Open Collections

BC Sessional Papers

PUBLIC INQUIRIES ACT (BRITISH COLUMBIA) Report of the Commissioner The Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1943

Item Metadata

Download

Media
bcsessional-1.0314363.pdf
Metadata
JSON: bcsessional-1.0314363.json
JSON-LD: bcsessional-1.0314363-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcsessional-1.0314363-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcsessional-1.0314363-rdf.json
Turtle: bcsessional-1.0314363-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcsessional-1.0314363-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcsessional-1.0314363-source.json
Full Text
bcsessional-1.0314363-fulltext.txt
Citation
bcsessional-1.0314363.ris

Full Text

 PUBLIC  INQUIRIES  ACT
(BRITISH COLUMBIA)
Report of the Commissioner
The Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon McG. Sloan
relating to
The Workmen's Compensation
Board
1942
VICTORIA, B.C.:
PrliiIed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to tlae King's Most Excellent Majesty.  To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia,
Victoria, British Columbia.
Sir,—Pursuant to the powers contained in the " Public Inquiries Act," chapter
131 of the " Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1936," and in accordance with an
Order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, dated the 1st day of July, 1941, a Commission issued under the Great Seal of the Province, appointing me a sole Commissioner
to inquire into the certain matters therein set out.
The inquiry has been had and I respectfully submit this my report thereon.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
GORDON McG. SLOAN,
Commissioner.
Victoria, B.C.,
September, 194-2.  TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page.
Terms of Commission  7
Appearances   8
Historical Background of Act s  10
Scope of Act  15
Appointment of Board  17
Administrative Divisions   17
Record of Claims  18
Percentage of Complaints to Claims _  20
Proposed Amendments re Allowances to Claimants—
(1.)  To increase Rate of Compensation—  21
(2.)  To increase Maximum and Minimum Allowances  27
(3.)  To eliminate Three-day Waiting Period  33
(4.)  Re Cost-of-living Bonus  40
Proposed Amendments re Allowances to Dependents  42
(1.)  Allowances to Dependent Children to continue to 18 Years of Age  42
(2.)  Allowances to each Dependent Child to be increased from $7.50 a Month
to $10 or $12 a Month  46
(3.)  Maximum of $70 to be deleted from Section 16 (2)  (b)  48
(4.)  Allowances to Orphans to continue to 21 Years of Age  50
(5.)  Allowances to Orphans to be increased from $15 to $20 a Month  50
(6.)  Widow to receive $100 in Addition to First Compensation Cheque  51
(7.)  Foster Mother to receive $100 in Addition to other Benefits .'  51
(8.)  Widow to receive $960 upon Remarriage  52
(9.)  Parents of Unmarried Worker killed in Industry to be compensated in
Addition to receiving Funeral Expenses  54
(10.)  Parents of Unmarried Workers killed in Industry to be Free to resort to
Court Action  57
(11.)  Maximum Monthly Allowance to Dependent Parents in Section 16 (2) (d)
to be increased from $30 to $40  61
Attitude of Industry  61
Reasons why certain Amendments not recommended to have Retrospective Effect  62
Average Earnings  65
Medical Aid   72
Background ... 72
Amendments and Criticisms—
(1.) Complaint of Hospital Association that the Board arbitrarily fixes
the Rates Chargeable by their Member Hospitals and that the Board
wrongfully makes Deductions from Bills rendered by the Hospitals
at the Board Rate   i_ 73
(2.) The Complaint of Mr. Harold Winch that Physiotherapy and like
Systems  of  Treatment  were  not  given  their  Adequate  Place   in
Medical Aid furnished by the Board  90
(3.) That Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Osteopaths, and Chiropodists be
permitted to treat Compensation Cases  91 DD 6 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Medical Aid—Continued.
Amendments and Criticisms—Continued. Page.
(4.) The Complaint that the Board did not supply Appliances in place of
those worn out by Use  93
(5.)  The Problem of the Neurotic Patient ,  93
(6.)  The Alleged Failure of the Board to exercise Initiative under the
Medical Aid Section  104
(7.)  Approved Medical Schemes  105
(8.)  Cost of Attending for Medical Examination  106
(9.)  Proposal that Workmen contribute 3 Cents a Day to Medical Aid
Fund   106
Evaluation of Incapacity  107
Rehabilitation   124
Blanket Coverage ,.  126
Hernia  :  135
Lead Poisoning  138
Silicosis   142
Longshoremen   170
Fishermen :_  170
Accident-prevention   171
Merit Rating .  176
Composition of Board  181
Appeals from Board  184
General  ,  190
(1.)  Canadian Credit Men's Trust Association -  190
(2.)  Amendments proposed and Criticisms by C.C.F  191
(3.) Re filing Claims  193
(4.)  Victoria Office   195
Public Relations of the Board  196
General Findings  197
Appendices—
A.—List of Witnesses  199
B.—The " Workmen's Compensation Act " and Amendments  201
C.—List of Newspapers in which Sittings were advertised  233
D.—Classification and Rate List  234
Index  239 WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER.
The purpose and scope of the inquiry is set forth in the terms of the Commission,
which is as follows:—
Whereas the " Workmen's Compensation Act," chapter 312 of the " Revised Statutes
of British Columbia, 1936," is administered by a Board designated " The Workmen's
Compensation Board ":
And whereas complaints have been made to the Honourable G. S. Pearson, Minister
of Labour, from time to time in relation to policy of administration of the said Act by the
said Board:
And whereas suggestions have been made from time to time that the said Act be
amended in certain particulars:
And whereas it is deemed desirable in the public interest that the relevant facts
relating to the said matters of administrative policy concerning which complaints have
been made, and the reasons for the proposed amendments to the said Act be made the
subject of a public inquiry:
And whereas under section 3 of the " Public Inquiries Act," being chapter 131 of the
" Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1936," it is provided that whenever the Lieutenant-Governor in Council deems it expedient to cause inquiry to be made into and
concerning any matter connected with the good government of the Province or the conduct
of any part of the public business thereof, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, by
commission intituled in the matter of the said Act and issued under the Great Seal,
appoint a sole Commissioner to inquire into such matters:
And whereas His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, by and with the advice of His
Executive Council, hath deemed it expedient to appoint a sole Commissioner to inquire
into the following matters:—
(1.)   The relevant facts relating to any complaint which may be made to the Commissioner concerning the administrative policy of The Workmen's Compensation
Board;
(2.)   The relevant facts and reasons therefore relating to any proposed amendment
to the " Workmen's Compensation Act " which may be brought to the attention
of the Commissioner for his investigation and report by any persons interested
therein;
(3.)  Any question of fact or law relevant to the generaj scope of the inquiry, which
may be specifically referred to the Commissioner for his determination by the
Minister of Labour;
(4.)   The relevant facts in relation to any matter which in the opinion of the Commissioner it is necessary to inquire into in order to carry out effectually the
duties imposed upon him herein;
(5.)   Any question of law which the Commissioner may consider relevant and incidental to the foregoing matters of inquiry.
Now know YE THEREFORE, that reposing every trust and confidence in your loyalty,
integrity, and ability, We do by these presents, under and by virtue of the powers contained in the said " Public  Inquiries  Act" and in  accordance with  an  Order of the
Lieutenant-Governor in Council, dated the 15th day of July, A.D. 1941, appoint you, the
Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon McG. Sloan, Puisne Justice of the Court of Appeal for
British Columbia, a sole Commissioner to inquire into the matters aforesaid.
And we direct you the said Commissioner to report in writing the facts found by you
to Our Lieutenant-Governor of Our Province immediately or as soon as conveniently may
be after you shall have concluded such inquiry.
The  Commission  sat for fifty-two days and sessions were held  at Vancouver,
Victoria, Nanaimo, Nelson, Lillooet, and Goldbridge. DD 8
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
APPEARANCES.
Mr. H. I. Bird and Mr. J. H. Harman were Counsel to the Commission, Mr. B. H. E.
Goult acted as Secretary, and Mr. J. A. Maclnnes and Mr. W. R. Lane were Counsel for
the Workmen's Compensation Board. Other various interests were represented as
follows:—W
Representing.
