was originally based.By this time commissions based on larger issues of immigration, economicexpansion, developing technology and social regulation had replaced the smaller, crimeand scandal-based inquiries of the nineteenth century. Perhaps because of this, thenumber of commissions took a sharp rise in the second decade of the twentieth century.Many of the so-called ‘Progressive Era’ reforms were subjects of a large number of thesecommissions. In general, royal commissions have become broad in scope and high inprofile over the years. However, this has not always been the case. In fact, there areseveral reports of the early B.C. commissions for which no copy exists today. In a couplethese cases, there is no record that they were even filed.1° Over time, starting in thepost-war years, governments’ use of royal commissions has waned, due to theirincreasing costs, duration and the heightened public cynicism towards them.11CharacteristicsThe impetus to create a royal commission can come from any combination ofsources including interest group pressure, bureacratic pressure, executive initiative andpublic pressure expressed through the media. Interest groups, though often the mostvocal critics of royal commissions, are usually their biggest advocates because it gives6them a much sought after government-sponsored public forum in which to express theirviews and cross-examine their adversaries. Obviously there is executive involvement inevery royal commission because of the authority it must exercise under the PublicInquiries Act. Executive initiative for commissions can arise from a variety of factors,ranging from appeasing certain political constituents to a genuine need for reform ideaswhich cannot be generated from the usual public policy engines. There is an inherentdanger in proposing a monocausal explantion for the creation of any royal commission.Many factors often exist, some more readily apparent than others, leading to the decisionto appoint a royal commission. The sizes of B.C. royal commissions have ranged fromone to three commissioners. Often, federal commissions will be larger than three,perhaps owing to greater scope of the national issues they cover. Governments in bothVictoria and Ottawa have borrowed heavily from the legal world for commissionerappointees, namely prominent lawyers and especially court judges. There are practicalreasons for this. First, royal commissions have historically involved questions ofwrongdoing and amendments to existing statutes, where legal definitions and wordingsare involved. Second, as the Public Inquiries Act mandates, royal commissionproceedings are to be held as if they were court trials. Thus, legal backgrounds arealmost essential for commissioners.There may also be political factors behind these commission appointments. It hasbeen frequently alleged that there have been many patronage nominations to royalcommissions. Given the fact that so many top government officials in Canada have legalbackgrounds or a big business history, which would involve legal contacts, it is notsurprising that critics would see an ‘old boy’ network in action. On the other hand, it isdifficult to see how a Supreme Court Justice or even a wealthy lawyer could perceive anextended royal commission appointment as a significant reward. Critics further allegethat genuine progressive reform ideas are unlikely to come from representatives of the7legal profession which has been dominated by white, upper class males. The fact thatmany commissioners sit on more than one commission only heightens this criticism.12While some may argue that governments try to anticipate the type of report acommissioner may deliver, it is generally agreed that the commissioners are almostalways independent from the partisanship that pervades the Canadian political system.There are also other staff members hired for royal commissions including asecretary (usually a subject specialist), counsel and other assistants. These secondarystaff are usually appointed by the commissioner(s), but governments have been known toget involved in this process.13 Commissioners also consult government bureaucracies forexpertise and empirical data. The commissioners have almost complete discretion on theparameters of the commission proceedings. It is he (or them) who decides when andwhere to hold hearings, if it is necessary to travel to foreign countries to collectinformation and when to end the proceedings. Royal commission hearings have lastedanywhere from a few days to years depending on the subject. The commissioner’sdiscretion extends to the terms of reference of the inquiry. Although the subject of thecommission is explicitly stated in the order-in-council and the B.C. Gazette, it is notuncommon for the hearings to wind up covering and uncovering issues that thegovernment had not suggested.Once the commissioner closes the hearings he/she must write the final report.There is no prescribed format for the report, although it generally presents findings andfacts as well as the recommendations and the rationale for them. The sizes of thesereports range from a few pages to thousands. Once the final report is finished it ispresented to the Legislature and usually, but not always, the public immediately. Asmentioned, the government can adopt any, all or none of the recommendations in anytime frame it chooses. It is this last stage of the royal commission that perhaps generatesthe most controversy. However, as alluded to earlier, limited evidence suggests that8governments’ records, at least in Ottawa, for adopting royal commissions’recommendations are better than is generally believed.Another criticism of royal commissions is their costs, although determining themis not a simple matter. Various government departments allocate parts of their budgetsfor commissions. Hence, tracing the total costs of a royal commission is difficult.14 Thebulk of the costs usually come from the Commissioners’ salaries, payments for legalcounsel and the hiring of outside consultants.The frequent criticism of royal commissions has led to suggestions ofalternatives. Perhaps the most common proposal has been ii LegislativeCommittees composed of M.L.A.s15 However, there are several disadvantages here.First, royal commissions are ongoing inquiries that are not limited by the LegislativeSession. Second, because M.L.A.s’ normal duties are in Victoria, many witnesses mighthave to travel long distances and then require accomodation during the hearings. Third,it would be difficult to convince interest groups and the public that the independent, nonpartisan nature of commissions could be upheld by men and women who regularlyengage in partisan politics.Another general suggestion that has been made is to open up and increase accessto the traditional policymaking process for the very interest groups that often clamor forroyal commissions. There is evidence that this development is already taking place. Thetraditional bipartite bargaining process, involving government and business, is slowlybeing replaced by multi-stakeholder forums, where various interests are directlyrepresented at the policy generating stage.’6 As this phenomenon increases, interestgroups may lessen their application of pressure to have their voices heard in a publicforum like a royal commission. However, until this metamorphosis is complete orbecomes more defined, royal commissions are likely to endure.9CHAPTER 2WORKERS’ COMPENSATIONWorkers’ compensation has at various times been called the most important socialinstitution in a modem industhal society.1 Undoubtedly, the vast number of citizensaffected by it is at the root of such sentiments. In order to understand the rationale andparameters of workers’ compensation, it is necessary to go back to the period of theindustrial revolution. Because of crude working conditions and primitive techniques ofproduction, workers’ injuries and untimely deaths were commonplace. During thecentury after the industrial revolution, general and specific awareness of industrialdiseases slowly rose. By the middle of the nineteenth century studies on workers’diseases began to receive publicity.2 As developing technology induced the accelerationof industrial production, so did it the number of injuries and deaths in the workplace.Before workers’ compensation, the only recourse an injured worker had was tosue his employer directly. For most workers, this was a difficult, if not impossible,financial proposition. Keeping in mind that there were few two-income families in thosedays and that the birth rate was high, a worker would have to pay legal expenses while noincome was forthcoming. If an employee was temporarily disabled and sued hisemployer, his chances of being rehired upon recovery were virtually nil. Even if aworker could overcome these financial obstacles and launch a suit against his employer,his chances of winning the case were, at best, slim.3Under common law, employers had three defence doctrines they could plead.Under the “contributory negligence” doctrine, if the worker was even slightly responsiblefor the accident which occurred, the employer would not be liable at all. Under the“assumption of risk” defence, the employer could claim that there were certain10unavoidable hazardous risks associated with the job and that the worker accepted thoserisks when he entered into the contractual agreement with the employer. The thirddefence doctrine was the “fellow-servant” case. Here, if the employer could prove that afellow employee was even slightly responsible for the injured worker’s accident, then theemployer would, again, not be liable. Under civil law, the employers’ defences weresomewhat more limited, but the result was similar. This result was that only an estimatedtwenty to thirty percent of injured workers who took their employers to court could hopeto win.4 And at that, the victory would result in compensation for modest amounts foronly a fixed period of time.Despite the long financial and legal odds facing the average worker, the situationwas not particularly desirable for employers either. Even a few injured employees whocould summon the resources to take their cases to court could place a considerablefinancial burden on an employer for his legal expenses, especially if it was a smallbusiness. In any case, the end result of the pre-workers’ compensation era was that manyinjured, poverty-stricken workers and their families were forced onto the streets, causingintolerable social problems for the state and employers alike.5 This wholly undesirablesituation demanded a solution. This solution was workers’ compensation.Although workers’ compensation acts have varied historically and globally, theunderlying principle states that the costs of employees’ injuries and deaths are consideredincidental to the costs of production and, as such, are passed on to the consumer. Indirect contrast to the tort law doctrines discussed, the idea here is no-fault liability, unlessthe worker’s injury is caused by his/her gross negligence. The rationale for this sociallegislation was that employers in a modem state were in the best position to preventindustrial accidents and diseases and thus, should be given economic incentive to do so.Another practical reason for the existence of workers’ compensation was to avoid lengthyand costly lawsuits and, in doing so, provide assured and swift payments to the injured11worker or his/her family.6Very limited and specific forms of workers’ compensation can be dated back tobefore the eighteenth century. The first comprehensive scheme was adopted in Germanyin 1884. Otto von Bismarck and his government, in an effort to keep their militaryindustrial empire at full speed and ward off the threat of socialism, enacted a compulsorypublic accident insurance scheme which provided compensation for all accidentsoccurring in industrial milieus regardless of the source of negligence or inherent risks.7An injured worker would receive two-thirds of his normal wage during the disablementperiod. The German Act of 1884 only applied to workers in mining and manufacturingindustries. By the end of the decade, however, coverage was extended to governmentemployees, agricultural and forestry workers and seamen.After several years of discussion, Britain became the second nation to adopt anextensive workers’ compensation act in 1897. The Act deemed employers liable for“personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment.”8 Unlikethe German Act, companies in Britain were not required to carry insurance, though inpractise most did. The original Act covered railways, mines, quarries, some buildingprojects and structural engineering operations.9This statute did not preclude law suitsunder common law doctrines, so there were still a number of cases that went before acourt of law. The British benefits were less generous and more restrictive than theGerman ones. For example, an injured British worker would only receive fifty percent ofhis normal wage while unable to work.It was not until a decade later that most European countries and the United Stateshad workers’ compensation laws in place. Virtually all these nations adopted Acts thatwere based on the German or, more likely, British models.1° In Canada, occupationalsafety and health issues fell under the jurisdiction of the provinces, in the domain of12property and civil rights, according to the British North America Act. Up until thetwentieth century, the only relevant statutes were Employer Liability Acts which slightlyaltered the common law defences used by employers. British Columbia, in 1891, haderected such an act, which removed the “fellow servant” defence in certain specifiedsituations, mainly in the railway industry.11 Few industrial accidents qualified forcompensation under the Act.B.C. became the first jurisdiction on the North American continent to adopt aworkers’ compensation act in 1902. The Act was based on the British model. The Act of1902 espoused a new principle, that the cost of injuries arising out of industrial accidentswere considered as part of the costs of production, and these costs were to be added tothe price that the consumer paid. The Act made employers individually liable to itsemployees for all injuries ‘arising out of and in the cause of employment”.’2 Coveragewas extended to a majority of work-related injuries, but the maximum that a workercould receive was fifty percent of his wages for a maximum of three years, not exceeding$1500 in total.The B.C. Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1902 turned out to be only a partialsolution to the problem. Both the employer and the employee had to agree on anarbitrated or court settlement. Many cases still wound up in court. One of the reasonsfor the continuing legal battles was the heavy expenses associated with the W.C.A.system. As companies were now more or less forced to buy private insurance, thesecosts included insurance agent’s fees and administrative expenses.13 Thus, it was in theinterest of employers to force the smallest possible settlement from the workers tomaintain their previous profit margins. This often meant having to contest cases in thecourts.13In 1912, the B.C. government appointed a royal commission to investigategeneral labour conditions in the province. The Commission concluded, amongst otherthings, that the majority of the industrial accident funds were going to legal fees andinsurance agents and not the workers, the intended beneficiary. The Commissionrecommended compulsory government insurance against industrial accidents. By now,such an Act was already in place in Ontario. The rationale for this Act was that anadministrative body designed to handle a heavy volume of claims would be moreefficient and less expensive to operate. No resort to the courts was provided. The costswould be the responsibility of all industries, thus ensuring the survival of smallercompanies and the solvency of the accident fund. 14The early reaction to the Ontario scheme was very positive and this provided animpetus for subsequent events in B.C., especially when one considers that the idea ofcompletely eliminating the courts and private insurance companies’ involvement wasdeemed quite a radical form of state intervention at the time. A new Workmen’sCompensation bill was introduced in the B.C. Legislature in 1915. Before having itpassed, the government decided to appoint a royal commission to study the matterfurther. A year later, the Pineo Commission recommended adopting a system likeOntario’s with two differences. One was the concept of having medical treatment andfirst aid involved in the workmen’s compensation scheme. The fund for this was to beshared by both employers and employees. The second innovation gave legislativeaccident prevention administration powers to the new Workmen’s CompensationBoard.15 On May 26, 1916, the long awaited new Act, complete with all the PineoCommission’s recommendations, passed the Legislature in Victoria and became law. Itwas at that time probably the most comprehensive workers’ compensation scheme inNorth America, and perhaps even the world. 1614Since then, many changes to the B.C. Workmen’s Compensation Act have takenplace. More workers in different occupations have come under coverage. Manyoccupational diseases have become categorized as compensable. Physical and vocationalrehabilitation became part of the W.C.A. in the early 1940’s. The accident preventionconcept has been expanded into a number of areas -- industrial hygiene, factory and plantinspection, consultation and research into occupational safety and health. The B.C.W.C.B. is still unique in Canada for having an industrial hygiene division.17 Pensionsand benefits have risen over the years to match inflation. B.C. became the firstjurisdiction in North America to have them tied to the cost-of-living index in the late1960’s. Despite these changes, the underlying principles behind the W.C.A. establishedin 1916 have remained intact to this day. In fact, over the years both reformers and anti-reformers have frequently referred back to these principles to support/reject proposedchanges to the Act.In general, the B.C. W.C.A. appears to have been, over the years, amongst themost innovative and progressive of its kind in North America and the world. Delegationsfrom as far away as Sri Lanka have visited the Pacific province to study its W.C.A. as apotential model for their workers’ compensation provisions18 The vast majority of theworkers’ compensation innovations in B.C. have emanated from the three RoyalCommissions that are the subject of this paper. The very fact that these threecommissions took place at all indicates that the W.C.A. has not evolved withoutcontroversy. The dynamics surrounding reform efforts in this regard have been in noshort measure due to the efforts of interest groups, particularly organized labour.The Workmen’s Compensation Board has also undergone significant changes overthe years. Starting out in 1917 with a staff of forty inexperienced employees, the Boardhas evolved into a large, multi-faceted bureaucracy today. The W.C.B. has consisted of15three Commissioners, one of whom has a labour background, another with a history ofindustry interests, and the all-important Chairman, an individual with a more neutralbackground, usually legal or governmental. Despite the theoretically balanced structure,the Board has been subject to as much controversy as the Act itself. The Board membersused to have long tenures, in some cases well over a decade. However, today, themembers seldom spend more than several years on the W.C.B. The more frequentturnover of the Board brought with it, for a time, charges of politicization. However,today, the circumstances surrounding the Act and Board have probably never been moretranquil.16CHAPTER 3METHODOLOGYAn attempt to explain the series of Workmen’s Compensation Royal Commissionsis rendered difficult by the absence of important primary sources. Because of the closednature of the Canadian parliamentary system, minutes of cabinet meetings anddepartmental memos are unavailable. There are no formal records of Legislative Debates(Hansard) in Victoria until 1970. Political memoirs or autobiographies of relevantgovernment actors are also lacking. Among available primary sources are the minutes ofthe Royal Commission hearings, the final Commission reports, newspaper accounts’,legislative statutes and amendments to them. From these available sources, anexplanatory framework has been constructed.There are two major assumptions relevant to this explanatory framework. Thefirst is that the existence of the second and third Commissions can largely be explainedby taking a retrospective look at the immediately previous Commission. The primaryjustification for this is the timing of the Commissions. Royal Commission 112 wasappointed just six years after the release of Royal Commission I’s report, while RoyalCommission III’s creation came ten years after the release of Royal Commission H’sreport. Consequently, it will be expected that there was significant overlapping of issuesbetween Royal Commissions I and II and II and III. It will also be expected that therewas much reference to the previous Commissions in these cases.The second key assumption is that whether a royal commission can be considereda success or not is largely dependent on two factors. One has to do with the nature of therecommendations of the commission. Are they considered thorough, effective, wellconceived, practical, feasible and fair? Or are they considered unsuccessful in these17respects, either in process or in substance, particularly by the relevant interest groups?The other cross-cutting factor is to what degree the government adopts theserecommendations. Do governments adopt little, some, or much of the commission’ssuggestions? Further, how do governments handle the major importantrecommendations? Under these criteria, a royal commission would be consideredsuccessful if the recommendations received widespread approval and governmentsadopted most , if not all, of them. The failure of a royal commission could come duringthe recommendation stage, the government adoption stage or both. The explanatoryframework contains four scenarios.SCENARIO #1- The commission’s recommendations are considered appropriateand the