British Columbia Loggers' Association;
Consolidated Red Shingle Association;
British Columbia Lumber and Shingle Manufacturers' Association;
Canadian Manufacturers' Association, British Columbia Division;
Pacific Mills;
Powell River Pulp and Paper Company;
British Columbia Electric Railway.
F. Higgins, K.C.-— —Law Society of British Columbia.
W. E. Williams, K.C College of Physicians and Surgeons.
W. M. Griffin, K.C Canadian Credit Men's Trust Association.
J. E. McMullen, K.C Canadian Pacific Railway.
Alfred Bull, K.C Owners of S.S. " Bengole."
C. H. Locke, K.C British Columbia Mining Association.
Appearances.
Senator J. W. de B. Farris, K.C.
W. B. Farris, K.C	
John Farris	
J. M. Coady, K.C.<2>
E. A. Burnett
F. C. Elliott___:	
.British Columbia Hospitals' Association.
-Bruce P. Graham, Workmen's Compensation claim
No. 4101030.
A. A. Alexander..
 Canadian Fishing Company, Limited.
Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company, Limited.
British Columbia Packers, Limited.
The Canadian Fishing Company, Limited.
Cassiar Packing Company, Limited.
Colonial Packers, Limited.
Great West Packing Company, Limited.
Johnston Fishing and Packing Company, Limited.
Francis Millerd Company, Limited.
National Fisheries, Limited.
Nelson Brothers Fisheries, Limited.
Nootka Bamfield Company, Limited.
North Shore Packing Company, Limited.
Queen Charlotte Fisheries, Limited.
J. H. Todd & Sons, Limited.
W. A. Riddell , British Columbia Electric Railway.
A. R. MacLeod Canadian National Railway and the Associated Companies of the Canadian National System.
A. L. Johannson Consolidated  Mining and  Smelting  Company of
Canada, Limited.
J. McKenna Sisters of St. Ann.
J. S. Burton : British Columbia Chiropractors' Association.
W. S. Owen British Columbia Chiropodists' Association.
T. E. H. Ellis Petroleum Industries of British Columbia.
(1) Counsel are placed in order of seniority at the Bar except where two or more appear for the same interest.
Lay representatives are recorded alphabetically.
(2) During the hearing Mr. Coady was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 9
LAYMEN.
Appearances. Representing.
Bass, F. B United Silicosis Committee of Wells and District.
Bengough, P. R The   Vancouver,   New   Westminster   and   District
Trades and Labour Council.
Burgess, W. T The United Fishermen's Federal Union of British
Columbia.
Boyd, Edward United Mine Workers of America, Vancouver Island
Branch, Local 44.
Cormack, Robert Amalgamated Association of Street Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America,
Division 134.
Currie, James The International Brotherhood of Pulp,  Sulphite,
and Paper Mill Workers, Local 76.
Crump, Mrs. Ada ) T      , „        .,    „ „r
n   ..,-.,     -r,    , „,rT   .    > Local Council of Women.
Smith, Mrs. Paul, M.L.A. j
Enright, P. F British Columbia Provincial Association of Firefighters, Union No. 1.
Hammond, Joseph The Standard Railway Organization, consisting of:
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers;
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Enginemen;
The Brotherhood of Railway Conductors;
The Brotherhood of Railway Telegraphers;
International Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way
Employees;
The Brotherhood of Railway, Steamship Clerks
and Weigh Tenders.
Lackie, James British Columbia Council of Longshoremen.
Nicholson, Henry | .Sullivan Mine Workmen's Co-operative Committee.
Pratt, Jack \
Parsons, Frederick International Brotherhood of Pulp,  Sulphite, and
Paper Mill Workers, Local 76;
International Brotherhood of Paper Makers, Local
142.
Peck, C. A Victoria Trades and Labour Council.
Price, G. F Vancouver District Miners' Union;
British Columbia District Committee of the International Amalgamated Mine Workers' Union.
Pritchett, H. J Canadian Congress of Labour;
International Woodworkers of America, British Columbia, District No. 1.
Ross, J. N International Brotherhood of Electrical Employees,
Local 213;
Provincial Executive of Trades and Labour Congress of Canada.
Scribbins, W. J Civic Employees' Union of Vancouver.
Taylor, R. T Bralorne Silicosis Committee.
Thompson, H. M. )     Workmen's Co-operative Committee of Trail.
Kenneway, David \
Uphill, Thomas, M.L.A United Mine Workers of America, Fernie. DD 10 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
L A YME N—Continued.
Appearances. Representing.
Weaver, Simeon United Mine Workers of America, Michel.
Winch, H. E., M.L.A. ) „ .   _ , ,.       _, ,u       ...    --_
TTr.    ,-,_.,,,   „    y Economic Relations Committee of the C.C.F.
Winch, E. E., M.L.A.  j
The evidence of 160 witnesses (for list see Appendix A) was recorded in 4,338
pages of transcript, while the submissions of Counsel and others covered an additional
727 pages. There were received in evidence 218 exhibits. There were 72 complaints
adduced relative to the administrative policy of the Board, and substantially the same
number of amendments to the "Workmen's Compensation Act"'1' (hereinafter referred
to as the " Act") were proposed.
It is apparent that many of the complainants and of those proposing amendments
do not understand the fundamental principles underlying workmen's compensation
legislation. In order, therefore, to report upon many of the questions at issue herein,
I deem it unavoidably necessary to review, briefly, the background of the Act in its
present form. Involved in that review is the legal relationship of employer and employee prior to the introduction of such legislation.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ACT.
THE  COMMON LAW RELATIONSHIP OF EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE.
It is not my intention to write at large upon the various branches of that relationship, but I propose to confine myself to those aspects of it relevant to the scope of this
inquiry.
At common law, by reason of an implied term of his contract of service, an
employee assumes the risks incidental to his employment. In the absence of any overriding statute or special term of his contract an employee has no right of action against
his employer for compensation for injuries suffered in the course of his employment
merely because of the existence of their relationship. It is, however, the employer's
duty to take reasonable care that his employees shall not suffer injury either in consequence of the negligence of the employer or of some one for whose acts or defaults
he is responsible. It is when a breach of this duty causes personal injury to the
employee that the cause of action for damages arises. The essential elements of proof
necessary to found such an action are: a breach of the legal duty owed the employee
by the employer, proof that the breach of this duty was the effective cause of the injury
and that damage ensued.
At common law the employer has certain defences available to him in an action of
this character. He may deny his negligence and accumulate a body of evidence to
disprove such allegation by showing, for example, that the accident was unavoidable
and brought about by causes beyond his control such as latent defects in machinery not
discoverable by reasonable examination and that he took every reasonable care and precaution required of him under the circumstances.
On the other hand, he may concede his breach of duty but allege that the employee
was also guilty of negligence contributing to the harm suffered by him. If the employer can successfully substantiate this allegation to even the slightest degree he
escapes any liability to his employee no matter how gross his own negligence. Or,
again, he may rely upon the doctrine of common employment. The application of this
doctrine arises when an employee is injured by the negligence of a fellow employee
when both are engaged in the same enterprise and are so related by their labour that
(1)  Chapter 312, R.S.B.C. 1936, and amendments—see Appendix B. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 11
there is a special risk of injury to one if the other is negligent. If the employer can
prove that he has taken reasonable care to select proper and competent employees to
carry out duties which in law could be delegated to them he cannot, under the circumstances outlined, be held liable for the injury suffered by his employee from the fault
of those carrying out the delegable duties/1'
I merely state the doctrine of common employment and do not pause here to consider its merits or demerits as I do not think that a detailed analysis of the law upon
this subject is demanded in this type of report. It is, of course, an exception to the
rule that the master is responsible for the torts or wrongful acts of his servants, provided those torts or wrongful acts are committed while doing some act within the scope
of the servant's authority and in the course of his employment. But it is a rule now
over 100 years old and remains, subject to certain limitations, available to the employer
as an effective defence in law.