government, by and large, adopts them. As mentioned, this would result in whatis considered a successful royal commission. Thus, the subsequent commission could beexplained by the emergence of new issues, problems and circumstances that the previouscommission could not reasonably have been expected to foresee. In the case of workers’compensation, they could be any combination of a change in labour values (i.e theirminimum terms), change in the ideology or party of the government, new technologyleading to new occupational safety and health issues, change in the economic climate,change in the W.C.B. policy and partisan politics (i.e. an election campaign promise).Under this scenario, neither the previous royal commission nor the actions of thegovernment of that day can be considered responsible for the next commission.SCENARIO #2 - The commission’s recommendations are considered appropriate butthe government does not adopt them. There are two possiblities here. Either thegovernment makes few or no subsequent changes to the W.C.A. or its amendments are atwide variance with the commission’s recommendations. In both cases the government isconsidered responsible for the failure of the commission. Interest groups, particularlylabour, focus their attacks on the government, who in turn appoint the subsequent18commission to appease them and/or genuinely seek another opinion on the whole issue.SCENARIO #3 - The commission’s recommendations are considered inappropriateand the government, by and large, adopts them. A commission’s recommendations canbe considered inappropriate for a number of reasons. They include, bias towards oneinterest group (probably industry), impracticality, not being up to the standards in otherjurisdictions in Canada or elsewhere, dissatisfaction with the hearings’ procedures orbeing based on controversial facts. Despite the review period between the release of thecommission’s controversial report and the subsequent legislative reaction, the governmentadopts them for any of several reasons including, a lack of expertise with which to forman alternative opinion, a genuine belief in the merits of the recommendations or a simplepolicy of adopting royal commission recommendations j facto. Whatever the case,both the government and the commission are considered responsible for the failure of theinquiry; the commission, for the flawed recommendations and the government, foradopting them. Thus, new problems are created, perhaps old ones not solved and theneed for another royal commission arises to ‘get it right.’SCENARIO #4 - The commission’s recommendations are considered inappropriateand the government does not adopt them. The recommendations are consideredinappropriate for reasons already mentioned. The government then does one of threethings. It makes few or no changes to the W.C.A. Thus, the original problems still existand pressure is applied on the government to appoint another commission to solve them.Another possibility is that the government disregards the flawed recommendations andcreates it own amendments which, for different reasons, are also consideredinappropriate. Thus, new problems now exist which require another commission toinvestigate them. The third possibility is that the government disregards therecommendations and creates its own legislation which is considered appropriate.Hence, the commission itself is considered a failure but through government ingenuity19the problem is solved. As in SCENARIO #1, however, new problems, circumstancesand/or circumstances arise and thus, another royal commission is required.The determination of whether or not a commission’s recommendations areconsidered appropriate by the relevant interest groups will be based on newspaperaccounts, the minutes of the subsequent Royal Commission hearings and to a lesserdegree, the final Commission reports. Newspaper accounts will also be relied on togauge interest group and government sentiments during the inter-commission periods.The minutes of the Commission hearings should provide good summaries of interestgroup sentiments toward the previous inquiry. Determining to what degree thegovernment adopts the Commission’s recommendations is a somewhat simpler task. Onecompares the recommendations with governments’ subsequent amendments to theW.C.A. between the release of the Commission report and the announcement of the nextinquiry. The criteria for defining the major, important issues will be based on thenumber of workers affected, the amount of money involved and the sentiments expressedby labour and industry representatives during the hearings.Finally, it should be emphasized that the main goal of Chapters 4 and 5 is todetermine which of the four explanatory SCENARIOS best describe Royal CommissionsII and III respectively. While questions such as why a government does or does notadopt a Commission’s recommendations or adopts them in an incremental, piece-mealmanner as opposed to all—at-once, are certainly relevant, the absence of importantprimary sources can only leave one to speculate on them. Nor will this paper attempt toexplain why B.C. governments did not substitute these series of royal commissions withLegislative Committees or simply deal with ongoing issues involving workers’compensation through the conventional channel of cabinet deliberation.20CHAPTER 4EXPLAINING THE CREATION OF ROYAL COMMISSION IIAlthough the main objective of this chapter is to determine what explanatoryscenario best fits Royal Commission II, a few words on why, possibly, RoyalCommission I was created are perhaps appropriate. The absence of important primarysources makes it difficult to state firm conclusions on this question. In 1938, the Liberalgovernment of Dufferin Pattullo introduced amendments to the W.C.A. increasingbenefits to injured workers, as well as to widows and dependents of workers killed on thejob. According to newspaper accounts, pressure in the Legislature by the labour-backedCooperative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.) party was at least partly responsible forthese legislative changes.1The relationship between the Liberal government and B.C. labour had souredbecause of two violent strike-related incidents, as well as the latter’s discontent with otherlabour-related issues.2 Perhaps, then, these amendments to the W.C.A. were meant toappease the labour sector. If this was the case, the manoeuvre failed. The amendmentsfell short of the C.C.F.’s demands and for labour, too much water had passed under thebridge. Harold Winch, C.C.F. leader, called unsuccessfully, for a Special Committee tothe Legislature to perform a complete probe of the Act in late 1940.Royal Commission I was officially appointed on July 1, 1941 through an order-in-council. There are two items to be mentioned with regard to the Pattullo government’srationale for the Commission. First, the C. Federationist reported that the appointmentof Royal Commission I was the fulfillment of a promise made by Premier Pattullo toWinch.4 The other part of the deal was that the latter would not introduce anothermotion calling for a Special Legislative Committee to probe the W.C.A. Second, theCommission was appointed only a few weeks before the Premier called an election.Thus, it is quite possible that the first of the series of Royal Commissions on the W.C.A.21was a pre-election gift the labour movement.Royal Commission I had one commissioner, Gordon McGregor Sloan, then theChief Justice of the Court of Appeal of B.C. He had been the youngest attorney-generalin Canadian history in a previous B.C. Liberal government. Chief Justice Sloan appearsto have been something of a royal commission specialist. Not only was he to be the solecommissioner of both Royal Commmissions I and II, he was also the sole commissionerin two major B.C. royal commissions on the forest industry.5 Despite his past Liberalties, there does not appear to have been much, if any, dissatisfaction with hisappointment to Royal Commission I.The Commission hearings opened August 5, 1941 and closed March 6, 1942.The Commission sat for 52 days and held hearings in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo,Nelson, Lillooet and Goldbridge. The total number of witnesses that testified was 160.Their evidence was recorded on 5,065 pages of transcript.6 The vast majority of thesewitnesses were union representatives, industry representatives and members of themedical profession. There were 218 exhibits produced as evidence. These numberswould pale in comparison with Royal Commissions II and III. However, there is noevidence that any groups or individuals felt that they did not have their say or that theproceedings were cut prematurely short.From reviewing the testimony of industry and labour representatives, it isapparent that there were at least nine issues that could be considered of majorimportance. Perhaps the most controversial one was ‘blanket coverage’. This term refersto, rather simply, to a situation where all workers regularly engaged in all industries oroccupations would be covered for all diseases arising out of or in the course of theiremployment.7 The existing Act covered different workers under various clauses. Theyreceived scheduled coverage, which referred to a list of specified diseases corresponding22to particular industhes or processes to which the diseases were peculiar. The W.C.B.was empowered to add to that list as it saw fit.Union representatives were strongly and unanimously for ‘blanket coverage’,arguing that certain groups of workers were ‘falling between the cracks’ of theclassifications and that the W.C.B. had “failed to exercise initiative” in adding diseases tothe scheduled list.8 During the hearings, various labour representatives suggestedoccupational diseases that they felt had been erroneously left off the list. TheCommissioner sided with industry, who were just as unanimously opposed to the ‘blanketcoverage’ scheme. Chief Justice Sloan reasoned that the existing system had workedwell, few workers would benefit from the ‘blanket coverage’ change and that no otherjurisdiction in North America had the proposed system in place.9 He further analyzed,disease by disease, the examples put forth by labour and concluded in each case that theW.C.B had not erred by leaving them off the list.Another major issue during Royal Commission I was ‘average earnings’. Thisterm refers to the method of calculation of compensation due to an injured worker whiledisabled. The existing Act gave wide discretion to the W.C.B. in the manner ofcalculating compensation, and suggested various ways in which it could be done,depending on the circumstances of the worker and the injury.10 Labour representativeswere strongly in favor of restricting this discretion, and many of them supported the ideaof all compensation payments being based on the rate of wages being received by theworker at the time of the injury.However, when the Commissioner produced hypothetical cases in which thismethod would actually harm workers, several unions agreed and withdrew thisdemand.11 Labour’s initial demand here, to restrict W.C.B. discretion, appears, again, tohave been premised on a distrust of the Board. Chief Justice Sloan addressed several23individual cases which unions claimed were examples of compensation payments beingunfairly calculated. He defended the Board in each case. Again, on this issue,Commissioner Sloan sided with industry, but it should be pointed out that, by the end ofthe proceedings, labour was ambivalent on the subject.The question of whether to establish a medical appeal board was also a majorissue. While there was virtually no one advocating provision for W.C.B. decisions to beappealed to law courts, there was some sentiment expressed favoring an independenttribunal to review Board decisions on medical grounds, if either the employer oremployee was unhappy over a case. There was a clear split in the labour movement onthis issue. The larger and more powerful coastal unions opposed any appeal board.Harold Pritchett, representing three of the largest B.C. coastal unions, stated that anappeal board would result in industry appealing all the cases with which it was evenslightly unhappy, which, in turn, would cause delays and general chaos in payments toworkers.12 On the other hand, the smaller interior, mostly mining, unions favored amedical appeal board. Henry Nicholson, head of the Sullivan Mine Workmen’sCooperative Committee, stated that such a tribunal was preferred because W.C.B. doctorsdid not travel to the more remote areas of the province often enough. Consequently, hesaid, decisions affecting their union members were being made far away in Vancouver onthe basis of written reports, not first-hand examinations.13 Industry, fearing thatemployees would appeal too many cases, were unanimously opposed to a medical appealboard. It appears as if the coastal unions and industry were on the same side on this issuebecause of mutual distrust. The case of a medical appeal board was more of an issue ofphilosophy or principle than of logic or efficiency. As such, it was easy for Chief JusticeSloan to take the majority opinion on this issue and oppose any appeal tribunal.Labour representatives pushed for an extension of the age of coverage fordependent children from 16 to 18. They did this primarily to aid 17 and 18 year old24dependents of killed workers in their educational pursuits and because eighteen was theminimum age at which one could be employed in the mining industry in B.C. at thetime. 14 Industry representatives did not form a consensus on this issue. One majorwitness opposed the proposed amendment entirely, another suggested upping the age to17 and a couple of others supported the idea only in cases where it could be establishedthat the teenager needed financial assistance for education. They demanded that in anychange, payments not be retroactive to any previous time period. Chief Justice Sloanopted for the scheme based on need of financial assistance for education, with nopayments retroactive as industry had demanded.15 In this issue, the Commissionercompromised.At the time of the hearings there was no formal rehabilitation scheme in place,although the W.C.B. did have some limited activity in this area. Unions argued stronglyfor a rehabilitation program, pointing out that large and sophisticated programs existed inOntario, Britain and the U.S. Further, they argued that B.C. was the only province inCanada without at least some statutory provision for workers’ rehabilitation.16 A fewindustry representatives supported a rehabilitation scheme of some sort, while most ofthem were silent on the issue. Chief Justice Sloan, although short on specifics,recommended a comprehensive program providing for both physical and vocationalrehabilitation. His only proviso was that employers, employees and the governmentshare in its costs. Thus, the Commissioner sided with labour on this issue.Another important issue in Royal Commission I regarded the compensation rate.The existing rate of compensation for workers who were permanently totally disabledwas sixty-six and two-thirds percent of his/her average earnings during his/her workinglifetime. If after a thorough search, a permanently partially disabled worker could onlyget a job that paid less than his/her previous job, he/she would get this percentage of thedifference between the two wages.17 This rate had been raised from fifty-five percent in25the original W.C.A. in 1916. Most unions submitted briefs to Chief Justice Sloan askingthat the rate be raised to anywhere from seventy-five to one hundred percent. Industrystrongly favored the status quo. The Commissioner sided with industry stating that anyincrease would add too much of a burden to them and that the B.C. rate was the same asthe rest of Canada and higher than most American states.18The issue of the ‘waiting period’ was also an important one in first Commission.The existing Act deemed that no compensation would be paid to an injured worker whowas unable to work for only three days or less. Further, the disabled worker would notreceive workers’ compensation for the first three days unless his/her total disablementperiod lasted more than fourteen days.’9 Several unions pushed for the elimination ofthe waiting period and the reduction of the retroactive period, while industry argued infavor of their retention. The latter predicted that eliminating the three day waiting periodwould result in the W.C.B. being overwhelmed with petty claims and that workers would‘time their injuries’ to have long weekends at industry’s expense. They also claimed thatthe ‘waiting period’ was part of the workers’ contribution to the Accident Fund. Labour’spoint was that workers disabled between three and fourteen days were beingshortchanged. After an extensive comparative analysis with all of North America in thisregard, Chief Justice Sloan sided with industry and recommended no change.20Most union representatives asked for a statutory provision which would allowinjured workers to select a chiropractor for treatment instead of a “qualified practisingphysician”. Under the existing Act the W.C.B. had full discretion in this regard.Industry representatives had little to say on this issue. Commissioner Sloan rejectedlabour’s request, hinting at skepticism of the chiropractic profession and itseffectiveness.2’According to the Commissioner, the Board was in the best position tojudge which type of treatment would be appropriate.26The final major issue in Royal Commission I involved evaluation of incapacity.This was one of the most controversial and complicated matters in Royal Commission I.The key issue here involved cases where workers, who were permanently partiallydisabled, had recovered but had not been able resume work in their former occupation.The existing system deemed that these workers would get sixty-six and two-thirdspercent of the difference between their former wage and an estimated wage of a potentialnew job.22The labour representatives demanded strongly that these workers, while trying tofind suitable work, should continue to be compensated as totally disabled workersreceiving sixty-six and two-thirds percent of their former wage. Such a clause existed inthe British Workman’s Compensation Act. Industry representatives opposed thisproposed amendment on the grounds that it was akin to unemployment insurance,something the Act was not intended to provide.23 Chief Justice Sloan prefaced hisrecommendation by stating that a comprehensive vocational and physical rehabilitationprogram would solve a lot of the problems in this regard. His recommendation was acompromise, suggesting that the W.C.B. have discretion on what basis a permanentlypartially disabled unemployed worker should be compensated.24There were many other issues that Commissioner Sloan dealt with. A number ofthem related to allowances for dependents of killed workers. He recommended slightincreases in several categories to account for inflation, as labour had asked for andindustry had approved.25 There were several proposed amendments, pushed by miningunion representatives, relating to silicosis; Chief Justice Sloan approved most of these.The remaining issues dealt primarily with W.C.B. administrative procedures.In briefly summarizing the substance of the Commissioner’s recommendations, itappears as if he struck a fairly balanced compromise between industry and labour, with27perhaps the former getting slightly the better of it. On particularly controversial issues,such as average earnings and evaluation of incapacity, the Commissioner opted forW.C.B. discretion rather than statutory regulation favoring one side or the other.Before looking at reaction to the recommendations, two general comments aboutthe Royal Commission I hearings will be stated. First, industry and their representativeswho testified at the hearings appeared to be much better prepared than their labourcounterparts. This is perhaps not surprising given the court-like proceedings that a royalcommission emulates. All of the major industry representatives who submitted briefs tothe hearings held law degrees.26 In general, they appeared to be confident and wellprepared when cross-examined by labour representatives. In addition, industry retainedseveral prominent legal counsellors during the hearings both for consultation when undercross-examination and for the purposes of cross-examining labour representatives. Bycontrast, none of the representatives of labour had legal backgrounds. Many of themwere hesitant under cross-examination and some of them even seemed intimidated by theCommission atmosphere. In some cases it was if they had merely read scripts and wereunable to fully understand the rationale for the demands they were presenting. Whateffect this imbalance in legal experience had on the Commissioner is impossible to say,but it certainly could not have helped labour’s efforts during the hearings.The second general point to be made is that industry representatives appeared tobe more unified in their demands than their labour counterparts. On most issues theindustrial sector presented a united front in their submissions, while the labour group wasoften split. This is perhaps best reflected by the fact that the labour representatives couldbe divided into three categories, the large coastal unions, the interior (mostly mining)unions and other organized labour groups. There seemed to be less coordination in thedemands of these groups than in those of their industry counterparts. Many of the labourrepresentatives appeared only to be concerned with issues particular to their industry and28lacked a broader perspective of the of the W.C.A. Thus, industry submissions tended tobe longer and more extensive while labour testimony often only focussed on a few issues.Commissioner Sloan referred to this division amongst labour in the final report and thisfact undoubtedly hurt them in making effective submissions. These two general pointswill be alluded to later.Royal Commission Is hearings ended on March 6, 1942. Chief Justice Sloan’ssubsequent report was released to the public on September 15, 1942. The four hundredpage report was considered one of the most exhaustive in B.C. history.27 Newspaperaccounts of the initial reaction to the report yield fairly positive sentiments toward it.This was perhaps a reflection of the skilful compromising efforts of the Commissioner.Lawrence Anderson, Secretary of the Joint Shipyards Union, said that recommendationsin favor of the workers were “excellent”.28 Birt Showler, President of the VancouverTrades & Labour Council, said, “The report as a whole is a good one and very definitelya step upwards, which is all to the good of the masses.”29 The headline in the October,1942 issue of the Labour Statesman read “Compensation Act Inquiry Report Is VeryFavorable”.30 A joint committee of nine different railroad workers’ unions submitted abrief to cabinet that expressed general agreement with Chief Justice Sloan’srecommendations.31 Industry, too, was pleased. Stated Senator W.A. deBeque Farris,chief counsel for nine employer groups at the hearings, “I think Mr. Justice Sloan hasdone a public service by his report. Many recommendations were made to theCommission for changes which would have defeated their purpose by making the Actunworkable. Some would have proved too burdensome and others, impractical andunsound. The Commissioner seems to have weeded out these proposals.”32The only group that appears to have been significantly upset was the B.C.Hospital Association. There were several administrative and cost issues associated withthe W.C.B. that it felt were not addressed satisfactorily in the Commission report.3329Nonetheless, these newspaper accounts are the first indication that the Royal CommissionI recommendations were considered appropriate by the relevant interest groups.Attention will now turn to the first inter-commission period.As mentioned previously, the rationale behind the creation of Royal CommissionI by the Liberal government may have been to provide a pre-election ‘carrot’ to the labourmovement. If this was the case, the move did not work well. The Pattullo governmentlost its majority in the Legislature as a result of the 1941 election. A coalitiongovernment with the Pattullo Liberals and the John Hart Conservatives was formed withthe latter taking over the Premier’s reigns. Labour Minister George Pearson kept hisportfolio.It was not until six months after the September, 1942 release of the RoyalCommission I report in that the government introduced, debated and passed amendmentsin reaction to it. As Table I indicates, the Hart coalition government adopted the vastmajority of Chief Justice Sloan’s recommendations. On all of the major issues discussedpreviously, the government adopted the Commission’s suggestions. So many of therecommendations were adopted that, for the sake of brevity, the only five of forty-seventhat were not, will be considered specifically. Three of them had to with silicosis. Thesethree recommendations by Chief Justice Sloan were in response to rather minor demandsby mining unions. The government concurred with several other of his recommendationsin the area of silicosis so it cannot be said that there was a pattern in this group of issues.Another rejected recommendation was a proposal to unify and simplify accidentprevention services across government departments and the statutory Acts they serve.This proposal came from the Board itself and was probably considered not feasible bythe government. The recommendation to speed up doctors’ responses to administrativeduties was not enacted in 1943, but was in 1946. There are no newspaper accounts of the30legislative debate involving these amendments nor the interest group reaction to them.This is probably an indication that the circumstances surrounding the government’sresponse to Chief Justice Sloan’s report were not controversial.At this point, then, it appears as if Royal Commission I was considered a success.Chief Justice Sloan’s recommendations were generally well received and the governmentadopted virtually all of them. However, any anticipation of a period of tranquilityinvolving workers’ compensation issues in B.C. would not have been well founded. Lessthan a year after the 1943 bill, the B.C. Trades and Labour Congress presented a brief tothe Coalition cabinet asking for ‘blanket coverage’, a rasie in the minimum allowance andelimination of the workers’ contribution to the Medical Aid Fund.34 A couple of weekslater, the Standard Railway Organization also met the cabinet and asked for an increasein the compensation rate to seventy-five percent and allowance of other thanconventional types of medical treatment to come under coverage and repeated thedemands of the B.C. T.L.C.35 Two years later, in November of 1945, the T.L.C. cameback to Victoria and demanded ‘blanket coverage’, a one hundred percent compensationrate, elimination of the ‘waiting period’, a raise in widows’ allowances, speeding up ofdoctors’ administrative duties, upping the age limit for dependent children in all cases andcoverage for replacement of broken dentures and spectacles, amongst other things.36All of these issues had been dealt with during Royal Commission I. But, whereasthey appear to have been relatively settled just a couple of years before, they became thesubject of controversy again. The Hart Coalition government was solidly re-elected inOctober, 1945 and appears to have been on the verge of appointing Royal Commission IIshortly afterwards. Pearson, in December of 1945, predicted a royal commission,“carrying on from the point where the investigation of 1941 finished.”37 He stated, amonth later, that his “personal view is that a periodical review of the W.C.A. by aCommissioner is a practical way of dealing with the problem.”38 Winch added, “It31seems to me a foregone conclusion that a Royal Commission will be appointed toconsider the whole matter of reforms which labour has urged and is urging.”39Whether Pearson changed his mind or was overruled by the cabinet or thePremier, in March, 1946 the Coalition government forestalled Royal Commission II byintroducing the second batch of amendments to the W.C.A. since the release of RoyalCommission I’s report. This bill seems to have been clearly designed to appease aincreasingly discontented B.C. labour movement. The major changes were:discontinuance of payments to the Medical Aid Fund by workers, extension of the timelimit to three years for a worker to file a claim, full coverage for silicosis victims even ifthey were first exposed in out-of-B.C. mines and provision for compensation for workerswho had broken their dentures or spectacles on the job.40Proposed C.C.F. amendments that were rejected in the Legislature included‘blanket coverage’, increases in the allowances for dependents of killed workers, a raise inthe compensation rate, coverage for fishermen, abolition of the ‘waiting period and fullcompensation for a permanent partial disability case until suitable employment could befound.41 The most controversial proposal that was rejected was one that would havemandated the W.C.B. to have chiropractors and naturopaths on its medical staff. TheC.C.F. argued long and hard on this issue and even convinced four governmentbackbenchers to side with them. The leftist party accused the government of caving in topressure from a jealous and skeptical B.C. Medical Association.42Despite the fact that the 1946 bill was a not insignificant gain by the B.C. labourmovement, agitation over the Act continued. In session after session in Victoria, theC.C.F. would introduce amendments that would have altered the W.C.A., and labourconferences across B.C. passed resolutions demanding changes in the Act. It seems clearthat the labour sector in B.C. had become much more hardline and militant since the32government had adopted, with its support, most of Chief Justice Sloan’srecommendations in 1943.What explains this phenomenon? The answer lies in rather profound changes thatwere taking place in the nature and composition of the labour movement at this time.Even as the government was adopting most of Chief Justice Sloan’s well receivedrecommendations, World War II was beginning to wind down in the minds of Canadians.The labour sector in B.C. and in Canada as a whole, had made what it consideredsignificant sacrifices at home and abroad. One of these sacrifices was its overly generouscompromising on W.C.A. issues in Royal Commission I. Governments’ pleas for moresacrifices for the sake of unity against the enemy were now ceasing to be effective with alabour movement that was undergoing a rapid metamorphosis, especially in B.C.During the World War II years, the coastal unions expanded dramatically.Various affiliates of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada grew because of warproduction and federal enabling legislation. Thousands of skilled workers in the buildingtrades swelled the Congress’s membership.43 Pulp and paper workers organized moreeffectively. The most significant expansion took place when workers in unions affiliatedwith the break-away Congress of Industrial Organization, the former major rival union tothe T.L.C., joined those in the All-Canadian Congress of Labour to form the large, newC.C.L. Workers from the various industrial occupations brought with them a hard-lineattitude. Significant organizational work was seen in the shipbuilding unions in 1943.The Vancouver affiliate of the Boilermakers’ Union expanded from two hundredmembers in 1940 to over fourteen thousand in 1943, making it the largest union inCanada.45 In the latter year, coastal packinghouse workers achieved union certification.In June of 1944, the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers’ Union signed up eight thousandmembers and received certification. The International Woodworkers of America wentfrom fifteen hundred members in 1940 to over fifteen thousand members in 1943.46 The33urban unions grew as well. The Vancouver Labour Council increased from sixteenaffiliates and twenty-seven hundred members in 1940 to thirty-eight affiliates andtwenty-eight thousand members in 1944. Such C.C.L. expansion also took place inVictoria and Prince Rupert. Looking at the big picture, in the six year period between1939 and 1945, union membership in B.C. went from 34,397 to 83,823.48 In the formeryear, an estimated 12.7 per cent of the province’s labour sector was unionized, while inthe latter year the figure was about 30 per cent.Combined with this rapid expansion of the industrial union movement was thesignificant role played by communists. Zealous and competent organizers, communistswere dominant in the early 1940’s in the Boilermakers’, Shipyard Workers’,Longshoremen’s, the I.W.A. and the Metal Miners’, among industrial unions. Today’slarge and powerful B.C. Federation of Labour was formed in 1944 and communistleadership dominated it then.49 Although there were attempts to curtail Communistpower within the wartime B.C. union sector, the extreme left-wing element provedresilient. The union communists, buoyed by the swelling of their rank and file, initiatedsignificant strike action and actively lobbied legislators unlike their more docilepredecessors. Travelling to Victoria to present demands to the government cabinetbecame a common trip for the new unionists.Royal Commission I on the W.C.A. took place during the time of leadershipbattles in union halls across the province. By the time the communists had emerged incontrol, the government’s legislative reaction to Royal Commission I was already on thebooks. The new unionists’ view of the Commission was that it was held duringextraordinary times and that it was not reflective of long term reality. Stated a prominentradical B.C.F.L. official during Royal Commission III, “. . .the 1942 report when we citedthis report, we had to keep in mind that this was a war time report. It was made at a timewhen things were in a rather precarious position and we had to bear in mind that the34opinions had not been consolidated on anything.”5° The B.C. labour movement of thevery early 1940’s, smaller and less militant, had accepted Royal Commission I’srecommendations rather passively. However, as its size and leadership had changedrapidly, so did its views on the W.C.A. which ultimately helped lead to the creation ofRoyal Commission II just a few years later.As with Royal Commission I, there appears to have been political overtones withthe timing of the announcement of Royal Commission II. Pearson announced to thepress on March 8, 1949, his government’s intention of holding the inquiry.51 Just fiveweeks later Byron Johnson, who had replaced Premier Hart, who had resigned for healthreasons, dissolved the Legislature and called a provincial election for June of 1949. Justfour days before the election date, Pearson announced that Chief Justice Sloan wouldagain be a one-man commission.52The fact that he was re-appointed as the sole commissioner is another indicationthat the Chief Justice and his 1942 recommendations were considered successful, at leastby the government, despite subsequent labour agitation over the Act. It would not havemade much political sense for the government to make the re-appointmentannouncement, especially just four days before an election, if he and his suggestions hadbeen considered a failure, particularly by the enlarged B.C. labour movement. Thelabour sector’s positive sentiments toward Chief Justice Sloan’s re-appointment wereperhaps best expressed by C.C.F. leader Harold Winch in his opening testimony in RoyalCommission II: “The scope, thoroughness and findings of your 1942 inquiry were ofsuch high standard that although the workers did not obtain, and have not yet achieved,all the improvements they felt and still feel they are entitled to, nevertheless your reappointment to again hold a public inquiry is an occasion of considerable satisfaction toall workers in industry.”5335Although a more thorough, substantive analysis of Royal Commission II will bepresented in the next chapter, a precursory look at it confirms the expectation that therewould be significant reference in it to Royal Commission I. In fact, a common pattern inthe second proceedings would be for an industry counsel to be cross-examining a unionofficial as to why, just a few years after approving Royal Commission I’s recommendations, was his organization back making new demands. More specifically, hewould be asked what had changed in just a few years that would compel the Chief Justiceto reverse or alter his views from those he held a short time ago.An example of such an issue is ‘blanket coverage’ which Chief Justice Sloanrejected in Royal Conimission I. It was also to be an important subject in RoyalCommission II. When cross-examined by Alfred Bull, counsel for the B.C. Loggers’Association, George Home, representative of the B.C.F.L. was accused of merelyrepeating demands made during the 1942 Commission. He replied, “I would suggest thatis the way you have of adding improvement to legislation over a period of time.” Whenasked what had changed in seven years as far as the ‘blanket coverage’ issue wasconcerned he responded, “. . .the Commissioner came to his findings here on the basis ofan inquiry which was held in 1942. The Commissioner will come to his findings here onthe basis of evidence produced in this inquiry. I don’t think at this time I am prepared todispute the Commissioner’s findings in 1942.” He went further, “I don’t think there is agreat deal of hard feeling against the Compensation Board or the Compensation Act butthere is continuous advocating for amendments to the Act toward the ultimate goal thatthe people of the province want.”54 Winch added, “In the past seven years there havebeen growing signs of recognition for blanket coverage. Anyone, except someone whohas a closed mind, learns something every day. The present Commissioner is seven yearsolder and wiser and may see his way clear to the realizing the mistake he made.”5536What the labour sector seemed to be implying, at least on the ‘blanket coverage’issue, was that its values, expectations and minimum terms had changed in seven years.It was willing, albeit grudgingly, to accept rejection of the ‘blanket coverage’ concept in1942 but was not, seven years later. This is a reflection of the increased militancy andhardening of attitudes that had taken place in the B.C. labour movement. Of the eightother major issues in Royal Commission I, seven were again topics of debate in RoyalCommission II, though in some cases - average earnings method and ‘waiting period’ -not as major or controversial as before. The only major issue in the first Commissionthat did not re-appear was the age limit for dependent children receiving compensationfor the loss of their father. As was the case in the ‘blanket coverage’ issue, unionrepresentatives would often argue that the re-consideration of these issues was not somuch based on new information as on more enlightened and progressive attitudes.It would be inaccurate, however, to state that labour attitude was the onlychanging factor relevant to the W.C.A. in the first inter-commission period. The postwar years in B.C., as in the rest of North America, had seen large industrial expansion.New industries started up, bringing with them new occupational safety and health issues.This was also the case in established industries that were adapting to rapidly developingnew technology. New occupational safety and health issues, or increased awareness ofprevious ones, were also arising due to advances in medical science. These newdevelopments were at least partially reflected by the fact that two-thirds of the issues inRoyal Commission II had been dealt with peripherally or not at all in Royal CommissionI. Dorothy Steeves, a C.C.F. M.L.A. at that time, later wrote, “Changing industrialconditions after the war demanded new policies in workmen’s compensation and thegovernment set up a second Royal Commission of enquiry... “56Another situation that had changed was the labour movement’s view of the Board37itself. During Royal Commission I, the W.C.B. members were widely praised by allinterest groups. However, the sentiments toward them was much more negative duringRoyal Commission II. Perhaps the fact that the Board was completely turned overbetween 1943 and 1948 was significant here. Bill White, Boilermakers’ Union head andprominent labour official at the time, later wrote that he had compiled some ninety-fivecases where workers’ claims had been, in his opinion, clearly unfairly dealt with by theBoard. He then personally presented these individual cases to Attorney-General GordonWismer, who acknowledged the injustices in them. According to White, it was on thebasis of these cases that the second inquiry was created.57 In general, the labourrepresentatives expressed a much harsher view towards the three-person Board in RoyalCommission II. Not only were its methods of dealing with claims criticized, but so wereits attitudes in general. It was accused of being insensitive, arrogant and antagonistictowards injured workers.CONCLUSIONIt would appear as if SCENARIO #1 provides the best explanation for thecreation of Royal Commission II; that is the previous Commission’s recommendationswere considered appropriate and the government, by and large, adopted them, but rapidlychanging circumstances altered the context of the recommendations. From Table I, thereis little doubt that the governments did in fact adopt Royal Commission rsrecommendations. Only a handful of relatively minor ones were not accepted in the firstround of amendments. In the second round, several significant concessions to the labourmovement were made but the essence of the first Commission’s recommendationsremained intact.There is also considerable evidence that the recommendations themselves wereconsidered thorough, feasible, practical and fair by both industry and labour at the time38they were being formed and released. A review of newspaper accounts shows bothgroups praising all aspects of Royal Commission I. An analysis of the major issues andindustry and labour’s demands indicates that Chief Justice Sloan’s recommendations werenot strongly biased in favor of either group. The fact that he was re-appointed to RoyalCommission II without any apparent dissent is a further indication of the belief thatRoyal Commission I had been a positive event. The references to it and itsrecommendations in the hearings of Royal Commission II were non-controversial.Thus, Royal Commission I had been considered a success, though a limited onedue to changing circumstances. Perhaps the biggest change occurred in the dynamics ofthe B.C. labour movement. A combination of soldiers returning home, immigration anda booming post-war economy had swelled union membership strength. With thisexpansion came a strong communist influence which brought with it a hardening ofattitudes and a type of militancy that had not existed in the early stages of World War IIduring when Royal Commission I was held. It has been argued by some that in good,prosperous times labour unions are strong and demanding, while in tough economictimes they are weaker and more docile.58 This axiom can certainly be applied to RoyalCommission I and the period immediately following it.Other circumstances had changed during the first inter-commission period. Theexpanding economy had brought with it new production techniques which in turn creatednew occupational safety and health issues. However, as Chapter 5 will suggest, thesenew technology-related issues were more a consequence of Royal Commission II than acause of it. The same can be said for advances in occupational health sciences researchand the new issues it spawned. Another changing circumstance during the first intercommission period was the relationship between the W.C.B. and the labour movement.A complete turnover in the Board had brought with it, according to labour, anantagonistic, hostile, anti-worker attitude regarding individual claims.39The combination of these changing factors in the early post-war era drove thelabour movement to apply considerable pressure on the governments to make changes inthe W.C.A. After the 1946 amendments had failed to appease the workers’ organizations,the Coalition government decided on the royal commission route again in response to thispressure.40CHAFFER 5EXPLAINING THE CREATION OF ROYAL COMMISSION IIIRoyal Commission II began hearings on November 7, 1949 and ended them justmore than two years later on November 23, 1951. Testimony was heard