It will be remembered I pointed out above that it is an implied term of his contract
of service that an employee assumes the risks incidental to his employment. The
doctrine of common employment stems from that principle.'2' The assumption of risk
principle extends, however, beyond the common employment doctrine and, subject to
certain exceptions, relieves the employer from the consequences of risks to which the
employee has knowingly and voluntarily subjected himself.
Under the common law, then, the injured employee, before he can recover damages
from his employer has to prove his employer negligent, that such negligence caused his
injury and that in consequence of the injury he suffered damage. He can be defeated
in his claim by being met by the various defences open to his employer.'3> I have outlined briefly those defences chiefly relied upon but my enumeration is not exhaustive.
Bearing in mind the requirements of the common law, I turn to a consideration of
the causes of injuries made available to me. A German allocation of the causes of
industrial accidents in 1897 is as follows:—'4>
Fault of employer  17.30 per cent.
Fault of workman   29.74 per cent.
Fault of both  . _'__     4.83 per cent.
Fault of fellow servant      5.31 per cent.
Unavoidable accident   41.55 per cent.
Act of God      1.27 per cent.
I extract the following excerpt from the interim report of the Hon. Sir William
Meredith on "Laws Relating to the Liability of Employers,"'5) wherein the brief of
F. W. Wegenast representing the Canadian Manufacturers' Association is set out. Mr.
Wegenast refers to the statistical data relative to this subject as follows:—
The Ohio Commission also found that " statistical investigations show that less than
twenty per cent, of the workingmen injured and killed have a cause of action at law;
that is, in less than twenty per cent, of the cases is the cause of injury attributable to
the negligence of the employer " and that in more than 80 per cent, of all accidents to
workingmen there is no remedy at all.
(1) Wilsons and Clyde Coal Company v. English  (1938) A.C. 57.
(2) Hutchison v. York, Newcastle and Berwick Rail Company (1850), 5 Exch. 343, and see Radcliffe v. Ribble
Motor Services, Limited (1939)  A.C. 215.
(3) I am here dealing with common law rights and obligations without regard to any statutory limitations
thereof. For instance, Part 2 of our Act (sec. 80 et seq.) abrogates the defence of common employment in common
law actions and contributory negligence on the part of the workman is declared to be relevant only to the assessment of damages.
(4) Schwedtman and Emery, Accident Prevention and Relief, page 55.
(5) Sessional Papers of Ontario, Vol. XLIV., Part XIV., page 66. DD 12 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
I quote again from page 75:—
Accident statistics of industries for the three years, 1887, 1897, and 1907 under
German law give the following figures:—    . 1907
46,000
1887. 1897. Accidents.
By fault of employer     20.47%        17.30%        16.81%
By fault of employee     26.56 29.74 28.89
By fault of both parties       8.01 10.14 9.94
Due to negligence of the parties     55.04 57.18 55.64
Due to  inevitable  risks  of the industries  and
other causes  .     44.96 42.82 44.36
100.00 100.00 100.00
An investigation by Crystal Eastman, a trained student of this problem, of 377 fatal
accidents in the Pittsburg, Pennsylvania district, classified the responsibility as follows:
Causes attributable solely to employers or those who represented them, 29.97 per cent.;
causes attributed solely to those killed, or their fellow workmen, 27.85 per cent.; causes
attributed to both the above classes, 16.91 per cent.; causes attributed to neither of the
above classes, 26.27 per cent.
Hobbs'1* puts it this way, "By estimation the number of injuries in which the
fault of the employer or the fault of one for whom the employer is responsible may be
considered the cause does not exceed 30 per cent, of all injuries to employees."
This means, from the available material before me, that under the common law
only 20 to 30 per cent, of the workmen injured in industrial accidents could hope to
recover damages from their employers and even then, in many instances, after protracted and expensive litigation. The 70 to 80 per cent, who could not recover comprised a large class which created grave and distressing social and economic problems.
Organized society sooner or later had to face and solve these problems by a more
scientific approach than the mere alleviation of immediate want by social and other
agencies. The crushing blow dealt the family unit by a serious and permanent injury
to the wage-earner resulted in the interrupted education of the children, a lower
standard of family living, and all the grim aftermath of destitution.
On the other hand, an employer carrying on a small industry could be financially
ruined by an adverse verdict in a damage action brought against him by an injured
employee.
Then, too, it was recognized that in the working combination of men and machines
accidents were inevitable and occurred in direct ratio to the hazards involved. As
Downey puts it:—(2)
Everywhere the great bulk of work injuries arise from hazards which are characteristic" of the industry. So much is this the case that each industrial employment
comes to have a predictable total hazard: of a thousand men who erect structural steel
a certain number will fall to death, and of a thousand girls who feed metal strips into
stamping presses a certain number will have their fingers crushed. By the same token,
every consumable commodity may be said to have a definite cost in human suffering—a
life for so many tons of coal, a mangled hand for so many laundered shirts.
It was this disastrous accident toll contrasted with the injured workmen's limited
right of recovery of damages that led to social unrest and demands for reform. Some
method had to be evolved to weaken the defences open to an employer and in consequence of continued agitation the Employer Liability Acts made their appearance.
This type of legislation modified, to some degree, the assumption of risk doctrine,
(1) Clarence W. Hobbs, Workmen's Compensation Insurance, page 64 (1939), and see Downey, Workmen's
Compensation, page 144 (1924), who estimates that "some seven-eighths of all work injuries were left without
legal relief."
-   (2)   E. H. Downey, Workmen's Compensation, page 8:   and see Frankel and Dawson, Workingmen's Insurance
in Europe, page 9. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 13
including the fellow servant rule, but it left employer liability cases within the framework of liability laws; i.e., the workman before he could recover damages remained
Under the necessity of proving negligence on the part of the employer.
INTRODUCTION OF INSURANCE PRINCIPLE.
The next great step was taken in Germany where the insurance concept appeared
—individual legalistic responsibility of the employer was replaced by the collective
liability of a group. By legislation founded on this idea the obligation to make good
the wage losses due to industrial accident was shifted from the individual employer to
those members of the community who purchased the goods produced by the industry
in which the injury was suffered. This end is attained by modern workmen's compensation legislation, such as we have in this Province, by assessing industry its costs
of accidents in that industry. And while it is commonly said industry bears its own
accident cost, it must be recognized that wages lost the workman through injury and
paid to him out of an accident fund raised by assessment are, by reason of industry's
contribution to that fund, regarded as a direct cost of production and passed on to the
consumer. Thus, in the final analysis, the consumer of any particular commodity pays,
as part of the cost thereof, the wage loss suffered in the production of it.
The new idea of collective liability swept away the common law necessity of
proving negligence as a prerequisite to recovery. The mere fact of incapacitating
injury gives rise to the statutory right to indemnity for wages lost to the workman and
his dependents; provided, of course, the injury occurs in an industry included within
the scope of the Act and that it arises out of and in the course of the workman's employment.(1) The injured workman bears the pain and suffering but the economic loss is
shifted from his shoulders to many others and what to him or his employer would be a
staggering loss is of minor consequence when shared by the thousands who ultimately
bear the burden.
When the common law requirements were abrogated by the new system of collective
liability, the common law remedies also went with them. The injured workman who is
under the Act no longer has his action for damages against an employer'2) nor are the
payments made to him from the Accident Fund in the nature of damages. He receives
compensation for his loss of earning capacity and that compensation is paid upon an
evaluation of his incapacity based upon his previous and future wage-earning ability
and other factors. <3) A workmen's compensation statute when stripped to its essentials
is nothing more than an insurance system devised to make good the loss of wages
consequent upon a disabling or fatal industrial accident and to make an equitable distribution of that economic loss over large public groups.
Workmen's compensation legislation is not—and I stress the negative aspect—is
not a system of unemployment insurance, it is not health insurance, it is not an old-age
pension scheme.    It is simply a form of insurance against fortuitous injury.
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION LEGISLATION IN BRITISH
COLUMBIA.
The experience of this Province in the inception and development of workmen's
laws has paralleled the outline above.