from 630witnesses. Among them were 43 medical doctors, 48 union representatives and 26people testifying on behalf of large industries in B.C. The testimony was recorded on22,982 pages of transcript and over 1200 exhibits were submitted. The Commission wasin session for 226 days and heard testimony in Vancouver, Victoria, Trail and Nelson.The Commissioner also inspected rehabilitation centers in several locales in both Canadaand the United States.1At the time, such an extensive and exhaustive set of proceedings was quiteunusual for a B.C. royal commission. This development was apparently quite unforeseenby the government and Commissioner Sloan himself. He stated in the preamble of hisfinal report, “He (Attorney-General Wismer) pointed out that as I had acted in a similarcapacity in 1942 it was my duty to undertake this further inquiry, and then added thatonly a few matters required investigation and that the Commission would probably notrequire more than two or three months of my time. Because of these representations Iagreed to act as requested.”2 It may be inferred from these sentiments that the originalintent of the Commission was just to quickly update the major issues, rather than addressthe morass of legal and medical subjects it would wind up dealing with. RoyalCommission II was slow getting started. Stated the Chief Justice on the third day of thehearings, “There is a great clamor to get under way and then we get here and find aboutthree briefs ready for presentation.” He also said, ironically, that he did not want tospend the next two years on this Commission.3 The extraordinary length of theCommission created a mood of impatience in the labour movement. At a C.C.F.sponsored conference eleven months into the Commission’s work, Vancouver labour41groups passed a resolution urging Commissioner Sloan to submit an interim report.4Winch stated at the conference, “The government, acting on behalf of industry, isdragging this inquiry out. The longer it takes the more it is to the interest of industry thatwill have to pay for any improvements in the Act.” However, three months later,executive members of B.C.’s three main labour organizations submitted a brief to thecabinet stating that they were “well satisfied with the treatment its representatives hadreceived in the hearings Chief Justice Sloan was holding.”5 Perhaps due to the extendedlength, the circumstances surrounding Royal Commission II were, in general, morepolitically charged than in the previous Commission.One reason for the longer duration of Royal Commission II in comparison to itspredecessor was the large number of individual workers who felt compelled to testifyabout their own experiences and dealings with the W.C.B. According to White, many ofthese individuals came forward without any prior consultations with their union ororganized labour.6 Another difference from Royal Commission I, was the large numberof members of the medical profession who testified at the proceedings. While most weresummoned, many testified voluntarily. Most of this latter group spoke in support ofworkers. One particular medical doctor, Norman Kemp, a former W.C.B. physician whohad been dismissed by the Board, was especially noteworthy because of his blisteringcriticism of it. Kemp, who was present during most of the two year hearings, on his ownaccount, was a source of controversy for much of the proceedings.7As mentioned in Chapter 4, there were several major issues in Royal CommissionI that re-surfaced in Royal Commission II, including ‘blanket coverage’. As has beennoted, little had changed in the substance of this issue; rather, the changes had come inthe context of it. Labour representatives argued that there had been growing recognitionof the justness of ‘blanket coverage’ by workers and society in general. Industryrepresentatives, for essentially the same reasons as in 1942, rejected this idea in strong42terms. Commissioner Sloan took a different approach the second time around on thisissue by breaking it down into major groups of workers who were not covered and wouldbe under blanket coverage.’ In dealing with agricultural workers, Chief Justice Sloanpresented an extensive analysis of the nature of farm accidents as well as a comparison ofother countries’ handling of them.8 The Commissioner concluded that agriculturalworkers should have statutory coverage rather than have to apply for it. He added thatthe low number of requests from agricultural workers was due to their lack of educationand awareness.9The Act as it stood forbade domestic workers from receiving coverage.10 ChiefJustice Sloan argued that there would be too many administrative difficulties created byenacting compulsory coverage for domestic workers but that optional coverage wasappropriate.11 In a terse, one line statement, the Commissioner stated that there was noevidence that office personnel ought to be covered.12 As for the occupational diseaseaspect of this issue, the Commissioner, again, argued that workers would not be anybetter off in this regard from the scheduled disease method.13 Labour, as they did in1942, disagreed with this assertion. Thus, the Chief Justice made one major concession(agricultural workers), one minor concession (domestic workers) but, again, sided withindustry on this issue.As in Royal Commission I, the labour sector was split on the issue of a medicalappeal board. For example, while the growing B.C.F.L. favored an appeal board, theVancouver, New Westminster and District T.L.C., representing 32,000 workers, opposedit.14 However, unlike 1942, the industrial representatives were somewhat split on theissue. While the large Canadian Manufacturer’s Association (C.M.A.) opposed an appealtribunal, the Canadian National Railways and Canadian Pacific Railways favored it.’5The argument by the opposers was the same as it was in 1942, that both industry andlabour would over-use and over-load the system creating chaotic time delays and a43bureaucratic nightmare.Since Royal Commission I, a number of jurisdictions in the U.S., includingnearby Washington and Oregon, had erected medical appeal boards of some kind, soChief Justice Sloan now had some references to test the doubters’ hypothesis. His findingwas that the number of appealed cases in these jurisdictions was in fact very small and heconcluded that there was no reason to think that B.C. would be any different in thisregard. Thus, against much opposition on both sides, Commissioner Sloan recommendedthe creation of a medical appeal board. He also made many detailed suggestions as tohow this thbunal should be structured and operated. 16 It cannot be said that theCommissioner favored labour or industry on this controversial issue.Another major issue that resurfaced in Royal Commission II was thecompensation rate. The increased militancy of the B.C. labour movement was no moreapparent than on this issue. Virtually all of the union representatives sought a rateincrease from sixty-six and two-thirds percent to one hundred percent. The industryrepresentatives dug their heels in just as deeply and argued strongly that there should beno change in the rate. Chief Justice Sloan rejected the one hundred percent demand outof hand by quoting a large passage out of his 1942 report containing his thoughts on theissue. He also re-stated the whole rationale and underlying principles of the W.C.A.Commissioner Sloan did, however, after a thorough statistical analysis, ascertain that thepurchasing power of the average B.C. worker had declined since 1938. That, coupledwith the fact that the provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan had recently raised theircompensation rate to seventy-five percent, compelled Chief Justice Sloan to recommendan increase in the rate to seventy percent.’7 On this issue the Commissioner sided withindustry.As was the case in 1942, the chiropractor issue was not a labour-industry conflict44but rather a chiropractor/labour versus medical profession one. Both chiropractors andunion representatives asked that injured workers not be required first to obtainpermission from a physician to see a chiropractor to qualify for workers’ compensationcoverage.18 This contentious restriction was actually removed by the W.C.B. during thehearings, so the issue was quickly dealt with before Chief Justice Sloan had to make arecommendation on it. Several union representatives also requested that the W.C.B. hirechiropractors for its staff. The Commissioner made no comment in this regard.The issue of ‘light work’ was classified, in Chief Justice Sloan’s terms, as‘evaluation of incapacity’ during Royal Commission I. The often used term ‘light work’referred to a potential job a partially disabled employee could get that would pay lessthan his/her former job which he/she could not yet perform. In 1942, the Commissionerrecommended that the W.C.B. be given discretion as to whether a worker in this situationshould receive sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the difference between the ‘light work’wage and his/her former wage or that percentage of his former salary. Chief JusticeSloan had predicted that the issue would be resolved through a physical and rehabilitationscheme. He might have been at least partially correct because while ‘light work’ was amajor issue in Royal Commission II, it did not generate as much controversy as it didbefore. As in 1942, union representatives asked that the ‘light work’ clause be scrapped,while their industry counterparts defended it. Commissioner Sloan sided with the latterby suggesting that the subsection be left intact.19The other major subjects in Royal Commission II were either non-existent in1942 or not major ones then. The issue of widow’s pensions received much publicity inthe inter-commission period and was part of the larger feminist movement.20 Widows ofkilled workers received $50 per month, a figure that had not changed since 1943. Unionrepresentatives demanded an increase ranging anywhere from $25 to $50 per month,while business representatives unanimously suggested a $10 increase. Chief Justice45Sloan recommended the pension be increased to $75 per month and sided with labour.21At the time, dependent children of killed workers received an allowance $12.50per month. Most labour representatives asked for an increase to $17.50 per month.Curiously, industry representatives, almost unanimously, generously suggested the figurebe raised to an even higher figure of $20 per month, which is what Commissioner Sloanrecommended.22Two other monetary issues concerned the ceiling and floor on individualpayments. The least amount a disabled worker could receive was $12.50 per week.Industry representatives insisted on no increase, while their union counterparts suggestedan increase anywhere from $5 to $12.50 per week. Chief Justice Sloan recommended aminimum payment of $15 per week and thus, compromised on this issue23 Some unionsasked for the elimination of the $2,500 per year ceiling, while others wanted it raised toanywhere from $3,250 to $3,500 annually. Business representatives were almostunanimous in demanding that it remain the same, despite the rapid escalation in the costof living since the previous adjustment in 1943. The Commissioner recommended thatthe ceiling be raised to $3,600 per year and sided with labour on this issue.24 The finalmajor monetary issue concerned an injured worker’s per diem. Injured workers werereceiving up to a maximum of $3.50 daily allowance for medical visits outside of theirhome town.25 Labour representatives unanimously asked that this maximum be raised to$4.50 per day. Industry, in the words of Chief Justice Sloan, was strongly opposed toany increase. Citing inflationary pressures, the Commissioner sided with labour andrecommended that the maximum per diem be raised as they had demanded.26Although the scope and sheer number of issues was larger in Royal CommissionII than in its predecessor, there appeared to be fewer controversial, classic labourmanagement confrontations. Most of the other issues involved W.C.B. administrative46procedures. In many such issues, the sole testimony came from lawyers. New medicaltechnology had also helped create more issues. Quite often, here, the debate was strictlybetween members of the medical profession. Several other subjects related to the mannerin which the rehabilitation scheme could be upgraded and improved.In summarizing the major issues, it would be appropriate to say thatCommissioner Sloan was, again, fairly balanced in his overall judgements betweenlabour and industry. The Chief Justice seemed to defer to labour on quantitativecompensation payment rate issues, while siding with business on qualitative questionsinvolving principle or philosophy. As in Royal Commission I, neither side could say thatit got almost all of what it wanted but neither could it claim that it came away as a clearloser.As in Chapter 4, some general comments concerning Royal Commission II shallbe made before looking at reaction to the final report. First, as in Royal Commission I,industry had the cream of the B.C. legal talent pool representing them, while not a singlelabour representative had a legal background.27 Despite this, labour representativesseemed more confident, articulate and competent in the second Commission hearingsthan during the first. Only two out of the ten major labour representatives who testifiedin Royal Commission I returned to give evidence in the second Commission. Perhapsthese new union representatives had learned from their predecessors’ mistakes in 1942.Nonetheless, the lack of legal backgrounds precluded labour from becoming effectivelyinvolved in many of the administrative issue debates during the hearings.Another general comment about Royal Commission II to be made is that thelabour movement emphasized monetary compensation rate issues much more so than in1942. There are two possible reasons for this. First, the inflation rates in the yearsleading up to 1949 were much higher than in the period immediately preceding 1942.47Another possibility, judging from the general lack of controversy in Royal CommissionII, is that the high priced array of legal talent employed by industry again, may haveprompted the labour movement to change its strategy this time. By emphasizingmonetary issues, which all working people could relate to and which did not requiresophisticated legal knowledge to argue in favor of, labour improved its chances ofcoming away from Royal Commission II with substantial gains in at least some areas.Although the labour sector did not get much help from the legal world, they did getconsiderable support from members of the medical profession. Many medical doctorstestified in support of individual worker complaints or the labour movement in general.As far as industry representatives were concerned, as in the case of RoyalCommission I, they were generally more united in their stances than their labourcounterparts. B.C. business representatives expressed very conservative views on mostissues. They yielded only marginally in most monetary compensation areas despiteincreasing inflation, and were opposed to almost all major labour initiatives.As mentioned, Royal Commission II ended just after two years’ work inNovember, 1951. Rather remarkably, the final report was delivered to the Legislatureand released to the public just seven weeks later.28 It is difficult to gauge the immediatereaction of labour and industry at the time of the release of the report because there doesnot appear to have been much, at least publicly. There are no newspaper accounts of anyreaction from B.C. business representatives. The Labour Statesman, the largest labournewspaper in the province at the time, had no reaction whatsoever upon the report’srelease.There are perhaps a couple of reasons for this muted response, particularly onlabour’s behalf. As was mentioned in Chapter 1, it has been cynically suggested thatgovernments often appoint Royal Commissions hoping that an excessively long inquiry48will wear away and erode interest group pressure on the subject that is being investigated.While there is evidence that this was not the government’s objective in RoyalCommission II, that may have been the result anyway. Many top union officials,anticipating a short inquiry as Chief Justice Sloan and the government were, testified inthe early stages of the Commission. However, as time wore on, their arguments mayhave gotten lost in the increasing morass of issues, as public salience waned. Soconcerned with this possibility some of them were, that a couple of the most powerfulunion officials returned near the end of Royal Commission II to essentially reiterateearlier positions.Another possible reason for labour’s muted response to the release of RoyalCommission II’s report was preoccupation with another issue. At the time of the releaseof the report, as well as during the hearings, the Industrial Conciliation and ArbitrationAct was significantly more controversial than the Workmen’s Compensation Act.29 ThisAct struck at the very heart of unions’ right to organize and strike and was the prominentissue in labour newspapers. This other issue, coupled with the fact that Chief JusticeSloan’s recommendations were not lop-sided against labour, may help explain the lack ofsignificant public reaction to the release of the report.What little labour reaction there was, was mixed. George Home, Secretary of theB.C.F.L. said that Commissioner Sloan had done a thorough job on the report.30 J.Stewart Aisbury, B.C. President of the International Woodworkers of America (I.W.A.)said, “The Commissioner recommended no more than was absolutely necessary to patchup a disturbing situation. It will require adoption of all his proposals to place theadministration of compensation even within striking distance of solution to theproblem.”31 Jim Bury, Council Secretary of the B.C. I.W.A. stated, “The contemplatedchanges are limited to those suggestions that were made by employers before the inquiryboard.”32 More positive sentiments were expressed by Percy Rayment, Secretary of the49Victoria Trades and Labour Congress, who called the proposals by Chief Justice Sloan “astep in the right direction”.33 At an executive meeting of the B.C. Trades and LabourCongress, a resolution was passed stating that the report by Commissioner Sloan was inmany respects acceptable to labour but that it did not go far enough, particularly withregard to increasing compensation, pensions and allowances.34 An editorial in Ship andShop stated, “While a number of improvements have been recommended, andoutstanding gains made, the report in many respects is disappointing.”35 A headline inthe B.C. District Union News read, “A Fair Report”. An editorial stated that theCommission “makes a major step forward”.36In the two years since Royal Commission II began, the political landscape in B.C.had changed considerably. The Coalition government, due to internal disputes, hadfallen apart at the seams as most of the Conservative members left the union.37 A newparty, the Social Credit led by W.A.C. Bennett, had gained popularity. The Socredsespoused an anti-business, anti-establishment, populist agenda and embraced traditionalvalues. The Coalition breakup occurred, ironically, just as the Royal Commission IIreport was being released38 The now ‘Liberal’ Coalition government was in a minorityposition and, having been elected on a Coalition platform, was now in a ‘lame duck’position. Premier Johnson, at least publicly, did not feel that he had the mandate to dealwith issues of a substantial nature. The 1952 Throne Speech stated, “Because of somechanges in personnel since the last election, only matters of a nature considered essentialfor maintenance of public service” would be presented to the Legislature.39Reports of inquiries into Hospital Insurance and the Industrial Conciliation andArbitration Act had been released almost simultaneously with the Royal Commission IIreport, but the ‘lame duck’ government acted only on the latter.4° A rather short series ofamendments to the W.C.A. were passed in March 1952, that essentially only boosted thecompensation and allowance payment rates to workers and dependents. These ‘caretaker’50amendments were probably in response to the emphasis that labour had placed on theseissues in Royal Commission II. The bill increased widows’ pensions to $75 per month,dependent childrens’ allowances to $20 per month, the minimum payment to $15 perweek and the maximum payment to $3,600. In addition, the compensation rate had beenupped to seventy percent and the per diem maximum was eliminated.41The biggest controversy was whether or not the new payment rates should beretroactive for previous cases. Commissioner Sloan had suggested that if this were to bethe case, the government should pay for it and not industry.42 At first, the governmentrefused to have the increases retroactive, but quickly reversed itself after pressure fromthe C.C.F. and labour groups. These new figures were all in accordance with ChiefJustice Sloan’s recommendations. So, at least in the area of compensation payment rates,Royal Commission II’s recommendations had been adopted. Of course, there were stillthe other major issues to deal with, as well as a long list of minor ones. However, theywould be dealt with another day and, as it would turn out, by another government.A summer election in 1952 saw the election of the upstart Social Credit for thefirst time in B.C. The margin of victory was slim and the Socreds had only a minoritygovernment. In the wake of this election, the three established parties all changedleaders. Another election was held in 1953 and the result was the first majority SocialCredit government. Shortly after this election, Labour Minister Lyle Wicks announced aroundtable conference involving labour, industry and the government to discuss views onchanges to the W.C.A.43 At the conference, the C.M.A. presented a brief asking that noalterations to the Act be made, owing to already high costs to industry of compensationpayments in B.C. compared to elsewhere. Representatives of the B.C. T.L.C. and theB.C.F.L. disagreed and asked for further increases in the allowance rates, as well as a onehundred percent compensation rate, a W.C.B. hospital and a hefty raise in the penaltythat could be applied to derelict employers.4451A couple of months later, the government introduced the second series of W.C.A.amendments since Royal Commission II. Among the major changes were a new medicalreview panel with binding powers; a raise in the compensation rate to seventy-fivepercent; retroactive increases to pensions of workers injured before March 18, 1943; anincrease in the maximum payment to $4000 per year; optional coverage to domesticworkers; coverage to workers suffering from diseases due to all dust conditions, andchiropractors and other non-conventional medical practitioners being classified asphysicians.45 The government had now fully acted on Chief Justice Sloan’s majorrecommendations as the Commissioner had wished. Although the bill was initially wellreceived, there was concern expressed by both management and labour about theabolition of W.C.B. members’ tenure and the possible politicization of the Board. Thisparticular amendment, which had not been an issue at all in Royal Commission II,appears to have been a creation of the Social Credit caucus. The debate in theLegislature over the bill was without much controversy. The opposition did expressdisapproval about those workers who had become pensioners between 1943 and 1949and did not receive the retroactive increases. Nonetheless, the bill was unanimouslypassed by the House.46 C.C.F. leader Arnold Webster called the new W.C.A. “one of themost enlightened Acts in the province” and complimented Wicks on the changes.47Just a year later, in 1955, the government introduced another set of amendmentsto the W.C.A. This bill could almost be called an addendum to the previous year’samendments. The most significant element of the 1955 bill were further detail on thestructure and procedures of the medical appeal board. The other important change wasan increase in dependent children’s allowances.48 Newspaper accounts suggest that therewas little controversy in the Legislature over this bill. At this time, the only notableagitation was coming from fishermen’s unions who expressed dissatisfaction over thevoluntary coverage scheme involving them.4952However, sustained consensus in B.C. on workers’ compensation issues wouldcontinue to be elusive. In early 1956, a woman named Beatrice Zucco, whose dyingminer husband had been denied a W.C.B. silicosis pension on a controversial medicalissue, staged a round-the-clock vigil with her two young children outside the steps of theLegislature. The protest received front page and daily newspaper coverage in B.C. Atfirst, Labour Minister Wicks refused to meet with her. But eventually he relented.50 Thefact that Zucco’s husband died during the protest only heightened public awareness of thevigil. The protester got the W.C.B. to review the case but it was rejected again. Zuccoand her children resumed the protest which was now receiving national coverage. TheBoard was now seen by the public as a cruel, insensitive bureaucracy that was out cheatworkers and their families by manipulation of legal and medical technicalities.51In response to the second Zucco vigil, Wicks announced that an order-in-councilhad been passed authorizing an inquiry to be held into all aspects concerning silicosis andthe W.C.A.52 However, there is no evidence that this inquiry ever took place. In anyevent, the protester was not satisfied with the proposed inquiry and demanded the right tosue the Board for a silicosis pension. This right was not granted even though theprotester had all the opposition parties and the media in her corner. Beatrice Zuccoeventually ended her protest but left a legacy. That legacy, as will be shown, was thecatalyst for the creation of Royal Commission III.In February of 1957, on the heels of the Zucco protest, a large labour conferenceexpressed a general dissatisfaction with the W.C.B. It accused the Board of being too“legally formalistic”, too slow in administrative duties and too quick to reject workers’claims.54 Six months later, a government backbencher called for a royal commission onthe Board, just five years after the release of Royal Commission II’s report. Agitationagainst the Board continued. A delegation representing 150,000 workers travelled to53Victoria to meet with the Cabinet over the W.C.B. Their brief asked for the firing ofW.C.B. Chairman Edwin Eades, who had only been on the job for two years. The briefalso called for the loosening of the definition of “accident” because the Board was“obsessed”, it claimed, with proving its existence in most cases. Several administrativesuggestions were also made.55 A delegation of railway workers met with the Cabinet amonth later and echoed these sentiments, as well as asking for increases in compensationand dependent allowances because of inflationary pressures.56During this time, at the annual Social Credit League convention, a resolution waspassed giving support to the idea that Labour Minister Wicks appoint members to aworkers’ compensation inquiry. A resolution asking the Legislature’s StandingCommittee to probe it was rejected because of fears that the C.C.F. would turn it into apolitical football.57 A couple of months later, in response these rumblings, a spokesmanfor the C.M.A. and fifteen major employers, presented a brief to Cabinet on behalf ofthem asking that no changes be made to the W.C.A. It accused agitators opposed to theoperation of the Act of forgetting the underlying principles behind it and not realizing thegenerous benefits British Columbia workers were receiving in comparison to those inother provinces.58Industry got their wish, at least temporarily, because despite the clamor, nochanges in the Act took place in 1957. In October, 1958, a resolution was passed at theannual B.C.F.L. Conference that called for the firing of Eades. Contempt was alsoexpressed for the appeal system.59 In response to this latter criticism, Wicks, a monthlater, told the annual Social Credit Convention, “We have a kind of appeal procedurehere but it’s not working. It’s working out in other parts of Canada but not here.” Amonth later, in what was now becoming an annual event, the C.M.A. sent a brief toVictoria expressing general satisfaction with the W.C.A. and the W.C.B. The brief alsoexpressed support for Chief Justice Sloan’s Royal Commission II report.61 That same54day, a delegation representing the railway unions asked the Cabinet for increases inbenefits, claiming that B.C. was the only province in Canada that had not raised them inthe last three years. Dissatisfaction with the Board was also expressed.62W.C.B. Chairman Eades, who had rapidly become one of the least popular men inB.C., decided to speak out. He blamed workers’ problems on the Act, calling it“outmoded” and stated that the Board would not only welcome an inquiry but that itshould occur. He further stated that criticism of the Board was misdirected, that it wasthe Act that needed an overhaul.63 With labour blaming the Board and the Boardblaming the Act, the government decided to move on both fronts. The Bennett Socredsintroduced the fourth set of post-Royal Commission II amendments in March, 1959.This extensive bill raised most of the compensation and allowance rates, reduced theretroactive period from six days to three, extended coverage to a number of types ofindustrial workers previously not covered, overhauled the contentious appeal boardprocedures to more closely resemble Chief Justice Sloan’s vision of it, eased statutoryrestrictions on diagnosis of silicosis (to the extent that Beatrice Zucco could now receivea widow’s pension) and changed the definition of “accident”.M In general, the Board, atleast in theory, now had more statutory latitude to give injured workers the benefit of thedoubt.The general reaction to these major changes was positive. Victor Midgley,Second Vice President of the B.C.F.L. said, “On the face of it, we consider theamendments an improvement.” He further stated, “They are in line with what we havebeen seeking”.65 A.W. Toone, Secretary-Treasurer of the Victoria T.L.C. called thechanges “a step in the right direction”. Business was supportive of the compensationallowance increases but had reservations about the retroactivity of the payments. ArchieCater, President of the Vancouver Board of Trade said the increases in pensions were“thorOughly desirable” but expressed doubt about the retroactivity.66 Similarly, Charles55Mitchell, President of the B.C. Mining Association said that he was sympathetic toincreased allowances for dependents but that the retroactivity compensation structure wasunrealistic.67 On the same day that the bill passed the Legislature, Labour MinisterWicks announced that a royal commission would be held to specifically determine whyonly 1,300 of 7,000 eligible fishermen had been covered under the 1955 voluntaryprovisions of the Act.68 Again, this proposed inquiry never took place.Despite the generally well-received 1959 amendments, as before, the consensuson workers’ compensation issues quickly broke down. Fishermen’s unions rapped thegovernment on inaction in their regard. The mining industry, alarmed at a quicklydeveloping huge deficit in the Silicosis Fund, lashed out at the Board for being too liberalin its resolution of workers’ claims. Paradoxically, one of the largest mining unions alsocriticized the Board and asked for complete probe of the Act in 1960, with emphasis onsilicosis issues.69 Mines Minister Kenneth Kiernan responded by stating that a royalcommission on the silicosis issue “would not solve the problem” and that a nationalinquiry was needed.7°A few months later, however, new Labour Minister Leslie Peterson, who alongwith his government, had just been re-elected in 1960, dropped strong hints that a fullworkers’ compensation probe was imminent. On March 9, 1961, Peterson stated in theLegislature that the possibility of appointing a Commission had been under considerationfor some time. He further said, “I would not be surprised if such an appointment weremade before the next session.” In reference to Royal Commissions I and II, Peterson saidthat they had resulted in definite improvements in both the Act itself and itsadministration. It was reported that during the debate on estimates for the LabourDepartment that day, considerable criticism was directed at the Board.71It was not until a year later that Royal Commission, III was appointed, and it56appears to have been created after heavy pressure on the government from labour groups,particularly mining unions, to make good on its promise of a year before. It was duringthe Throne Speech of the 1962 Legislative Session that the parameters of RoyalCommission III were spelled out. Alexander Campbell DesBrisay, Chief Justice of theB.C. Court of Appeal, was selected as the sole commissioner. Chief Justice DesBrisaywas one of industry’s chief counsellors in Royal Commission II. In the Speech, Petersonstated that the main issues to dealt with included the amount of compensation paid, theeffect on industry of bearing costs, appeal procedures, silicosis, and the relationship ofthe medical profession to the W.C.B. He expected that the inquiry would make “athorough review of all matters affecting workmen’s compensation.” Peterson said thatvirtually every trade union in the province had asked for the probe and he agreed withthem that there was “much room for improvement”.72If it can be assumed that, as in Royal Commission II, agitation by labour wasprimarily responsible for the creation of Royal Commission III, then an analysis ofcomments made during its hearings confirms the notion that it was discontent with theBoard itself, and not so much the Act, that was the impetus behind the third commission.Edward O’Neal, representing the 110,000 member B.C.F.L., charged that the number ofrejected claims by the Board had taken a sharp increase recently and that the new W.C.B.under Eades was the main reason for this. He further stated that the report of RoyalCommission II was not the problem, but a mean-spirited, insensitive Board that wouldnot give detailed explanations for rejections of claims, was.73 Sam Brown, whorepresented 10,000 Teamsters’s workers, said that his union had little dispute with theAct but had much with the Board.74 J.A. Rennie, representing 60,000 railway workers,made considerable reference to Chief Justice Sloan’s criticisms in Royal Commission II,of the Board’s dispatch of ambiguous letters to injured workers whose claims had beenrejected.75 Other union representatives at the hearings quoted his comments on the57attitude of the W.C.B. The late Chief Justice Sloan was also treated kindly by industryrepresentatives for the most part.Perhaps N.D.P. leader Bob Strachan best summarized the situation during thehearings when he said, “. ..I think the gist of the evidence that has been presented to thiscommission heretofore indicates that there is a substantial body of opinion in thisprovince which holds the belief that there has been a deterioration in the operations of theW.C.B. in this last five or six years.”76 Indeed, the Royal Commission III final reportlent support to these sentiments. It stated, “The Workmen’s Compensation Board is nodifferent from other administrative bodies which are possessed of more or less absolutepower. Unless someone is constantly looking over its shoulder, it will tend to lapse intoa laissez faire attitude and to be content with things as they are.”77These types of comments support the notion that Chief Justice Sloan’s RoyalCommission II recommendations were considered appropriate. When O’Neal was askedto criticize Chief Justice Sloan over an issue the two disagreed on, he replied, “...I thinkthat any legislation or any statute must move forward with the times. We must moveforward. The things that were true in 1942 or 1952 or even 1913 may not be true orapplicable today. We must move forward with the times and make progress andlegislation must be bent to accommodate forward trends of the times.”78Thus, once again, Chief Justice Sloan’s recommendations appear to have been asuccess. An analysis of his recommendations yields, again, a fairly balanced set ofcompromises not heavily favoring labour or industry. The initial public views of hisreport were reasonably positive and non-controversial. The retrospective views of thelate Chief Justice and his Commissions by both and industry and labour in RoyalCommission III were very positive. In fact, during the hearings, the debate often boileddown to whose interpretation of his well-respected judgements was more accurate. In his58book, Bill White called him one of labou?s few friends in the judicial arena in the 1950’sbecause of his work in Royal Commission II. He stated, “We wanted a reduction in theseven-day waiting period, increased compensation payments, increased pensions,increased widow’s allowances, allowances for travel and therapy increased.. .Many ofthese demands were also recommended by Sloan in his report, and quite a few of themdid get put into practice.”79In fact, a look at Table II verifies White’s opinion on the record of the adoption ofthe recommendations. As with Royal Commission I, only a handful of therecommendations were not adopted. Perhaps the most important of these was theagricultural workers’ coverage issue. But this was not a major issue in RoyalCommission III. Two of the rejected suggestions had to do with the Board’s inspectionof factories and plants. Again, these were not major demands on behalf of labour.CONCLUSIONIt appears, as in the case of Royal Commission II, that SCENARIO #1 providesthe best explanation for the creation of Royal Commission III. As mentioned, Table IIindicates that the vast majority of Royal Commission II’s recommendations were enactedby B.C. governments. The handful of ones that were not, were not considered importantor did not generate controversy. However, these recommendations were not adopted inas smooth a manner as were those from Royal Commission I. The amendments in 1952were a ‘caretaker’ response by the fading Coalition government, while the bill in 1954was the rookie Social Credit government’s first attempt to get involved with the Act. The1955 bill was essentially a follow-up one and the 1959 amendments were the secondmajor changes in the second inter-commission period. By the time of the creation ofRoyal Commission 111, the great majority of Chief Justice Sloan’s recommendations werein place.59The fragile consensus on workers’ compensation in B.C. repeatedly broke downfor several reasons. The contentious medical appeal board issue was certainly onereason. The difficulty in establishing such a tribunal was not unforeseen by Chief JusticeSloan who stated in his 1952 report, “. ..of necessity it will take a little time to ‘shakedown’ and to discover and iron out the wrinkles.”80 Yet, it was his view of how such anappeal board should be set up that was eventually sthven for by the government.Certainly the silicosis related issues were also a problem that was just as controversialand seemingly never-ending.It was after four sets of W.C.A. amendments, however, that the governmentrealized that it was not only the Act that was a problem, or perhaps even the mainproblem, but so was an apparent change in the administration and attitude of the Boarditself. It was Beatrice Zucco and her much publicized protest that first brought thischange to light. The new 1955 Board and its policies extended to and affected manyother W.C.A. issues and herein lies the root of labour’s discontent. Amendmentsdesigned to alter the administrative procedures of the Board and give it more leeway insettling claims in a less controversial manner, failed due to bureaucratic discretion. TheBoard had the judicial power of independence from the executive and, thus, thisdiscretion was protected. The Social Credit government, which had abolished tenure forBoard members in 1954, could have perhaps forestalled Royal Commission III bydismissing members of the Board. However, to do so would have set a dangerousprecedent. The abolition of W.C.B. members’ tenure was roundly condemned in the firstplace. The government’s assurances that the Board would not be politicized would havebeen shattered. Future governments could then hire and fire W.C.B. members at theirwhim, a development that would politicize the Board to the extent that it would beregarded as an ineffective, patronage-ridden body. Given the importance of the W.C.B.to society, such a development would be intolerable.60This is not to assert that there were no major issues involving the Act itself. Butthese issues could probably have been resolved with another set of amendmentsemanating from the Cabinet and Legislature as in most public policy issues. The quasijudicial stature of the Board, however, meant that only a royal commission could providea substantial review of the Boards operations, procedures and attitude.61CHAPTER 6EXPLAINING THE END OF THE COMMISSIONSAs mentioned in the Introduction, with the report of Royal Commission III, camethe end of the series of Royal Commissions on workers’ compensation in B.C. Theobjective of this final chapter is to provide an explanation of why this series ofcommissions ended. In order to do this, it is useful to analyze the issues andcircumstances surrounding Royal Commission Ill as has been done for its predecessors.The third Commission was established by an order-in-council on February 1,1962. The hearings began on October 1, 1962 and ended more than two years later onNovember 24, 1964. The testimony was recorded on more than 32,000 pages. Morethan 250 people testified during the hearings and they brought with them over 900exhibits and more than 100 briefs.1 The length of the hearings period was extended dueto the sudden death, of Commissioner DesBrisay during the proceedings. Hisreplacement was another member of the B.C. Court of Appeal, Justice Charles Tysoe.Neither appointment, as with Chief Justice Sloan’s, generated much controversy. GivenChief Justice DesBrisay’s experience as an industry counsellor in Royal Commission II,he seemed like a logical candidate. After his death, interest groups seemed mostconcerned with making a quick appointment in order to resume the hearings as soon aspossible.2Whether or not it was because of Chief Justice DesBrisay’s death, there was littleimpatience with Royal Commission III unlike with its predecessor, although there weresome unsuccessful calls for an interim report before Justice Tysoe resumed the hearings.Another notable change from the previous inquiry was that there were a lot fewerindividuals who stepped forward and had their personal cases heard. This nonoccurrence was intended by the Commission staff who carefully screened proposedspeakers and the nature of their testimony.3 Nonetheless, as mentioned, there was no62shortage of witnesses. The B.C. labour movement had expanded and fragmentedconsiderably since 1952, so more union representatives took the stand.4 The industrialsector was also less centralized and thus it sent more representatives to testify. Althoughmembers of the medical profession were again prominent, there were fewer participantsfrom it in Royal Commission Ill than in its predecessor.Although the length of the Royal Commission III hearings was similar to that ofRoyal Commission II, there were more major, classic labour-management conflicts in theformer. Several of them were continued from Royal Commission II. Many of themwere again related to monetary allowance and benefits rates. An example was widow’spensions.. Widows of killed workers, following the 1959 amendment, received $90 permonth at the time of the hearings. Most union representatives asked that this amount beraised to $100, and a couple of them seeking $125. Although some employerrepresenatives opposed any increase, several agreed with the $100 figure. CommissionerTysoe recommended $1 15. It should be kept in mind with this and other monetaryissues, that many of the witnesses testified more than two years in advance of theCommissioner’s written conclusions, thus two years’ inflation had to be taken intoaccount. Nonetheless, on this issue, Justice Tysoe sided with labour.Another of these recurring monetary issues involved allowances for dependentchildren. Dependent children of killed workers received $35 per month up to the age ofsixteen, and to the age