Prior to 1891 the workman in British Columbia was limited to his common-law
right of action for damages against his employer for negligence','4) with all the diffi-
(1) Section 7, but see section 7  (3) for the effect of serious and wilful misconduct.
(2) He may, if he elects to do so, maintain an action for damages against a third person not an employer
within the meaning of the Act, see section 11 and Peter and Yorkshire Estates   (1926)  A.C. 513.
(3) See chapter "Evaluation of Incapacity."
(4) Absence of any medical aid provision. DD 14 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
culties outlined above to beset his efforts to obtain judgment. In that year the
" Employers' Liability Act "(1) was passed in the usual form of that type of legislation
and with like effect.
In 1902 the first " Workmen's Compensation Act "(2) made its appearance. It was
a step in the right direction in that its effect was to make the employer individually
liable to pay compensation on a statutory scale to a workman injured by any accident
arising out of and in the course of his employment. The workman was given the right
at his election to sue the employer for damages or to claim compensation when the
injury was caused by the personal negligence or wilful act of the employer.
Without making too close an analysis of this Act, I would think it was patterned
upon one of the earlier English Statutes. It came to its end by repeal in 1916. From
1902 to 1915 the statutory record remains without incident.
THE PINEO REPORT.
In 1915 the then Attorney-General—Hon. W. J. Bowser, K.C.—appointed a committee of investigation on workmen's compensation laws, consisting of Avard V. Pineo,
David Robertson, and James H. McVety. This committee was to investigate and report
upon comparative workmen's compensation systems because there had been a new
" Workmen's Compensation Act " introduced at the previous session of the Legislature
incorporating radical changes and it was thought desirable that full information be
secured upon the subject before its passage. The committee visited many American
centres and gathered much data which were submitted to Mr. Bowser on the 1st of
March, 1916, together with a report (hereinafter referred to as the " Pineo Report ") .'3>
I excerpt the following comments from that report:—
. . . the Committee has proceeded on the assumption that whatever legislation is
passed will be based on the principle of social justice which underlies the Bill (No. 26)
introduced at the last session of the Legislature—namely, that industry should bear the
burden of its accidents, and that the cost should be assessed on the employers to be ultimately distributed among the consumers of the products of the respective industries the
same as other elements of the cost of production. This principle being conceded, we have
directed our energies to ascertaining whether the provisions of the Bill afford the best
system of accomplishing the end in view—the best system as we conceive it being one
which will not only eliminate so far as possible the economic waste attendant on the
present system in force in the Province, but which, while protecting the employer against
personal-injury claims and ensuring the employee an enlarged and better measure of
compensation, will in their common interest exercise a constant and direct force tending
to improved personal relations between employers and their employees, and to the creation
of better working conditions and the reduction of the opportunities for accident.
The main provisions of the Ontario Act, which are followed practically verbatim in
the Bill introduced last year, were adopted from the Washington Act to a greater extent
than from any other. The Committee accordingly devoted a correspondingly large proportion of its time to the examination of that Act and investigation of its operations.
The Washington Act has been in force four years, and both employers and employees
concur in saying that it has with one exception'4) generally proved to be a most satisfactory piece of legislation.
After dealing with many aspects of the proposed measure the report concludes
as follows:—
In concluding this Report, we have only to add that, with the passing of such an Act
as here outlined covering adequate medical-aid and accident-prevention features, with a
system of insurance entirely exclusive of the expensive and wholly unnecessary competition of casualty insurance companies, with a competent Board composed of members
holding office for a considerable term of years and thus freed from immediate political
influence, and with a fair degree of co-operation on the part of both employers and workmen, the success of the proposed system is, in our opinion, assured in such a way that it
(1) S.B.C. 1891, chapter 69 (repealed in 1916).
(2) S.B.C. 1902, chapter 74.
(3) Exhibit 180.
(4) Absence of any medical aid provision. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 15
will undoubtedly develop to be a strong contributing element in the upbuilding of the
industrial life of the Province.
The " Workmen's Compensation Act " of 1916'1) was subsequently passed and came
into operation on the 1st day of January, 1917. Its basic principles have since
remained unchanged and for purposes of easy and convenient reference it appears in
its present form as Appendix B to this report. The various sections of the Act will
be considered in detail later herein when complaints and amendments are under specific
review, but at this point I would outline the scope of the Act in a general way.
SCOPE OF THE ACT.
The Act does not provide a blanket coverage for personal injuries suffered by
accident in all industries, but by section 4 applies
... to employers and workmen in or about the industries of lumbering, mining,
quarrying, excavation well-drilling, fishing, manufacturing, printing, construction, building, engineering, transportation; operation of railways or tramways; operation of telegraph or telephone systems; operation of lumber, wood, or coal yards; operation of
steam-heating plants, power plants, electric-light and electric-power plants or systems,
gasworks, waterworks, or sewers; operation of municipal police forces or municipal fire
departments; operation of theatre stages of kinematographs; operation of power
laundries, stockyards, packing-houses, refrigerating or cold-storage plants, docks,
wharves, warehouses, freight and passenger elevators, grain-elevators, boats, ships, tugs,
ferries, or dredges; navigation, stevedoring, teaming, horse-shoeing, scavenging, street-
cleaning, painting, decorating, renovating, dyeing, and cleaning, and such other industries
and occupations as the Board may determine; and in and about any occupation incidental
to or immediately connected with any of the industries enumerated in this section:
Provided that, subject to section 5, this Part shall not apply to the following:—
(a.) Persons engaged as travelling salesmen, and not exposed to the hazards incident
to the nature of the work carried on in the industry:
(6.) Persons whose employment is of a casual nature, and who are employed otherwise than for the purpose of the employer's trade or business:
(c.)   Outworkers;  or
(d.)  Members of the family of the employer.    R.S. 1924, c. 278, s. 4.
Section 5 has the effect of extending the Act to almost every branch of industry
(except domestic servants, who are excluded from the benefits of the Act by section
2 (2)) upon application of either the workmen or employer in that industry. The
section reads as follows:—
5. (1.) On application of the workmen in the case of any industry not within the
scope of this Part, or on the application of the employer in the case of any industry or
workman not within the scope of this Part, the Board may by order admit the industry
or workman, as the case may be, as being within the scope of this Part, and upon such
admission the industry or workman shall be deemed to be within the scope of this Part.
(2.) Any employer in an industry within the scope of this Part may be admitted by
the Board as being entitled for himself and his dependents to the same compensation as
if the employer were a workman within the scope of this Part.
(3.) Admissions under this section may be made from time to time in such manner
and form and subject to such terms and conditions and for such period as the Board may
deem adequate and proper.    R.S. 1924, c. 278, s. 5.
For the purpose of assessment in order to create and maintain the Accident Fund
(to which I will refer in detail later) all industries (subject to the Board's right to
create new classes or rearrange the classes created by the Act) are divided into the
general broad classifications appearing in section 28.
The Board strikes preferred and regular rates for each classification and subdivision thereof. When Accident-prevention and First-aid Regulations have been complied with and subject to the merit rating provisions of the Act (hereinafter considered)
the employer is assessed at the preferred rate. If not entitled to that rate he is
assessed at the regular rate.
(1)   Now chapter 312, R.S.B.C. 1936, as amended by S.B.C. 1938, chapter 67, S.B.C. 1939, chapter 65. DD 16
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
INDUSTRIAL DISEASES.
The Act also provides for compensation for certain scheduled industrial diseases
as if the disease were a personal injury by accident. The diseases originally scheduled
in the Act, and others since by regulation of the Board declared to be industrial diseases,
are as follows:—o>
Date.
Description of Disease.
Description of Process or Industry.
Passed by Act—
Jan. 1, 1917	
Jan. 1, 1917-._	
Anthrax   	
Handling   of   wool,   hair,   bristles,   hides,   and
skins.
Jan. 1, 1917	
preparations or compounds.
Jan. 1, 1917	
its preparations or compounds.
Jan. 1, 1917	
or its preparations or compounds.
Jan. 1, 1917      	
preparations or compounds.
Mining.
Added by Board—
Jan. 3, 1918. 	
July 5, 1923	
Jan. 3, 1918.	