of eighteen if they were in post-secondary school. Many unionrepresentatives wanted the rate raised to $40, with a couple of them asking for $50, andthe age extended to nineteen or twenty-one. Most industry representatives opposed anyincrease in payments, but were more or less silent on the age issue. Not only did JusticeTysoe suggest that the normal rate be raised to $40, but he also recommended $50 permonth to those dependent children between the ages of eighteen to twenty-one in school,and $45 per month to those between sixteen and eighteen pursuing education.6 Here, theCommissioner strongly favored labour.63At the time of the hearings, a killed worker’s family received $250 for funeralexpenses, a figure that had not changed since the previous Commission. Most unionrepresentatives asked that the figure be raised to $350. Most business spokesmenexpressed no objection to this and a few of them even suggested the increase. JusticeTysoe recommended the raise and satisfied labour’s demand.7 Another major andrecurring issue concerned the maximum that an injured worker could receive in a year,which was $5000, a sum that was established in 1959. Many industry representativesinsisted that this figure remain, while many labour spokesmen wanted the ceilingabolished as they did in Royal Commission II. After performing a cross-Canada analysisand taking inflation into account, the Commissioner suggested that the ceiling be raisedto$6,500. It can be said that Justice Tysoe compromised on this issue.8There were two other major monetary issues in Royal Commission III. Theminimum period of disability for an injured worker to receive compensation for the firstthree days off work, had been shortened from fourteen to six to three days. Many unionrepresentatives asked that the ‘waiting period’ be eliminated altogether, while industryrepresentatives asked that it remain. Commissioner Tysoe determined that elimination ofthe ‘waiting period’ would result in too great a financial burden for industry and thussided with it by recommending no change.9 The other major monetary issue involvedthe compensation rate. As was the case with previous Commissions, this was acontentious issue. Labour representatives demanded that the rate be increased byanywhere from eighty-five to one hundred percent. Their main argument was that thecost of living had risen so rapidly that the injured workers’ standard of living was injeopardy. Industry representatives unanimously asked that the rate not be changed.Justice Tysoe quoted from the late Chief Justice Sloan’s 1952 report and indicated thatthose thoughts were still valid on the issue. After comparing the B.C. rate with those inother jurisdictions and reminding his readers of the underlying principles of the W.C.A.,64Commissioner Tysoe sided with industry and recommended no change.’0There were also important non-monetary issues, such as ‘limited liability’. Aclause was inserted during the 1959 amendments that deemed that the W.C.B. wouldonly be liable for compensation for that part of an injury that was sustained on the job.Hence, they would not be responsible for any part of an injury that occurred or wasaggravated off the job. Almost all union representatives asked that this clause beremoved, not because they disagreed with the principle involved, but because theadministration of the clause was causing so much controversy that elimination wouldsolve the problem. Some industry representatives asked that the clause remain intact.After a lengthy review of his consultations with a number of medical doctors, theCommissioner recommended a re-wording of the clause to lessen the apparent ambiguityof its meaning. Thus, the Commissioner compromised.11 The issue of eye glasses anddentures involved another controversial 1959 amendment. The new change had made itmore difficult for workers to get the Board to provide compensation for brokenspectacles and dentures. Unions almost unanimously asked that this amendment berepealed. Industry was somewhat indifferent on this issue. Justice Tysoe favoredlabour’s views here. 12The issue of the medical appeal board was, of course, one of the main reasons forthe Bennett government’s decision to hold the Commission and it was undoubtedly one ofthe most controversial issues leading up to Royal Commission III. Yet, rathersurprisingly, there were few substantial suggestions in this regard put forth by eitherindustry or labour representatives at the hearings. Several of the former stated a desire tomaintain the status quo. The suggestions put forth by labour were either minor or verygeneral in nature. Commissioner Tysoe made a number of recommendations to give theappeal board more autonomy and a greater capacity to act more efficiently in dealingwith claims.13 However, he also quoted Chief Justice Sloan’s warning in the 1952 report65that labour and industry had better expect another period of trial and error.In the 1959 bill the government, for reasons unknown to Commissioner Tysoe,altered the definition of “accident’ by adding an adjoinding phrase to it. This was,according to union representatives, making successful arguments of cases by injuredworkers more difficult. Industry representatives were less vocal on the issue.Commissioner Tysoe criticized the government over this amendment and recommendedits repeal as labour had demanded.14 The issue of ‘light work’ also resurfaced in RoyalConmiission Ill. As in Royal Commission II, most union representatives argued stronglyto have this proviso deleted. They reasoned that ‘light work’ for a temporarily partiallydisabled worker was difficult to find. Thus, such a worker who made a legitimate,unsuccessful attempt to find temporary alternative employment was being unjustlypenalized. Industry, though not as vocally, favored the status Justice Tysoe sidedwith the latter, claiming that the advent of unemployment insurance precluded the needto significantly alter the relevant section.’5As with Royal Commission II, a number of other miscellaneous subjects came up.As before, many of these had to do with legal issues concerning the Board administrationand powers, and medical issues pertaining to developments in medical science. Many ofthese subjects were again in the realm of lawyers and doctors. Most of labour’s bitternessdid not pertain to the Act; rather, as one might expect, stinging criticism was reserved forthe Board and its policies.As his predecessor had done, Justice Tysoe appears to have handled the majorissues in a manner that did not clearly favor either industry’s or labour’s demands. Ifanything, the labour movement got more of what it wanted than industry did. Asmentioned, however, the Commissioner’s generosity on the compensation benefits andallowance issues should be kept in perspective, given that three years of inflation had66occurred from the start of the hearings to the issuing of the report. Not unexpectedly, theCommissioner also recommended that future benefits and allowances be tied to the cost-of-living, a prosposal unprecedented in North America. Rather surprisingly, only acouple of union representatives made this suggestion. Justice Tysoe, on balance, was asresponsive to labour’s views, if not more so, than Chief Justice Sloan. His empatheticview, prominently expressed during the hearings, about labour’s frustration with theadministration of the Board was an example of this. There was a trend in RoyalCommissions I and II that was also apparent in Royal Commission III, though less so,:industry representatives again had a clearer vision of the ‘big picture’. Their briefs andtestimony were more extensive and wide reaching than those of their labour counterparts.However, more labour representatives delved into numerous issues than before. Perhapstheir experience with the previous Commissions had an effect upon their conduct. Forexample, two of the miners’ union representatives delivered extensive briefs, whereasnone of them had done so in the past.There were also a couple of trends that were not apparent in the previousCommissions. Unlike the first two Commissions, some sectors of the labour movementhad legal counsel representing them, specifically the B.C. Federation of Labour and theB.C. Association of Professional Firefighters.16 The most prominent of these counselwas Thomas Berger, who would later go on to be a Canadian Supreme Court Justice aswell as a royal commissioner himself. Though industry also retained legal counsel, it didnot do so to the extent it had in the past. Thus, lawyers had less impact and involvementin Royal Commission III than in the previous inquiries. As Justice Tysoe stated in hisfinal report, with few exceptions, “...questioning on behalf of labour and industry hasbeen done by laymen...”1767The fact that much of the Commission proceedings took place without legalcounsel representing industry is an indication of a sense of indifference on their behalfthat had not existed during Royal Commissions I and II. This sense of their indifferenceor sotto yç is apparent when reviewing their behaviour towards the major issues.Because of the dearth of legal counsel at the proceedings, on many issues, no strongopinions were expressed by either industry or labour. Thus, in contrast with the previoushearings, the Commissioner and his counsel often lectured industry and labourrepresentatives as if they were in a classroom. Hence, what significant controversyexisted in Royal Commission III, was confined to a relatively few issues of which theones analyzed in this chapter constituted the majority.After the hearings ended it was anticipated that a long wait would ensue beforethe final report was released, especially since Commissioner Tysoe had to thoroughly reevaluate the late Chief Justice DesBrisay’s part of the Commission. As well, unlikeprevious Commissions, the burden of sorting out the masses of tangled legal issueslargely fell to Justice Tysoe and the Commission counsel, owing to the lack of substantialinput by lawyers representing industry and labour. Thus, the government was repeatedlyasked in the Legislature by opposition members, and even some Social Creditbackbenchers, to at least raise workers compensation pensions and benefits before thereport was ready.’8 After much pressure, the government agreed to do so, at leastpublicly.19 However, the Socreds did not follow up on this promise. Labour MinisterPeterson claimed that he had asked for an interim report from Justice Tysoe but was toldthat that would be impossible.20A preliminary report was delivered to the Cabinet almost a year after the finalhearing in November, 1965. Upon reviewing it, Premier Bennett announced that, “TheB.C. government will carry out every recommendation of that report.” He also claimed68that the Cabinet was drafting legislation in preparation for carte blanche adoption of therecommendations.21 The government immediately increased the benefits and pensions,as recommended by Commissioner Tysoe in this report, through an order-in-council.These included raising widows pensions from $90 to $115 per month, allowances fordependent children from $35 to $40 a month for those between sixteen and eighteenyears of age (and to $50 monthly for those between eighteen and twenty-one if attendingpost secondary school), minimum compensation to injured workers from $25 to $30 permonth and the maximum annual payment to an injured worker from $5,000 to $6,500.22All increases were to be retroactive and also tied to the consumer price index.Opposition leader Robert Strachan applauded the increases and claimed that themove was a “final vindication of a long campaign by the New Democratic Party”. Hestated that the retroactivity aspect was employed because an N.D.P.-led attack had madethe government concede the point.23 Pat O’Neal Secretary of the B.C. Federation ofLabour was more cautious, calling the order-in-council “a step in the right direction” butalso he stated, “No matter how progressive these measures are they will provide little realbenefit unless deficiencies in administration are corrected.”24 On the other hand, N.D.P.M.L.A. Leo Nimsick accused the government of electoral politicking by announcing theincreases during a federal election campaign in which the Social Credit was activelyinvolved.25Justice Tysoe’s final report was released to the Legislature and public in lateJanuary, 1966. The reaction of labour to the Royal Commission III report was quitepositive. B.C. Federation of Labour President Al Staley said that he hoped that “the newAct would embody most of the terms and suggestions made in the report...” TheSecretary-Treasurer of that organization, Ray Haynes, stated, “In a brief we presented tothe government we endorsed in the main the suggestions of Mr. Justice Tysoe. We arehopeful the government will move in this direction.”26 Jack Moore, Regional President69of the I.W.A. also said that he hoped the new Act would include the recommendations ofthe Tysoe Commission.27 Industry’s public reaction was confined to expressing dismayat the pensions and benefits being tied to the consumer price index, especially with therapidly rising inflation rate in the late 1960’s. R.S.S. Wilson, Chairman of the B.C.Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, said, “...because of the serious ramifications theseincreases will have on B.C. industry the government should accept its responsibility andassume the annual costs of these benefits.” Charles Mitchell of the B.C. MiningAssociation said, “Very few people realize that the total impact of all these things amountto a tremendous amount of dollars.’ William Norris, Executive Secretary of theAutomotive Transport Association commenting on the built-in escalator clause stated,Everybody is giving concessions to labour and nobody will deny them.”28The real controversy concerning Royal Commission III would not involve JusticeTysoe or his recommendations, but rather the Bennett government’s handling of them.Although the final report had been presented in the Legislature, the governmentannounced a couple of months later that amendments to the W.C.A. would be delayeduntil the next session.29 With such a delay being at least six months, a bitter debate inthe House ensued with the N.D.P. orchestrating a filibuster. Organized labour groups,already angry at the Socreds over other issues, threatened a general strike to protest thedelay.30 Despite this intense pressure, the government did not back down. During thenext session in 1966-67, then, it was widely expected that the Socreds would finallyenact amendments based on Commissioner Tysoe’s report. Yet, surprisingly, this did nothappen. Even though new workers’ compensation legislation was already before theLegislature and expected to be passed, the government announced that a new bill wouldbe delayed for another year. The new bill, which was given first reading, loosened theterms under which a worker could claim that an injury had taken place from an industrialaccident, covered volunteer workers, and shifted the onus on the Board to disprove a70worker’s claim rather than the reverse, which had been the case.31This further delay, not surprisingly, created much controversy in the House.Aside from the expected wrath from the opposition, there was disapproval expressed bygovernment backbenchers. Many of them asked for a Special Session of the Legislaturespecifically to debate and pass the new workers’ compensation bill.32 However thebesieged Cabinet rejected this idea. Peterson indicated that a completely re-writtenW.C.A. was necessary and as such, a Legislative Committee’s study was needed. Thelabour movement was decidely skeptical. Stated Staley, “There is only one reason whythe government is shelving this legislation. They are allowing time for the employerswith their vested interest to use the coming year to lobby and cut the guts out of JusticeTysoe’s proposals.”33This time, however, the government made good on its promise. In March, 1968,after a Legislative Committee had studied it for months, a completely re-written W.C.A.was introduced and passed in the Legislature. The new Act adopted virtually all ofJustice Tysoe’s recommendations as the opposition and organized labour had demanded(see Table III). A brief by the B.C. Federation of Labour, presented to the Committeewhen it was putting the finishing touches to the new Act, expressed objection only to theinsertion of a so called “morality clause” which could deny an injured workercompensation if he/she was using it for gambling or he/she was “leading an immoral orimproper life”.34 Liberal leader Ray Perreault said that the government should becongratulated for its handling of the legislation, particularly for the manner in which itwent to the Committee for a detailed study. He further stated that this was “the wayparliamentary procedure in a democracy should work.”35With a brand new Act in place, agitation over workers’ compensation in B.C.waned. At the annual B.C. Federation of Labour convention in 1971, the only major71changes that were demanded were elimination of the three day waiting period andupgrading of first aid features.36 The former demand was complied with in 1972 whenthe Social Credit government, with an election in the offing, passed a small bill to amendthe W.C.A. The bill also raised pension bases, extended the time limit for a worker tofile a claim, and imposed a time limit on doctors for submitting bills to the W.C.B.37The Social Credit lost the 1972 election and with a new N.D.P. majoritygovernment in power, the adversarial relationship that had existed between labour andprevious B.C. governments temporarily ended. With the labour movement now havingsome of its own rank in power, the dialogue between them and the N.D.P. governmentwas now more open and less formal. The new Labour Minister was Bill King, a manwhose family had a history of extensive ties with labour unions.38 The lack ofcontroversy now surrounding the Act was indicated by King who recently stated that theissue of workerst compensation was not a high priority for his government or the labourmovement during the N.D.P. reign.39 Nevertheless that government did pass a bill in1974 that, among other things, changed the name of the statute to the “Workers’Compensation Act”, increased pensions, completely revised the formula for calculatingpensions, mandated employer and union representatives to accompany W.C.B. inspectorson job-site tours, and increased penalties and restrictions on employers in relation towork place safety conditions.4°These amendments were meant to address the last of thelabour complaints concerning the Act.In addition to this bill, the N.D.P. government appointed Terence Ison asChairman of the W.C.B., a move welcomed by labour. A brief by the B.C. Federation ofLabour during the deliberations of the 1974 bill stated, “...the administration of theWorkers’ Compensation Act has improved since the election of the New DemocraticParty in August of 1972. We attribute part of that improvement to the appointment ofBrother George Kowbel as Commissioner and the appointment of Terry Ison as72Chairman of the Board. Not only has dialogue between the labour movement and theWorker’s Compensation Board commenced but the employees of the Board are becomingmore aware of the principles and philosophy of worker’s compensation.”41Thus, ten years after the release of the Royal Commission III report, it can be saidthat the series of major inquiries into workers’ compensation in B.C., which had spanneda quarter of a century, had come to a rather quiet, uncontroversial end. This is not toassert that interest group disputes over the Board or the Act were over forever. Forexample, as soon as the Social Credit government defeated the N.D.P. in 1975, Ison wasdismissed after pressure from employer groups, though his resignation was pending,along with that of other top staff members. This event provoked howls of outrage fromthe labour movement who immediately agitated over what they claimed was deteriorationin W.C.B. operations.42 But unlike the past, there were no calls for another royalcommission.The ending of the series of commissions would have come as a surprise to manyinterested parties. There was a significant body of opinion, held by both labour andindustry during Royal Commission III, that the series of commissions on workers’compensation would continue j. infinitum and some of them even favored mandatingthis. B.C. Mining Association representative John Bourne stated, “The MiningAssociation urges that you recommend that the Act be reviewed by a Royal Commissionwithin ten years from the date of the report of the previous Royal Commission.. .1 wouldpoint out that it has been thought fit in the past to have such a commission at intervals ofapproximately ten years.” He added, “The Mining Association is opposed to a review bya Committee of the Legislature. Political pressures, rather than a reasoned approachcould prevail.”43 Harvey Murphy, Vice-President of the National Organization of Mine,Mill and Smelter Workers, stated, “When the first commission made its report, it wasgenerally understood, I would say, that the Act would be gone into at given periods...I73got that understanding and I think a good many people did -- every ten years there wouldbe a further investigation.’ When asked about the idea of a legislative committeeperforming such a probe he replied, “I am not interested in making compensation apolitical football which it would become. We want a commissioner who has theconfidence of the people and the standing.”45 Indeed, Justice Tysoe himself would havebeen surprised that his Commission would be the last. He stated at the end of thehearings, “1 do not suppose I shall achieve my hope and that is that this can be a RoyalCommission to end all Royal Commissions on workmen’s compensation, but we mightbe able to go a far way towards it!”46The question of why the Justice’s hope, that no fourth commission take place, wasfulfilled can only be speculated on. After all, it is usually a simpler task to try to explainwhy a certain event happened than why it did not. Certainly the election of an N.D.P.government had much to do with this question. Not only did the labour movement haveincreased access to government and the Cabinet, but it actually had some of its own kininvolved in the important decisionmaking process. Thus, B.C. labour did not need toagitate for a royal commission on worker’s compensation to enlighten the government asto their concerns and problems. Members of the N.D.P. government, because of theirideology and backgrounds, were readily aware of them. Their 1974 bill addressedvirtually all of labour’s outstanding complaints. In Ison, they appointed a Chairman ofthe Board with reputedly leftist leanings. The B.C. labour movement probably had nothad such a positive relationship with a W.C.B. Chairman since Edward Winn, the firstone.Of course, this development was only temporary. The Barrett government lostthe 1975 election and the socialist party failed to form another government for sixteenyears. The relationship between subsequent Social Credit governments and organizedlabour quickly resumed its former nature. Ison was controversially dismissed as W.C.B.74Chairman, a move very unpopular with B.C. labour. However, despite the rapidresumption of the old antagonistic labour-government relationship, there was now therealistic possiblity of future N.D.P. governments again. The labour leaders in the mid-1960’s, who predicted the series of royal commissions on workers’ compensationcontinuing, did not foresee the realistic possibility of a majority N.D.P. government inthe near future. At the time, B.C. had a multi-party political landscape and thepossibility of the N.D.P. ever winning a majority of seats or garnering the support of oneof the other parties seemed remote. However, with the collapse of the smaller Liberalsand Conservatives came a two-party polarization in which an N.D.P. majority would bepossible in virtually all subsequent provincial elections. Thus, from labour’s perspective,perhaps the anticipation of a future N.D.P. government precluded the need to agitate foranother lengthy, time consuming royal commission on workers’ compensation.The recent cynical views expressed towards royal commissions, alluded to at thebeginning of this paper, have also probably been a reason for the ending of the series.There seems to have evolved a feeling in Canadian society that royal commissions aretoo lengthy, time consuming, expensive and politically motivated. The recent negativeviews expressed towards the Spicer Commission are a good example of this. These sortsof opinions on commissions perhaps help explain why their prominence in B.C. hasdeclined over the years. A particularly intense political partisanship in B.C. politics hasevolved since the 1972 election. Thus, from organized labour’s perspective, the prospectof a Social Credit government appointing a royal commission on workers’ compensationand then positively acting on its recommendations has probably seemed dubious.Besides the surrounding political issues, there was, of course, the matter of theAct itself. In this regard, Royal Commission III had much to do with the ending of theseries. As with its predecessors, the third Commission must be considered a successfulone. Commissioner Tysoe’s recommendations received fairly widespread approval and75praise. His suggestions were well in line with labour’s demands. He was probably evenmore generous to them than Chief Justice Sloan was. Despite the two years’ delay,virtually all of Royal Commission Ill’s recommendations were adopted in a completelynew W.C.A. Justice Tysoe’s suggestions and the new Act were so well regarded, that theB.C. W.C.A. won an international award for having the most progressive workers’compensation act in the world in 1971. The few outstanding labour complaintsconcerning the Act were resolved by the N.D.P. government’s bill in 1974. Thus, despitethe fact that lobbying, advocacy and changes involving the W.C.A. would continue to bean ongoing process, as with most statutory acts, the problems and controversy would notbe seen as important enough to demand or warrant an exhaustive royal commission todeal with them.If one looks at some of the major issues in the three Royal Commissions, theyhave either been resolved or ceased to be controversial. Although organized labour hasnever achieved its demand for ‘blanket coverage’, virtually all B.C. workers have becomecovered. There does not seem to have been any recent controversy over the scheduleddisease list. The workers’ compensation benefits and pensions have become as generousas anywhere in the world, and being tied to the cost of living has precluded periodicdemands to have them raised. Chiropractors and practitioners of other treatments haveachieved equal status with medical doctors in terms of compensation coverage. Thecontroversial ‘waiting period’ has been eliminated altogether. With the advent ofunemployment insurance in a revised form, the ‘light work’ issue has disappeared. Thecompensation rate has remained at seventy-five percent, but the labour movement seemsto have accepted this figure as permanent, perhaps because of the generous benefitsinjured workers now receive. Even the controversial medical appeal board issue seemsto have ceased to operate as a subject of frequent debate.Aside from the W.C.A., there has of course been the issue of the Board itself, a76subject of much controversy over the Royal Commission years.48 However, despite theunrest caused by the dismissal of Ison, there has been little controversy surrounding thecomposition of Board since then. One notable change in this regard has been the lengthof tenure served by Board members. Since the end of Royal Commission III, W.C.B.members have usually stepped down from their post after about three or four years.Gone are the days when they would spend a decade or two in their positions. Thus, withhigh turnover on the Board, if controversy builds over a member, usually the Chairman,his term is sufficiently short to avoid calls for a royal commission to examine hisposition.77CHAPTER 7THE COMMISSIONS IN RETROSPECTThe many cynical views that have been and are currently held towards royalcommissions - that they are ineffective, ignored by governments, stall progressive viewsrather than promote them and are a tool of political manipulation - are not supported bythis study. Granted, this paper only covered three out of the hundreds of commissionsthat have been held in Canadian history. Nonetheless, the evidence gathered here is acontribution to the small body of literature that supports the notion that royalcommissions can have a significant impact on public policy. It should be noted,however, that virtually all such literature so far has focussed on national royalcommissions emanating from Ottawa. This paper is perhaps the first comprehensivestudy of any B.C. royal commissions.The public contribution of the three royal commission on workers’ compensationin B.C. cannot be underestimated. In fact, it would not be inaccurate to state that theseinquiries have been the prime policy engine for occupational safety and health issues inthis province. This cannot be said for any other public policy area in B.C. The questionof why workers’ compensation has been so heavily affected by royal commissions canonly be speculated on. Perhaps the answer lies in the public views held towardalternatives, specifically Legislative Committees. Throughout this Royal Commissionsperiod, spanning a quarter century, spokesmen from both labour and industry repeatedlymentioned the need to keep workers’ compensation from becoming a political football.Why it was deemed appropriate to have other policy issues shaped by politicalpartisanship is another question, but certainly the efforts to keep workers’ compensationout of the traditional and conventional political realms are probably an indication of theperceived importance of it as a public policy issue to both employers and employees. Ifthis is the case, these efforts were effectively an indictment of the traditional British78Columbian political process, a view that many today are expressing.From the governments’ perspective, prominent in all three commissions appearsto have been the strategy of blame avoidance, as articulated by R. Kent Weaver.1 Heargues that governments in pluralist democracies, with ever wary eyes on re-electionstrategies, take actions that put a higher priority on minimizing blame from theirconstituents than maximizing credit from them. The key assumption here is that votersare more apt to punish governments at the polls for failures than reward them forsuccesses. The appointment of the commissions can be associated with several blame-avoidance strategies, but they probably best fit into the category of “passing the buck”.In other words, politicians deflect blame by forcing others to make choices, therebyyielding discretion over potentially unpopular, major cost-producing decisions. Clearly,the evolving workers’ compensation issues of the time were of major importance to B.C.society. Governments, not wanting to face rapidly growing labour sectors that werehostile at election time, could minimize blame on themselves by dropping it in the laps ofthe the non-partisan commissions, particularly if the changes did not solve the problems.Although there were considerable deliberations before Royal Commissions II and Ill’srecommendations were all adopted, there is no evidence that governments seriouslyattempted to introduce changes that were at significant variance with the non-partisanproposals. To do so would have increased the amount of blame from labour, if theamendments resulted in failure.The series of Commissions took place notwithstanding significant formal andinformal consultations between government, labour and industry during the two intercommission periods. In the first period, several labour delegations presented briefsdirectly to the Cabinet. In the second period, the new Social Credit government heldwhat surely must have been one of the earliest multistakeholder forums, described inChapter 1, in B.C. history in 1953, when industry and labour representatives were both79invited to Victoria. In fact, the major bill in 1954 was in some part based on thisunprecedented conference. After this event, various labour delegations were able to meetwith the Cabinet over workers’ compensation issues with great frequency. Seeing thisincreased access for labour, industry representatives stepped up their efforts at lobbyingthe Cabinet. However, the direct consultation route failed to achieve the sustainedconsensus that was desired by all parties.The preceding indicates that Justices Sloan, Tysoe and, to a lesser degree,DesBrisay, must be considered important historical figures in the evolution of B.C.workers’ compensation policy. Despite their lack of connection to labour interests, thethree men were balanced and fair in their judgements and recommendations. Their senseof non-partisanship and genuine desire to achieve a consensus on issues with such highstakes are to be admired in retrospect as they were at the time by labour and industry.B.C. governments, though not necessarily with the greatest of expedience, adopted mostof their recommendations accordingly.The Justices’ contribution to workers’ compensation policy is also significant inanother unique sense. While one does not normally associate the Canadian judiciary withhaving a significant impact on social policy, as in the United States, this was very muchthe case in B.C. with workers’ compensation, in a different way of course. By extension,their ideas also had impact elsewhere since the B.C. act has been studied by many otherjurisdictions over the years.The question of why from among all the Canadian provinces only in B.C. hasworkers’ compensation been so heavily affected by royal commissions, is an interestingone. Almost all other Canadian provinces have held at least one royal commission onworkers’ compensation, but never more than two and never in such a short time span asin B.C.2 As has been seen in this paper, the three Commissions appear to have been80created almost solely because of labour agitation. Organized labour has always beenstrong in B.C., relative to elsewhere in Canada.3 Perhaps labour groups in otherCanadian jurisdictions had been lobbying for major inquiries on workers’ compensation,but their lack of power in comparison to their B.C. counterparts made their efforts fallshort.Perhaps the most prominent substantial aspect of the three commission debateswas lesson-drawing, or in other words, “action-oriented conclusions about programselsewhere”.4 Since, broadly speaking, the realm of occupational safety and health issuesin North America falls into the domain of Canadian provinical and American statejurisdictions, the Commissions had over sixty models to comparatively analyze, wherethe multitude of socio-economic characteristics of the populations were relatively similar.The Commissioners explicitly engaged in lesson-drawing by travelling to, and analyzingdata from, many of these jurisdictions. Given the lack of high-technologycommunication instruments taken for granted today, such efforts during this time periodwere considerable. The Commissioners particularly drew comparisons with the provinceof Ontario and the Pacific coast states of Washington, Oregon and California. On theother hand, it cannot be said that emulation was as prominent. The commissioners,industry and labour all agreed that a workers’ compensation act was closely associatedwith the quality of life for a society in general. Given that B.C. was so well endowedwith natural resources and wealth, the Commissioners felt that it was appropriate that theworker benefits and safety standards be amongst the highest, rather than just be ataverage levels with its neighbors on the continent.The positive impact of the B.C. royal commissions on workers’ compensationshould not lead to the conclusion that these major inquiries are the ideal public policyengine or that they are likely to return to the sort of general prominence they onceexperienced. The associated financial costs and lengthy time periods they span probably81preclude a comeback. These two problems were certainly evident in Royal CommissionsII and III. There are also other shortcomings of royal commissions mentioned in Chapter1. However, as this paper has shown, royal commissions can be a very effective publicpolicy generator under certain circumstances. Their strengths, particularly the nonpartisan, independent stature of the Commissioner and the virtually unlimited publichearings, were elements that were considered necessary to handle the issue of workers’compensation in B.C. In that sense, however, the Commissions’ success helped lead totheir demise. The lengthy time periods necessary for all participants to have their sayand thus put the Commissioner in a position to make appropriate recommendations,ultimately led to the heavy Commission costs as well as general impatience.For a period of time, however, and a critical one, the much maligned royalcommission was the prime policy generator for what was and is, many argue, one of themost important public policy issues in an industrial society. Thus, workers and theirfamilies in B.C. today, who enjoy workers’ compensation benefits and services that are asgenerous and progressive as anywhere in Canada and the world,5 owe that institution ofthe Canadian parliamentary system a debt of gratitude.82TABLE IROYAL COMMISSION I--RECOMMENDATIONS AND THEIRCONSEQUENCES 1942-1949ISSUE RECOMMENDATION LEGISLATION ADOPTEDCompensation rate no change no change yesMaximum allowance $2000 to $2500 $2000 to $2500 yesMinimum allowance $10/wk to $12.5/wk $l0/wk to yes$12. 5/wk3 day waiting period no change no change yesRetroactive period no change no change yesCOLA bonus no change no change yesIncreasing age of dependent 16 to 18 if in school 16 to 18 if in yeschildren receiving WC if schoolfather_diesAllowance for dependent $7.5/mo to $10/mo $7.5/mo to yeschildren if father dies $10/moMaximum payment to $70/mo to $80/mo $70/mo to yesfamily if father dies $80/moOrphan Allowances $15/mo to $20/mo $15/mo to yesuntil 18 $20/mo until 18Payment on top funeral $100 $125 yesexpenseMaximum payment if eliminate it eliminated yeswidow remarriesParents of unmarried killed if dependents if dependents yesworker to get compensationParents of unmarried killed no no yesworker to be able to sueemployerMaximum allowance for $30/mo to $40/mo $30/mo to yesdependent parents $40/moMonetary increases to be no no yesretroactive83Average earnings method no change no change yesHospital WCB rates no change no change yesPer diem allowance for yes yes ($2.5/day) yesmedical visits by injuredworkersAllow WCB to revise yes yes yesworkers’_contributionAllow WCB to evaluate yes yes yesreal_earinings_potentialProvision for rehabilitation yes yes yesBlanket coverage for no no yeseveryonePartial WC for hernia yes yes yesSiicosis coverage widened yes ? ?Silicosis coverage for coal yes yes yesminers,_not_sand_blastersAdd pneumoconiosis as yes yes yesindustrial_diseaseAll silicotics to receive no no yesminimum_compensationReduce period of residence no yes noin B.C. for miners to getsilicosis_compensationEliminate 5 year period for allow exceptions allow yessilicotic to file claim exceptionsCompensation & vocational yes (66% of earning no norehabilitation to non- differential)disabled who are advised toleave_miningImmediate notification of yes no noX-rays_to_silicoticStricter mine safety laws to no no yesprevent_silicosisMiners’ conmiittee to assist no yes noWCBCivic employees to get yes no nocompensation_for_silicosisChange method of average no no yesearnings_by_longshoremen84Establish industrial hygiene yes yes yesbureauLogger’s Association merit yes yes yesscheme for logging industryUnify & simplify accident yes no noprevention services acrossBCElected labour no no yesrepresentative on WCBLabour advocate postion in no no yesWCBEstablish medical appeal no no yesboardWCB priority on payments yes yes yeslimited_to_3_yearsSpeeding doctors’ response no yes noto WCB administrativedutiesSend cheques to injured no no yesworkers twice monthlyEstablish Victoria office no no yesNote- In cases where question marks are provided, it was not possible to positivelydetermine whether or not the said recommendations took place. In some cases, thewording of relevant statutes was ambiguous or simply beyond the legal interpretativeskills of the author. In others, there was no documented proof that the changes tookplace or did not.85TABLE NROYAL COMMISSION Il—RECOMMENDATIONS AND THEIRCONSEQUENCES 1952-1962ISSUE RECOMMENDATION LEGISLATION ADOPTEDAgricultural workers to be yes no nocoveredDomestic servants not to be yes yes yesexcludedOffice personnel to be covered no no yesBlanket coverage for everyone no no yesRheumatism, lumbago, sciatica, none of them none of them yesarthritis added as industrialdiseasesIndustrial deafness added to yes yes yesscheduleAnthracosis added as industrial no no yesdiseasePosting of workplace conditions yes yes yesat all timesEducate & protect coal miners yes no nofrom silicosisCompulsory aluminum dust no no yestherapy coverageStatutory silicosis amendments 1 of 6 [8 (6) (d)] 1 of 6 [8 (6) yes(6 separate proposals) (d)1Delete waiting period for no no yestuberculosisEliminate time limit for hernia yes yes yesoperation & alter the provisoWCB allowed to blacklist yes yes yesdoctorsAllow leeway for number of yes yes yesspecialists the WCB consultsAllow coverage for visits to yes yes yeschiroprodists86Allow coverage for visits to yes yes yeschiroprodistsSet up medical appeal board yes yes yes-composed of chairman & 2 yes yes yesspecialists-to have final & binding yes yes yesauthority-its jurisdiction functional disability functional partiallydisability &errors &continuanceof WC-employers & employees yes yes yesallowed to appeal-its conclusions to have no no noretrospective effect-procedural discretion appeal board, appeal board yescontrol control-costs for appeal board to come yes yes yesout of Accident Fund-to have full powers of WCB yes yes yesAllow compensation soley on yes yes yesbasis of physical function lossCompensation rate 66 2/3% to 70% 66 2/3% to partially75%Maximum allowance $2500 to $3600 $2500 to yes*$5000Minimum allowance $12.5/wk to $15/wk $12.5/wk to yes*$25/wkWidow’s pension $50/mo to $75/mo $50/mo to yes*$90/moChildren’s allowance if father $12.5/mo to $20/mo $12.5/mo to yes*killed on job $35/moOrphan’s allowance $20/mo to $30/mo $20/mo to yes*$40/mo87Other dependents’ allowance $55/mo to $75/mo $55/mo to yes*$90/moFuneral allowance $150 to $250 $150 to $350 yes*Subsistance allowance eliminate eliminated yesmaximumAverage earnings method no change no change yesWaiting period no change no change yesClassification change for coal no no yescompaniesClassification change for no no yesautomobile sales companiesCoverage for independent no no yesfishermenAllow WCB to pay medical yes yes yescosts for workers on non-B.C.Canadian vesselsExtend coverage to student yes yes yestraineesEase WCB lien restrictions on no no yesemployers who owe moneyEmployer’s class to pay a sum no no yesinto Rehabilitation Fund ifkilled worker left no dependentsIncrease penalty to employer for $50 to $500 $50 to $500 yesnon-observance of regulationsAllow WCB inspectors to close yes no nodown factories or plantsEmployer must give WCB yes no nostatistics on demandWCB inspectors to be yes no noaccompanied on plant tours by adesignated labour memberAllow other Departments’ yes yes yesofficials to inspectplants/factories on behalf ofWCBUpgrade status & training of yes no nofirst aid attendantsMandatory radio contact for yes ?work crews88Institute air ambulance service no ?Annual provincial grant to yes no noDivision of Industrial HygieneEliminate maximum yes yes yesexpenditure from AccidentFund for vocationalrehabilitationExpand Councellor’s role yesWCB allowed to set production no no yeslimits on an employerAppoint legal advocate yes partially partiallyExpand definition of ‘physician’ yes partially partiallyAllow non-residential family yes yes yesmembers to be coveredAllow WCB to add diseases to yes yes yesscheduleGive more power to WCBin yes yes yesemployee vs. employee casesAllow minors working illegally yes yes yesto get compensation rather thanthe guardianWCB pays in cases of defunct yes yes yesmedical plansFix time limit for claim the yes yes yessame for diseases as accidentsAllow WCB to determine if yes yes yescontractors are employees*-taking inflation