Inflammation or ulceration of the skin or
mucous membrane by sulphur or sulphur
gases
Poisoning by nitre- and amido-derivatives
of benzene and its homologues (trinitrotoluene anilin and others) or its sequelas
Poisoning from a wound by Juniper Virgini-
ana (Red Cedar) producing dermatitis
Subcutaneous cellulitis of the hand   (beat
hand)
Acute bursitis over the elbow (miner's beat
elbow)
Subcutaneous cellulitis over the patella (beat
knee)
Mining.
Any process in the manufacture or involving
the use of any nitro- or amido-derivatives of
benzene or any of its homologues. .
Lumbering or manufacturing.
Mining.
Mining.
Mining and construction.
Jan. 3, 1918, amended
July 13, 1926
Apr. 20, 1920	
Apr. 20, 1920	
Apr. 20, 1920 	
Oct. 22, 1922 	
Dec. 29, 1924—	
pressed air.
Passed by Act—
Nov. 20, 1936	
Metalliferous mining industry.
Any    process    involving    continuous    friction,
rubbing,   or   vibration,   causing   blisters   or
abrasions.
Any process involving the handling, of copra.
Any operation in preserving wood products,
involving the use of or direct contact with
acids, alkalis, or acids and oils.
Any operation in manufacturing or wholesaling involving direct contact with any mite
or cheese, sugar or cereals.
Produced by the inhalation of acid fumes in
zinc refining.
Any industry involving contact with poison ivy
or poison oak.
Monument lettering and setting, stone dressing
and cutting, sand-blasting, reduction and
smelting of ores, manufacture of alabastine,
lime and gypsum products.
Nov. 20, 1936 	
Added by Board—
Dec. 21, 1936 	
Oct. 13, 1938
Dermatitis.-. _._	
Oct: 13, 1938.	
June 14,1939	
Nov. 18, 1939..	
Ulceration of the mucous membrane of the
nose or throat
May 18, 1940 	
(1)  Exhibit 50 c. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 17
APPOINTMENT OF BOARD.
Having in mind the scope of the Act and its far-reaching effects upon labour and
industry in the Province, it is not surprising that the Pineo Report had this to say of
the selection of the Board:—
. ._ . The committee is thoroughly convinced of the importance of the appointment of a
competent Board so far as possible free from political influence. Upon the good judgment and ability of the men who have charge of the organization and conduct of this
system of compensation administration will depend very largely its ultimate success. In
fact, actual experience had in many cases shown that the personnel of the Board and the
judicious administration of the Act have proven to be elements of greater importance in
making it a success than have any special provisions peculiar to the Act itself.
It is the expression of a view-point with which I am in thorough agreement.
CONSTITUTION OF BOARD.
The first Board consisted of the Chairman, Mr. E. H. S. Winn, K.C, and associate
members—Mr. Hugh Gilmour and Mr. Parker Williams. Mr. Winn and Mr. Parker
Williams are still members of the Board. Mr. Gilmour died in 1934 and was succeeded
by Mr. J. H. Pillsbury.
Mr. Winn during the course of his evidence tendered a statement, Exhibit 162,
which outlined the administrative divisions of the Board organized under his chairmanship.    It is, in part, as follows:—
The administration of the Board is divided into six divisions:—
Claims.
Medical.
Assessment (including auditing section).
Accounting, Actuarial and Statistical.
Legal.
Accident-prevention and First Aid.
CLAIMS DIVISION.
The Claims Division is responsible for the collection and segregation of all data in
connection with claims resulting from accidents in industry. It is subdivided into three
sections—assembling, filing and adjusting. The various forms in connection with a claim
are indexed on receipt and classified in the assembly. The claim is then passed by the
medical division and the claims agent and if necessary by the legal department and the
Board. It next goes to the adjuster who calculates the compensation. The claim file
then passes briefly into the Accounting Division where a cheque is prepared and mailed
to the workman. After accounting entries are made on the top sheet of the file, it is
returned to the Claims Division and is retained in the filing section until again required.
In addition, the Claims Division handles all correspondence in connection with claims.
MEDICAL DIVISION.
The Medical Division is responsible for the admissibility of a claim on medical
grounds; the correct classification of the injury; the authorization of payments to the
workman and to doctors, hospitals, dentists, etc., in connection with their fees for treatment of workmen. They maintain a constant watch on current claims and by frequent
examination of the injured workman where necessary they insure that he receives all the
treatment and time necessary to effect a complete recovery, or, in the case of a permanent
partial disability, until his case has been finalled and his pension determined upon.
Generally, where specialists' advice would appear necessary, specialists are called in so
that such cases may be equitably disposed of as speedily as possible.
ASSESSMENT DIVISION  (INCLUDING AUDITING SECTION).
The general duties of this division are the levying of rates on the various employers.
This entails a tremendous amount of detail work and necessitates the keeping of a mass
of files and an up-to-date index of all employers in which changes must be recorded daily.
In many cases small operations are started and completed before the Board is aware of
their existence. In some instances the locations are so inaccessible that it is necessary
for the auditors to travel by air to make their audits. Consequently, in some of the outlying districts pay-rolls are audited by mail.    Again, in the case of fishing and placer
2 DD 18 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
mining, the industry is seasonal and extreme care must be taken to see that the assessments are levied while the operations are in progress. During the year following the
levy of assessment the auditors attached to this division make audits of employers' payrolls so that the provisional assessment levied may be adjusted in accordance with the
actual pay-roll. Upon receipt of completed audit the assessment department makes the
necessary adjustment and assesses the employer with the balance owing, if any, or if no
balance owing by the employer the amount of excess is credited to his current year's
assessment, or if requested by the employer this amount of excess is refunded.
ACCOUNTING, ACTUARIAL AND STATISTICAL DIVISION.
This division is responsible for the correct keeping of the accounting and statistical
records; the collection and disbursement of moneys; the preparation of data for making
of rates; the recommendations as to the investment of funds, etc. It is divided into the
following sections:—
Cashiers.
Accounting.
Collecting.
Statistical.
Actuarial.
Assessment duplicates are received from the assessment division and are posted to
employers' ledger cards;   similarly collections from the cashier are duly credited.    Overdue accounts are passed to the collection department for action and penalties for nonpayment are added.
The statistical section compiles from claims made, pay-roll returns received, disbursements and collections, a mass of information that is used chiefly:
(1) to ensure that correct rates are charged the various industries each year;
(2) to supply information to the inspectors as to hazardous operations;
(3) to  supply  individual  operators,  or  operators  in  a  particular  industry,  with
information as to the cause, nature and cost of accidents;
(4) to complete the statistical information for the annual report;
(5) to furnish the Board with any information it may require.
The actuarial section is responsible for the setting up and use of correct actuarial
tables, the revaluing of pension reserves at frequent intervals, and it generally acts in an
advisory capacity concerning the correctness of reserves and other actuarial matters.
LEGAL DIVISION.
The legal division is responsible for the collection of overdue accounts which are not
paid after the usual collection letters are written. Warrants of execution are issued
against those in default and claims are filed against employers who go into liquidation.
In addition, this department acts in an advisory capacity to all other divisions on legal
matters and advises the Board as to the admissibility of claims resulting from accidents
in industry. They hold hearings in doubtful cases or as directed by the Board and
submit evidence so taken for the decision of the Board. They assemble the required data
as to relationship and dependency in the fatal cases.
ACCIDENT-PREVENTION AND FIRST AID.
This division's duties are the framing and issuing of regulations concerning safety and
First Aid; the necessary inspection of hazardous operations; the education of employer
and employee as to safe practices; the addressing of meetings of workmen and employers, and in extreme cases the recommending of the closing down of operations where
employers fail to comply with regulations and safety requirements. Education by meetings and safety talks by Board members, inspectors and key executives are a part of the
work of this division.
STAFF.
To carry out these duties the Board maintains a staff of over eighty employees,
consisting of accountants, doctors, lawyers, statisticians, an actuary, safety engineers
and others with the technical training required to do their work.
RECORD OF CLAIMS.
In order to appreciate the volume of claims handled by the staff of the Board
I draw attention to the figures appearing on the following table, made up from Exhibits
160 and 161, which shows the number of claims handled since 1917, together with
amounts paid out for compensation and medical aid:— WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY.
DD 19
m
S
*-H
<
O
o
Eh
Ph
a
'O
o
2
H
S
M
OS
o
rt
cd 3 B
'C H o
CO-—
I
CO    .
O  tt)T3
'■S^'S
9  — Di
C BJT3
§ a 9
CO    t-   CO   W   CO
t- a io i" f
tr--^eSiOO»aCO\arHia\aOi<DCOrHOi^Pr-HeD<Z>Oi^'
HHOOlOOOOtSfflflOMlONMCCOlOiaiaiO
WNN^C6lOro*NCONCnl>^C»H   HNO)«)Oo'i
t-.-Ht-tococoeorH'-icqeoiMOCTib-ioeowooooo
^ON^es^mcocowft-MOftcoeftor
to to  eo
^©lOr-ICOTHinCO-^CMOlJOCMiarHCO©CDCO<
iiaHMio^t-eooaiowm'oiosMioooMWi
ieMCMCMCMCMCMCMCMCMroCMrHrH,HCMCMCMCMCMr
COCONNMNWNNCOtliCOCO
CO    CM   OJ    CM    CO
coegffiootocooooi
r-ltOCDCOCOrHOiHuju.)
NHrtNNINHNWN
-•    "-      NOC!HrftDIXIOt-ai
IflOOIOlSCOC-TjOMlOfflMOlOC-H'Ji^Ot-IOlOMt-
MfflCeoWM'OOtOSltCtBOlQOOf'Ot-lOWC'OOl-IX)
(flTfHQMWHWlOCOOft-NOOHNCONQOWH'*
0
CM
CO
ta
0
cj
OJ
to
00
to
CO
Ci
00
ta
fc->
0
Oi
CO
ta
0
Ci
t-
ta
0
CM
ia
O)
t-
cc
fc-
CM
CO
00
CO
00
CO
0
CM
00
CN
-tf
fc-
03
0
00
03
O
CM
CM
fc-
00
\a
co
cr>
t-
O
0
CO
CO
00
a
fc-
fc-
co
Ci
-tf
CM
CO
CM
ta
-tf
CO
00
co
-tf
Oi
0
eo
0
CD
0
10
C-l
CM
CO
fc-
0
Ci
CD
CM
O
t-
eo
0
O
CO
Ci
CO
GO
fc-
O
CM
O
CJ
CM
CM
CM
fc-
O
09
CO
CO
0
ta
CM
CO
CO
10
-tf
eo
CO
0
CO
0
-tf
t-
0
eo
0
00
0
0
0
OJ
CJ
IO
CM
eo
O
ia
co
-tf
00
t-
-tf
CI
fc-
Ol
liO
Cl
CO
WJ
rH
rH
CI
CM
CM
Ol
CM
eo
CO
CO
CO
-tf
-tf
cc
Ol
H
CM
CM
eo
eo
co
'tf
-tf
00
rH
CD
en
-tf
CO
a
on
CM
<<H
CM
CO
0
in
fc-
0
t-
C0
CO
H
CB
CO
■^
CO
Oi
Tfl
0
0
CO
01
0
I.O
-tf
rH
-tf
rH
CO
to
H
CM
O
CO
CO
t-
CM
CO
ta
on
CO
0
0
t~
CD
m
CM
cp
CM
-tf
-tf
CO
-tf
CO
fc-
m
CO
C-l
CM
CO
CM
to
CO
ira
CO
0
CO
CO
cn
•^f
L-
fc"
CJ
IO
-tf
CO
eo
CM
-tf
-tf
fc-
CO
cs
0
NQOCJC-Hf-^'NOOCOCOCONMCOC-KlOtDlO^
OtDMClMlOHOHt-'^MlOt-ffi^tDHOaJCO
^NNCO-f^lOtOCOtDCPtBC-t-lfl^tO^lOlOtB
O -tf
O CM CO
t-  t- oO
r-
CO
t-
r-
CI
on
0
CM
no
1—
CI
-tf
fc-
en
IO
en
in
CO
CM
^
b-
to
Oi
CO
cn
H
Oi
Ci
rH
eo
y-H
^tf
-tf
■<<
CO
-tf
1-1
rH
03
rH
t-
■*
m
nn
1—
r-
O
ro
CO
O
r-
cn
t-
t-
rxi
CO
0
h*
o
CM
CI
CO
in
CM
rr
f/)
CO
eo
00
(M
en
CD
t-
Oi
co
^f
O
00
CM
C-
co
CO
c-
-*
oa
O
-tf
Oi
,—1
h-
1—
rn
,-t
-tf
on
nn
CM
<~>
rH
CM
CO
cp
CM
-tf
IM
0
01
0
I-
ta
0
00
10
r.i
r/-
eo
1—
O
CTi
eo
to
■/:
O
Ol
CO
CO
fc-
fc"
-tf
-tf
OO
L^
10
ta
10
O
ta
O
-tf
CD
CM
CM
CI
CI
ci
CM
CO
CO
CM
rH
H
rH
CM
CM
CM
CO
CO
CO
ia
ia cm
r—
,s_
CM
**
CM
^
on
CO
O
to
CO
t- 0
T)(
CM
eo
0
cn
r-
CM
;f>
ci
in
CO
CP
'V
CTi
I-
cp
O
Ci
CO
c-
CM
co »a
Ci
CM
eo
en
-*
ta
-tf
■^
ta
-tf
CI
CD
WaNOONCOOCONlOOOllOlflOOOr-COIOI-OCOO
Wt-MOHClTllHHlDHt-»T)l|fl!DHCDt-0"JMt-0
t-ot-cDiomio-jiMaiMioMcofflt-iaiawoHioi-o
t-XfflOH'NCOtfWtDt-WffliOr'NM'l'iatOt-lXlOJO
HHHNNMNNNNNNNMCOMMCOMMCOMCOTf
{-frOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOiOi DD 20
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
1941 CLAIMS.
The Board, in 1941, handled 46,496 claims (of which 200 were fatal) with an
administrative staff of from 95 to 105. And while the 1941 totals were not completed
in time for submission to me it is estimated that for last year the sums paid for
accident claims and medical aid amounted to between five and one-half and six million
dollars. d>
COST OP ADMINISTRATION.
It will be noted that the administrative cost averaged 3.28 per cent, while collections from 1917 to 1940 were 98.26 per cent, of assessments. <2)
PERCENTAGE OF COMPLAINTS TO CLAIMS.
During that period from the inception of the Act in 1917 to 1941—a space of
twenty-four years—in which time over 600,000 claims were dealt with, it was inevitable
that, from time to time, complaints would be made and amendments be proposed to the
Act. Mr. Winn said*3* that in the administration of these many claims only 4 to 5 percent, of the applicants made any inquiry of the Board concerning the matter and only
one-tenth of 1 per cent, ever made any complaint. That seems to be borne out by the
number of complainants who came forward and were interviewed by Mr. Bird.(4>
After extensive advertising in the various publications (enumerated in Appendix C,
hereto) and after considerable publicity had been given our sessions by the Press,
approximately 300 complaints were received by Mr. Bird. These were classified and
approximately seventy-two were brought before me for consideration as being within
the scope of the inquiry and relevant to some issue respecting administrative policy.
But assuming that the entire 300 had relevant and substantial complaints—which they
did not—that figure represents but 0.047 of the total claims handled by the Board.
Although some of the complaints investigated dated back to awards made in 1917,
no doubt during the twenty-four-year period a number of injured workmen who thought
they had, and perhaps did have, a just grievance against the Board have died. After
making every allowance for deaths and for those who have left the Province and for
those who for some reason or other did not translate their grievance into a definite complaint, I am of the firm opinion that dissatisfied workmen, although usually extremely
vocal, are of a very small percentage of those claiming or receiving compensation.
Some light is thrown upon this matter of the percentage of complaints to claims
by the following table:—(5)
Claims rejected in the Years 1935-41, inclusive.