into accountNote- In cases where question marks exists, it was not possible to positively determinewhether or not the said recommendations took place. In some cases the wording ofrelevant statutes was ambiguous or beyond the legal interpretative skills of the author. Inothers, there was simply no documented proof that the changes took place or did not.89TABLE IIIROYAL COMMISSION Ill—RECOMMENDATIONS AND THEIRCONSEQUENCES 1965-1974ISSUE RECOMMENDATION LEGISLATION ADOPTEDCompensation rate no change no change yesChange average earnings yes partially partiallymethodMaximum payment $5000/yr to $5000/yr to$6500/yr $6600/yr yes*Minimum payment $25/wk to $30/wk $100/mo to yes*$150/moWidow’s pension $90/mo to $1 15/mo $90/mo to $124/mo yes*Children’s allowance if $35/mo to $40/mo $35/mo to $43/mo yes*father killed on the jobChildren’s (16-18) $35/mo to $45/mo $35/mo to $49/mo yes*allowance if father killedon the job and attendingschoolAdult (18-21) children’s $50/mo $54/mo yes*allowance if father killedon the job and attendingschoolOrphans (1-16) and $40/mo to $45/mo $40/mo to $48/mo yes*invalid children’sallowance if father killedOrphans’ (16-21) $55/mo $60/mo yes*allowance if in schoolTie all compensation yes yes yesand payments to cost oflivingProvincial government yes yes yesto pay half of AccidentFundFuneral allowance $250 to $350 $250 to $350 yesOptional privateinsurance no no yes90Blanket coverage foreveryone no no yesCoverage for no change no change yesindependent fishermenWCB to get more power no ? ?to penalize negligentemployersInspectors to be yes yes yesaccompanied by labourrepresentative on plantor factory toursAllow first aid no ?attendents to applyplasma and narcoticsWCB allowed to close yes yes yesdown employer if itfinds first aid facilitiesinsufficientGive WCB authority to yes yes yessupervise training ofindusthal first aidattendentsIncrease WCB medical yes ?staffChange method of fees no ?to case where more thanone doctor is involvedGuaranteed payment to yes ?doctor for first reportWCB to pay for yes yes yesreplacement of hearingaids damaged on the jobIncrease specificity of no no yesdefinition of doctorstduties in WC casesAllow WCB to yes yes yescompensate injuredsailors on federal vesselsEase resthctions on no no yesWCB for subsistenceallowance91Change definition of yes yes yes‘accident’ and the use ofitShift burden of proof no no yesfrom worker in provinga claimThree day waiting no change no change yesperiodSet up enhanced yes yes yesdisability fundLimited liability specify clause clause specified yesSet up WCB/medical yes ?committee to look atlimited liability casesRevise disease schedule yes yes yesPut all industrial yes no nodiseases on scheduleCoordinate WCB and yes no nolegislative additions todisease scheduleEase restrictions on yes yes yeshernia casesChange definition of no yes nosilicosisDelete residential no no yesqualifying time forsilicosisCompulsory Aluminium no no yesdust therapySeperate clause for yes yes yesradiation casesPermit WCB to yes yes yescompensate workerbefore 12 months ofdisablementPermit WCB to give yes yes yesmedical aid to workernot disabled92Make inspectors’ dust no no yescounts readily availableand publicCompulsory check-up no no yesfor minersEmphysema, bronchitis, no no yeslung cancer, heart failureadded to the diseasescheduleCurb WCB power to no no yesforce workers to bemedically examinedMake age a factor in yes ? ?award assessmentsEliminate loss of yes yes yesfunction calculationmethod in temporarypartial disability casesChange formula of no no yescompensation fortemporary disabilitycasesChange average earnings no no yesmethodChange method of no no yescompensating forpermanent partialdisabilityMandate disclosure of no no yesWCB files to workersAppoint compensation yes yes yes“Consultant”Judicial or independent no no yesreview of BoarddecisionsRestructure Board of yes partially partiallyReviewAllow WCB to appeal to yes yes yesMedical Review Panel93Allow dependent of yes yes yesdeceased to appeal toMedical Review PanelChairman of Medical yes yes yesReview Panel to getlegal adviceStatement of non- yes yes yesmedical facts to beissued to Chairman ofMedical Review PanelChiropractors involved no no yesin Medical ReviewPanelTime limit for Review yes yes yesapplicationChange terms of the yes yes yesPanel’s certificatecriteriaMandate Panel to send yes yes yescertificate to worker,doctorVarious minor yes yes yesamendments to MedicalReview Panel SectionSet up complaints yes yes yesdepartmentBroaden scope of yes yes yesmedical aid provisionsAlter ‘rights against yes yes yesemployers’ sectionPut more specific yes yes yesrequirements on workerto report injuryMake WCB pay if no no yescontractors default onpaymentsAllow WCB lien to yes yes yesextend to contractors orsub-contractorsExtend WCB lien from yes yes yes3 years to 5 yearsGuarantee certain rights no no yesfor workers returningfrom injuries94Cover volunteer yes yes yesambulance drivers,firemen, etc.Cover teachers & yes yes yesprofessorsAllow individuals to yes no nopurchase compensationcoverageCover pneumoconiosis yes no novictims who worked inother than themetalliferous miningindustryCease payments to child no no yesunder 16 if he/shemarriesEliminate maximum no no yespayment for widowswho re-marryIf worker receives yes yes yescompensation for 2injuries it does notexceed total disabilitypaymentProvision for re- yes yes yesoccurrence of disabilityMandate employer to yes yes yesreport fatalityimmediatelyGive more leeway for yes yes yesWCB to punishnegligent doctorsGive WCB custody of yes yes yesSilicosis FundGive WCB authority yes yes yesadminister agreementswith other jurisdictions*- taking inflation into accountNote- In cases where question marks exist, it was not possible to positively determinewhether or not the said recommendations took place. In some cases the wording ofrelevant statutes was ambiguous or beyond the legal interpretative skills of the author. Inothers, there was simply no documented proof that the changes took place or did not.95REFERENCESINTRODUCTION1. Hugh McDowall Clokie and J. William Robinson, Royal Commissions of Inquiry:The Significance of Investigations in British Politics (New York, NY: OctagonBooks 1969), P. 28. A thorough history of British royal commissions is given in thisbook.2. John Courtney, Canadian Royal Commissions of Inquiry. 1946-1962: AnInvestigation of an Executive Instrument of Inquiry (Doctoral Dissertation, DukeUniversity 1964), p.138-155. This is perhaps the only serious effort to this day todetermine the portion of recommendations from commissions adopted by the federalgovernment.3. The phrase workers’ compensation will be used in generic references throughout thispaper. This gender neutral phrase will be used instead of the precise historical phraseof workmen’s compensation unless specific Acts or organizational bodies are referredto.4. G.F. Henderson, Federal Royal Commissions in Canada. 1867-1966: Checklist(Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press 1967) and Lise Mallet, Provincial RoyalCommissions and Commissions of Inquiry. 1867-1982:A Selective Bibliography(Ottawa, ON: Minister of Supply of Services Canada 1986). A review of these twosources indicates that some provinces have appointed more than one royalcommission on a particular issue, but never three in even remotely close to twentyyears.CHAPTER 11. Marjorie Holmes, Royal Commissions in British Columbia. 1872-1942 (Victoria,BC: King’s Printer 1943), p. 5. A summary and listing of all royal commissions inBritish Columbia during this time period.2. Ibid., p. 5.3. Ibid.,p.5.4. Courtney, Canadian Royal Commissions of Inquiry, p. 14.5. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1872, c. 14.6. Courtney, Canadian Royal Commissions of Inquiry, p. 7.7. J.E. Hodgetts, Pioneer Public Service (Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press(1955), p. 24, 28.8. Courtney, Canadian Royal Commissions of Inquiry, p. 9.969. Holmes, Royal Commissions in British Columbia, p. 6.10. Holmes, Royal Commissions in British Columbia, p. 6.11. Financial Post, 1 September 1962, p. 3. Here, royal commissions were sarcasticallycalled, “Canada’s biggest industry”.12. Courtney, Canadian Royal Commissions of Inquiry, p. 54.13. Ibid, p. 78.14. Ibid, p. 159.15. Ibid, p. 171.16. George Hoberg, Jr., “Representation and Governance in Canadian EnvironmentalPolicy”, Prepared for delivery at “Governing Canada: Public Policy and PoliticalInstitutions”, a Conference at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, October 25 & 26,1991. p. 6-12.CHAPTER 21. Joseph F. Foilman, Jr., The Economics of Industrial Health: History. Theory. Practice(New York, NY: AMACOM 1978), p. 2.2. Ibid, p. 12-13.3. Earl F. Cheit and Margaret S. Gordon, eds., Occupational Disability and PublicPolicy (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons 1963), p. 1924. Allan Specht, Introduction to Worker’s Compensation Board History Project(Vancouver, B.C.: Workers’ Compensation Board 1979), p. 1.5. Foliman, The Economics of Industrial Health, p. 136. Cheit & Gordon, Occupational Disability and Public Policy, p. 203.7. Ibid,p.203.8. Ibid, p. 203.9. Ibid,p.203.10. Ibid, p. 203.11. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1891, c. 62.12. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1902, c. 74.13. Specht, Introduction to Workers’ Compensation Board History Project, p. 4.14. Ibid, p. 5.15. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1916, c. 77.9716. Specht, Introduction to Workers’ Compensation Board History Project, p. 8.17. Ibid, p. 9.18. Specht, Workers’ Compensation Board History Project. Interview With Edwin Eades,p. 43.CHAPTER 31. B.C. newspapers utilized in this paper include, the Victoria Times, the Vancouverthe Victoria Colonist and the Vancouver Province. All major events cited, andwhere possible, quotes, have been cross-referenced for accuracy.2. The Royal Commission in 1942 will be referred to as Royal Commission I, the RoyalCommission in 1949-5 1 will referred to as Royal Commission II and the third one in1962-65 will be called Royal Commission III.CHAPTER 41. Victoria Colonist, 13 July 1941, p. 24.2. Martin Robin, Pillars of Profit: The Company Province 1934-72 (Toronto, ON:McClelland and Stewart 1973), p. 44.3. Vancouver Province, 2 November 1940, p. 19.4. B.C. Federationist, 10 July 1941, p. 1.5. From a review of Holmes, Royal Commissions in British Columbia: 1872-1942 andJudith Antonik Bennett, Royal Commissions in British Columbia: 1943-1982(Victoria, B.C.: Queen’s Printer, 1982).6. British Columbia, Report of the Royal Commission on the Workmen’sCompensation Board (Victoria, BC: King’s Printer 1942), p. DD 7 DD 10.7. Ibid. p. DD 126.8. Ibid, p. DD 128.9. Ibid,p.DD 127-DD 135.10. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1924, c. 312, s. 25.11. British Columbia, Report of the Royal Commission on the Workmen’sCompensation Board, p. DD 66.12. British Columbia, Proceedings of the Royal Commission on the CompensationBoard Vol. 2, p. 741.13. Ibid, Vol. 3, p. 922.9814. British Columbia, Report of the Royal Commission on the Workmen’sCompensation Board, p. DD 43.15. Ibid, p. DD 46.16. Ibid, p. DD 125.17. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1938, c. 67, s. 5, 6.18. British Columbia, Report of the Royal Commission on the Workmen’sCompensation Board, p. DD 25.19. Legislative Assembly of the Province British Columbia, Revised Statutes of BritishColumbia 1924, c. 312, s. 7(2).20. British Columbia, Report of the Royal Commission on the Workmen’sCompensation Board, p. DD 33 - DD 36.21. Ibid, p. DD 92.22. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1924, c. 312, s. 20(1).23. British Columbia, Report of the Royal Commission on the Workmen’s CompensationBoard, p. DD 121.24. Ibid, p. DD 124.25.Ibid,p.DD46-DD61.26. Ibid, p. DD 8.27. Vancouver 15 September 1942, p. 8.28. Vancouver Province, 16 September 1942, p. 25.29. Ibid, p. 25.30. Labor Statesman, October, 1942, p. 1.31. Victoria Colonist, 13 January 1943, p. 11.32. Vancouver Province, 16 September, 1942, p. 25.33. Vancouver jj, 4 November 1942, p. 13.34. Victoria Times, 12 January 1944, p. 9.35. Victoria Colonist 29 January 1944, p. 2.36. Vancouver Province, 23 November, 1945 p. 11.37. Vancouver 22 December, 1945, p. 9.38. Vancouver,Sj,21 January, 194.6, p. 12.39. Vancouver Province, 30 January, 1946, p. 2.9940. Legislative Assembly of the Province British Columbia, Revised Statutes of BritishColumbia 1946, c. 80.41. Vancouver 9 April 1946, p. 7, 10.42. Ibid, p. 10.43. Robin, Pillars of Profit, p. 70.44. Ibid. p. 70.45. Paul A. Phillips, Np Greater Power: A Century of Labour in British Columbia(Vancouver, BC: Boag Foundation 1967) p. 125.46. Robin, Pillars of Profit, p. 71.47. Ibid. p. 71.48. Phillips, No Greater Power, p. 127.49. Ibid. p. 133.50. British Columbia, Proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry on the Workmen’sCompensation Act (Victoria, BC: Queen’s Printer 1966) Vol. 3, p. 324.51. Vancouver jjn, 14 March 1949, p. 6.52. Vancouver Province, 11 June 1949, p. 11.53. British Columbia, Proceedings of the Royal Commission Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board (Victoria, Queen’s Printer 1952) Vol. 1, p. 18.54. Ibid, Vol. 1, p. 121.55. Vancouver m. 8 November 1949, p. 14.56. Dorothy Steeves, The Compassionate Rebel (Vancouver, BC: Boag Foundation1960) p. 168.57. Howard White, A Hard Man to Beat. The Story of Bill White. Labour Leader.Historian. Shipyard Worker. Raconteur (Vancouver, BC: Pulp Press Book Publishers1983) p. 99-10158. H.A. Logan, Trade Unions in Canada - Their Development and Functioning(Toronto, ON: MacMillan Co. of Canada 1948) p. 437.CHAPTER 51. British Columbia, Report of the Commissioner Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board (Victoria BC: Queen’s Printer 1952), p. 7.2. Ibid, p. 7.3. Victoria Colonist, 10 November 1949, p. 1.4. Vancouver News Herald, 15 January 1951, p. 1.1005. VictoriaTimes, 14 April 1951, p. 17.6. Howard White, A Hard Man to Beat. The Story of Bill White. Labour Leader.Historian. Shipyard Worker, Raconteur, p. 105.7. From reviewing the minutes of the hearings.8. British Columbia, Report of the Commissioner Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board, p. 23-33.9. Ibid, p. 30.10. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1936, c. 370 s. 2(2).11. British Columbia, Report of the Commissioner Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board, p. 34.12. Ibid, p. 34.13. Ibid, p. 35-44.14. Workmen’s Compensation Board, Proceedings of the Public Inquiry in the Matter ofthe Workmen’s Compensation Act (Vancouver, BC: Workmen’s Compensation Board1952), Vol. 1, p. 87 & Vol. 9, p. 3964.15. Ibid, Vol. 23, p. 12390 & Vol. 23, p. 12402.16. British Columbia, Report of the Commissioner Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board, p. 143-15 1.17. Ibid, p. 163.18. Ibid, p. 127.19. Ibid, p. 162-163.20. Nancy Adamson, Linda Brisham & Margaret McPhail, Feminists Organizing frjChange: The Contemporary Women’s Movement in Canada (Toronto, ON: OxfordUniversity Press 1988), p. 41.21. Ibid, p. 169.22. Ibid, p. 169.23. Ibid, p. 168.24. Ibid, p. 168.25. Legislative Assembly of the Province British Columbia, Revised Statutes of BritishColumbia 1936, c. 370 s. 25(1).26. British Columbia, Report of the Commissioner Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board, p. 171.27. Ibid, p. 426.28. Victoria Colonist, 13 February 1952, p. 1.10129. Martin Robin, Pillars of Profit. The Company Province. 1934-1972, P. 140.30. Vancouver, 27 February 1952, p. 23.31. B.C. Lumber Worker 21 February 1952, p. 10.32. Vancouver aun, 27 February 1952, p. 23.33. Victoria Colonist, 22 February 1952, p. 7.34. Labor Statesman, November, 1952, p. 1.35. Ship and Shop, 14 March 1952, p. 3.36. B.C. District Union News, 3 March 1952, p. 4-5.37. Martin Robin, Pillars of Profit, p. 138.38. Ibid, p. 138.39. Ibid. p. 139.40. Ibid, p. 138.41. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1952, c. 15.42. British Columbia, Report of the Commissioner Relating to The Workmen’sCompensation Act and Board, p. 362.43. Vancouver jn, 24 October 1953, p. 29.44. Vancouver Province, 13 November 1953, p. 2945. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1954, c. 54.46. Victoria Colonist, 8 April 1954, p. 28.47. Ibid, p. 28.48. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Revised Statutes of British Columbia1955, c. 91.49. Vancouver Province, 23 March 1955, p. 14.50. Victoria Colonist, 28 February 1956, p. 2.51. From reviewing letters to the editor and editorials in B.C. newspapers during theZucco protest.52. Victoria Colonist, 15 August 1956, p. 21.53. The impact of the Zucco protest can be measured by the fact that Chief Justice Tysoe,in his final report, felt compelled to spend significant time discussing the case. Heessentially defended the W.C.B.’s handling of the miner’s case under the existingrules.54. Vancouver Province, 9 February 1957, p. 21.10255. Vancouver 17 September 1957, p. 1.56. Vancouver Province, 20 November 1957, p. 3.57. Victoria Colonist, 27 October 1957, p.3.58. Victoria Colonist, 20 December 1957, p. 31.59. Vancouver, 22 October 1958, p. 1.60. Vancouverm, 3 November 1958, p. 19.61. Vancouver Province, 19 December 1958, p. 10.62. Victoria Times, 19 December 1958, p. 30.63. Victoria Colonist, 22 October 1958, p.1.64. Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, Revised Statutes ofBritish Columbia 1959, c. 95.65. Victoria Times, 5 March 1959, p. 19.66. Vancouver Province, 6 March 1959, p. 2.67. Ibid, p. 2.68. Vancouver Province, 8 March 1959, p. 15.69. Victoria Times, 20 January 1961, p. 1370. Vancouver 12 November 1960, p.3.71. Victoria Times, 10 March 1961, p. 5.72. Victoria Times, 2 February 1962, p.12.73. Workmen’s Compensation Board,Proceedins of the Public Inquiry in the Matter ofthe Workmen’s Compensation Act (Vancouver, BC: Workmen’s Compensation Board1965) Vol. 2, p. 187-221.74. Ibid, Vol. 60, p. 8675.75. Ibid, Vol. 7, p. 909.76. Ibid, Vol. 35, p. 5046.77. British Columbia, Commission of Inquiry. Workmen’s Compensation Act(Vancouver, Queen’s Printer 1966), p. 16.78. Workmen’s Compensation Board, Proceedings of the Public Inquiry in the Matter ofthe Workmen’s Compensation Act, Vol. 3, p. 350.79. Howard White, A Hard Man to Beat, p.108.80. British Columbia, Commission of Inquiry. Workmen’s Compensation Act, p. 368.103CHAPTER 61. British Columbia, Commission of Inquiry, Workmen’s Compensation Act. Report ofthe Commissioner, (Victoria, BC: Queen’s Printer 1966), P. 5-6.2. Victoria Times, 28 December 1963, p. 17.3. Vancouverjji, 28 September 1962, p. 7.4. Martin Robin, Pillars of Profit, p. 215.5. British Columbia, Commission of Inquiry. Workmen’s Compensation Act. Report ofthe Commissioner, p. 37.6. Ibid, p. 42-43.7. Ibid, p. 68.8. Ibid, p. 35.9. Ibid. p. 199.10. Ibid, p. 27.11. Ibid, p. 221.12. Ibid, p. 148.13. Ibid, p. 367-394.14. Ibid, p. 187.15. Ibid, p. 288.16. Ibid, p. 16.17. Ibid, p. 16.18. Vancouver Province, 11 March 1965, p. 22.19. Vancouver Province, 12 March 1965, p. 1.20. Vancouver 11 March 1965, p. 13.21. Vancouver 26 October 1965, p. 1.22. Victoria Times, 3 November 1965, p. 25.23. Ibid, 3 November 1965, p. 25.24. Ibid, 3 November 1965, p. 25.25. Vancouver Si, 19 November 1965, p. 5.26. Vancouver 8 March 1967, p. 3.27. Ibid, 8 March 1967, p. 3.28. Ibid, 22 March 1967, p. 31.10429. Victoria Colonist, 17 March 1966, p. 11.30. Vancouver Sian, 17 March 1966, p. 10.31. Vancouver 5iia, 15 March 1967, p. 29.32. Victoria Colonist, 21 March 1967, p. 1.33. Vancouver5.n, 21 March 1967, p. 15.34. Victoria Colonist, 7 March 1968, p. 18.35. Victoria Times, 6 March 1968, p. 17.36. B.C. Federation of Labor, Submission on Workmen’s Compensation in BritishColumbia to the Minister of Labor, (Vancouver, BC: B.C. Federation of Labor 1971).37. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Revised Statutes of British Columbia1972, c. 64.38. His brother, Albert King, had been one of labour’s most prominent spokespersonduring the series of royal commissions on worker’s compensation.39. Interview with Bill King.40. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Revised Statutes of British Columbia1974,c. 101.41. B.C. Federation of Labor, Submisson on Workers’ Compensation in British Columbiato the Minister of Labour, (Vancouver, BC: B.C.Federation of Labor, 1974), p1.42. International Woodworkers of America, Submission on Workers’ Compensation inBritish Columbia to the Minister of Labor (Vancouver, BC: InternationalWoodworkers of America 1976), p. 2.43. Workmen’s Compensation Board, Proceedings of the Inquiry into the Workmen’sCompensation Act, (Vancouver, BC: Workmen’s Compensation Board 1966), p. 29,167.44. Ibid, p. 4466.45. Ibid, p. 4468.46. Ibid, p. 30,57047. British Columbia, Hansard, 15 October, 1971, p. 373.48. Although the W.C.B. covers such areas as safety standards and workplace exposurestandards for hazardous chemicals, in addition to compensation issues, the RoyalCommissions did not deal with them much. It can only be surmised that lack oftechnology (i.e. exposure measuring instruments) and scientific research in theseareas at this time precluded much discussion in this regard. Labour seemed muchmore interested in cure than in prevention. They seemed satisfied to defer to theexpertise of W.C.B. plant inspectors.105CHAPTER 71. R. Kent Weaver, “The Politics of Blame Avoidance”, Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 6Part 4, 1986, P. 371-398.2. From a review of Lise Maillet, Provinicial Royal Commissions and Commissions ofInquirY.3. Richard U. Miller & Fraser Isbester, Canadian Labor in Transition, (Prentice-Hall:Scarborough, ON, 1971), o. 1034. Richard Rose, “What is Lesson-Drawing?”, Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 11 Part 1,1991, p. 3-30.5. H.Allen Hunt, Peter S.Barth & Michael J. Leahy, Workers’ Compensation in BritishColumbia: An Administrative Inventory at a Time of Transition, (W.E.UpjohnInstitute Employment for Research, Kalamazoo, MI, 1991), p.xxvI0BIBLIOGRAPHYAdamson, Nancy, Brisham, Linda and McPhail, Margaret, Feminists Organizing forChange: The Contemporary Women’s Movement in Canada, Toronto, Oxford UniversityPress, 1988.Bashevkin, Sylvia, “Does Public Opinion Matter? 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