Year.
No. of
Accidents
reported.
No. rejected.
Per Cent,
rejected.
1935                                            ....	
26,280
29,677
35,005
31,505
33,173
38,487
46,496
260
330
323
385
442
529
541
0.98
1936                                                             ' -      - —
1.11
1937                                                ...	
0.92
1.22
1939                     '    	
1.34
1940                                                   -----	
1.38
1941                                              _           	
1.16
240,623
2,810
1.17
(1) Page 3128.
(2) Page 3344.
(3) Page 3131.
(4) Mr. Bengough, of the Vancouver, New Westminster and District Trades and Labour Council, said in his
evidence, in effect, that only a small number of cases—less than 1 per cent.—gave rise to any difficulty—the vast
number went through without question. He has been in close touch with the Board's operations for twenty years.
See pages 310, 311.
(5) Exhibit 181. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 21
While in the aggregate the number of complaints does not appear very formidable
when viewed in the light of the great number of cases dealt with by the Board, nevertheless complaints within the scope of the inquiry were made and pressed before me
with considerable vigour by important groups. I am bound to inquire into these
individual complaints, not in any way as a tribunal exercising appellate jurisdiction
over the Board's adjudication in any specific case, but in order to determine the policy
of administration pursued by the Board in the general run of cases.
That brings me now to the real heart of the inquiry. Up to this juncture I have
endeavoured to set out in broad outline the background of the " Workmen's Compensation Act "—its general purpose and scope—with some detail sketched in to show the
magnitude of the administrative tasks facing the Board and its staff. The various
sections of the Act itself and problems relating to average earnings and such like are
waiting ahead of me at this stage of the report. And that poses another question,
because it is clear to me that many complaints and proposed amendments are so interwoven that to separate them into the two divisions would not be satisfactory. I refer,
for instance, to the various complaints and amendments that may be summarized under
the general chapter heading " Evaluation of Incapacity." Or again, the manifold
problems arising out of Silicosis. Or, too, the questions raised by the Hospital Associations and—far from least—" Allowances to Dependents." Each of these subjects, it
seems to me, could be dealt with in a more orderly way under one heading combining
both complaints and amendments. That then is my plan. Some amendments and some
complaints stand alone and will be dealt with on that basis as will later appear.
As most complaints and proposed amendments in some form or other have to do
with increased benefits to the injured workman and his dependents I now propose to
consider the various suggestions made to that end.
RE SUGGESTION THAT RATE OP COMPENSATION BE
INCREASED.
The relevant sections of the Act (as amended in 1938) are as follows:—
Section 19: (1.) Where permanent total disability results from the injury, the compensation shall be a periodical payment to the injured workman equal in amount to
sixty-six and two-thirds per centum of his average earnings, and shall be payable during
the lifetime of the workman.
(2.) The compensation awarded under this section shall not be less than an amount
equal to ten dollars per week, unless the workman's average earnings are less than ten
dollars per week, in which case he shall receive compensation in an amount equal to his
average earnings.    R.S. 1924, c. 278, s. 19;   1935, c. 91, s. 2.
Section 20: (1.) Where permanent partial disability results from the injury, the
compensation shall be a periodical payment to the injured workman equal in amount to
sixty-six and two-thirds per centum of the difference between the average earnings of the
workman before the accident and the average amount which he is earning or is able to
earn in some suitable employment or business after the accident, and the compensation
shall be payable during the lifetime of the workman.
Section 21: (1.) Where temporary total disability results from the injury, the
compensation shall be the same as that prescribed by section 19, but shall be payable only
so long as the disability lasts.
(2.) The compensation awarded under this section shall not be less than an amount
equal to ten dollars per week, unless the workman's average earnings are less than ten
dollars per week, in which case he shall receive compensation in an amount equal to his
average earnings.    R.S. 1924, c. 278, s. 21;   1935, c. 91, s. 3.
Section 22: Where temporary partial disability results from the injury, the compensation shall be the same as that prescribed by subsection (1) of section 20, but shall
be payable only so long as the disability lasts.    R.S. 1923, c. 278, s. 22. DD 22 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The complaint is that 66% per cent, in the said sections is too low a rate. Five
labour organizations would, by amendment, increase the rate as indicated:—
Vancouver Trades and Labour Council to    75%<1>
Victoria Trades and Labour Council to    80%<2>
Victoria Typographical Union to 100 % (3>
United Mine Workers of America (Fernie) to    75%<4>
B.C. Longshoreman's Association. . to   75% (B>
The reasons advanced by the various groups for the suggested increases are substantially similar. It is contended that in order to provide for an adequate subsistence
allowance, especially in the lower wage groups, the rate should be raised.
This heading of complaint and suggested amendment, while simple in statement
raises questions of considerable nicety. I propose to deal with the matter in the
following order:—
(a.)  Why the rate is 66% per cent.
(6.)  The comparison between the British Columbia rate and the rates in other
Canadian Provinces and States of the United States.
(c.)  Added cost to increase the rate.
Why the Rate is 66% per Cent.
Dealing with (a):
In the original Act of 1916 the rate was first fixed at 55 per cent. By an amendment in 1935 (6> this was increased to 62% per cent, and again in 1938<7> to 66% per
cent. There has thus been an increase since 1916 of approximately 20 per cent, in
the rate.
Those who seek to increase the percentage rate to 100 per cent, do not appreciate
the underlying philosophy of the Act nor the complete and abrupt transition it effected
in the field of personal injury liability. In considering the percentage rate it must be
borne in mind that industry is now assessed for all incapacitating injuries no matter
how caused, except when the injury is attributable solely to the serious and wilful
misconduct of the workman in cases where the injury does not result in death or
serious and permanent disablement. If the injury does result in death or serious and
permanent disablement, even if caused by the serious and wilful misconduct of the
workman, he or his dependents are entitled to compensation. In cases where the
injury does not result in death or serious and permanent disablement the workman
cannot recover if such injury is attributable solely to his serious and wilful misconduct
—but note the word " solely." That means that compensation is payable even if the
workman is guilty of wilful and serious misconduct in cases wherein the injury does
not result in death or serious disablement if the employer or those for whose acts he is
responsible are also guilty of any negligence at all. (The comparable English section
does not contain the word " solely " and although in the section as it left the House of
Commons it was deleted in the House of Lords.)
It will be seen then, that those cases in which a workman under the Act is not
entitled to compensation for injury are few indeed.
To assess industry for the 100-per-cent. loss, arising out of (practically) 100 per
cent, of injuries suffered, is to charge industry—especially the hazardous ones—with
too great a burden.    The measure of compensation, while partial in relation to wage
(1) Page 321.
(2) Pages 1374, 1386, 1458.
(3) Pages 1388, 1390.
(4) Page 1036.
(5) Page 1441.
(6) S.B.C. 1935.
(7) S.B.C. 1938, c. 67, s. 5. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 23
loss, is total with respect to necessary medical aid and it must be remembered that
industry contributes approximately 65 per cent, of the Medical Aid Fund.
It is partial because of the great number of workmen now entitled to be indemnified
against loss as compared with the few who could successfully maintain an action under
the common law. It is partial, too, because if full compensation be paid, human nature
being what it is there would be few of us who would rather work hard for a wage when
by successfully malingering we could receive the same amount by way of compensation.
The same comments apply in relative degree to any suggested increase over the present
66%-per-cent. rate.
Without losing sight of the historical background, perhaps the whole question
may be resolved into an inquiry to determine what measure of compensation should be
adequate for the support of the injured employee and his dependents which at the same
time would not be so high as to encourage malingering nor one which would impose too
onerous a burden upon the employer and, in turn, upon the consumer of his goods.
It has been the experience of the Canadian Provinces and the majority of the
States of the United States that in total disability cases a figure approximating two-
thirds of the pre-accident average wage of the injured workman with reasonable
maximum and minimum allowances is the answer to that question. The Canadian
benefits for total and partial disability cases are as follows:— DD 24
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
CD
H
S
H
2
K
M
H
CO
to
^    oi    iL
bo
u
T3
CQ     i
be
13
co    sl-i
to
oo
"S
u
S3
M         B   jo
'S        . SJ g
c
fi
5
bo
c
c
cfl
ss a
.a 2
Q       -    Pi
•   to
fi
fi
tH
ei
s   m   o
« J S
«_.   o
• .-   t*
Q      -   Pi
• CO
fl
fl
rt
a
CO*
1
co
Ju
OJ
»         H   » ,B
cs          sh n
r*H
QJ
Kil
■u
H   bu _C
tH
«H
*£j
QJ
0
OJ
Eh "9    .
o
iri .5     .
o
33
0)
OO
Cfl
bo
ca
gR
*A
fl   Q
CO
bo
to
bo
a
it
«
g
fi
QJ
>
f-.
o
<U            O    OJ   »*J
rt                    £>   fc
bo
B     | E §
fl
E
QJ
>
8 S &
•"  a Cu
H
^   tf ^
fl
£
3 S fc.
""   OJ  fc
fi
0)
s
tfl
*C
h
cfl
Q>
fl
fl
h
cfl
QJ
3
E
*3
o
K   5   fl
a
S   h   C
"x
1
S    S   cfl
1
|   ?   «
ft
1
M
o
N
O
s
g
[J;          cy   O  py
•    ft  -*   r'
o
"3     tH     CO
o
>> 8 6 p.*
fin   ■   -
o
>i   .OJ
M %
CJ     ^
QJ
1
CJ    co
4)    tfi
ft J ° tH  n
o a oi ^ fe
c
.2
33
aaj
IQ      .    O
eg fc fe
c
.2
Jotii
S cd  Ph S
fl
.2
03   (-
fi  o;
ai   ft
u
01
ft
c»
CO
ee-
«-       a*-
ae-
&&
69-
ee-
so-
a
s    a
s
s
£
a
H
a
0           3
fl
fl
a
fl
a
s
1
c
C           C
fl
fl
c
a
fl
bo
c
fl           fl
G
fl
a
c
fl
a
cd
Cd           cfl
cfl
cfl
cfl
ca
Cfl
t<
b          <tj
Fj
U
><
si
fl
CJ
cp          cn
0)
QJ
OJ
Oi
QJ
u
a
ft         ft
ft
ft
ft
ft
ft
Sr5
o
o        o
o
O
o
o
o
o
o        o
o
O
o
o
O
o
o       o
o
o
o
IO
M3
ci*
oi*       of
of
cJ
of
w-
se-       «-
6G-
S9-
&3-
6G-
se-
fl '5
.&    g -s
S '1
£ o
fl   ^
T3   «H
QJ     O
3
no
CM
c *s
£  tf
S|| s
ca   1
s u
$ «
4»    *
1   #
-h
rt
»
i «
-  *-
P\    QJ
Ifaj
C     0)
fi    QJ
C   cy
fi    O
r.
fl
CJ
be
B
fl     QJ
p.... -^
<t-i    +J
"S
•■->   +j
«t-i
.-.   cJ       *H
sh
<w
<t-i
-S
<4H
OJ    cs
^    y    OJ    fl
cy    Cd
QJ     Cfl
cy   cfl
■3 i#
01
OJ    Cfl
,_■
cj
fi  73
a  fc« s -a
fl  13
CJ
C  T3
CJ
fl  13
fl
OJ
CJ
fl  T3
a
<JJ  PJ
h s a e
1 a 6.«
0»    fi
0)    p
0)    c
O
M
01    fi
ei
fc tf
&    «
fc tf
fc    «
OJ    5
fl
fl
V
fc 3
cfl    cy
»Is »
Cfl        QJ
tfl     <y
cfl   cy
p. 3
oj £
o
tfl     cy
rH
=3 3
s 8=3 g
=3 3
=3 8
* 8
1
"a
X
fl
=3 3
:*
c •« >m "a
"W     QJ
<H     QJ
<H
CH     QJ
a 2
•m
rt  ■        *ri
<
(A
o
fc? a
o  °  o ja
S "9  g fc- S b
o x
>S    CO
6^  bO
0   ,C
« ^ s fl
o j:
6^  fcO   fl
3 S
M
rt
X
|fc?a b
h
as.E
QJ    **    !-»  ^m   r"    0J
•ZS  csh .fl  ro
vM    fl     O
OP .fl   T3
tf     >»
oj ^a
B
to
fl
o
vM     3      01
cfl   cV .fl   T3
CO
eo
CD
CO
CO
CO
PQ             CD
CO
to
CD
M
CO
Ol
to           CO
co
to
CO
13
co
CO
'   bo        bo
bo
bo
bO
QJ
bo
fl T3
C  TJ    fl  T3
C  T3
C  fQ
C xt
3
C    rr}
a ii
a J "8 &
fl  ^
fl 2
fi |
cfl
CO
"fl 3
H    rQ
u A    u  X
H ^
u  X
J-    rO
H   cC
Cfl     fi
cfl   cfl   cfl   cfl
cfl  ca
ca  ca
Cfl     Cfl
X}
ca  ca
a
cy   co
cy   m   cy   ta
cy    co
cy   co
QJ   _«!
x\
4J  _co
o
<m t3
<h  13  ■«  'O
*rt    T3
<H  T3
<M    H
tH "3
°   01
°  <u  °  <u
°  o
°    OJ
°  o
X
°     QJ
gg
#Sf s
gg
ga
fc? =
£
^3
*£ £
SS  ^ S!  9
C^     £
c^    £
SP  S
^
^    £
CO
SO           SO
CO
CD
to
o
CD
CO
eo          eo
CD
CO
to
CO
CD
£*
h     Is S
•§ a b-2
B- .5 «H
fe-S
E*
sl
S -fl
!3^
3 *
3^
3 ~
1 *
OJ    U
0>    -
0>    U
QJ    L.
OJ    i.
OJ
CU
4)
0>
S tf
■s p,
OJ
■fl '—
.fl    tH
■ fl    tH
.s s
.fl --
cfl
_    03           0J
a
a
ca
,_   cfl
ca
OJ
QJ
o
OJ
OJ
fl1 -e
J m a ■o
■      «  T3
a *o
2 "0
cfl   c
«   TJ
"rt
fi c
« 3 S b
s «
fi fl
E    B
S fi
2! d
lis;
CO     Cfl   ^     H
2 tf
£ tf
£ "
£ tf
tH
ei
cfl  ^
IH    »
cfl    Jh
tc    tn •
J    OJ
cfl     u
Ph
£ 5
-ri               „_,    ^    "W    +->
=3 fl
'XI    O
+J    t)    «H     +J
35 ♦,
s 8
=3 fl «,
H
«H     £
c c *g <m a c
QJ    O            O   •"    CJ
■« S
c <m a> g
""SB
§°
<m g &
2
o -°
o A
0   O X   cy
0-°   cj
O   J2    O
6^  bfl
3 - t *p >« ^
S S B f .S S
PQ       to
# a
3     0   to  3
'3 ^ bo '3
E^  CO   o
■8 |
S s
>s   to 3
e- bo o
M^ .fl
sP.E
CJ    vM     fl      CJ
cfl c^ .5    cfl
SS.S §
a? .s S
CD
CO
CD
CD
CO
OS
H
fc
to
CO
CO
CD
PQ
CO
to
co           co
co
co
CA
co
bO
bo        bo
bo
bO
bfl
bO
c
fl         C
fi
C
fl
CO
_P
bo
e
fl         fl
c
fl
fl.
fi
'fl
tH
tH                tH
u
%4
s-
N
'ca
Cfl
cJ          cd
cfl
cfl
cfl
fl
Cfl
QJ
cy          cy
0)
QJ
QJ
H
01
0
<*H
«M               *W
<H
<w
«H
=a
*H
H
o
O           O
o
O
O
QJ
o
^
#    fc}
#
fc?
fc?
O
fc?
^
eV         ri^
Jf3
JP
fc?
as
to
CD             CO
CO
CD
CO
O
CD
to
CO             CO
CD
CO
CD
CD
CO
j
.2
s
3
C
cfl
ii
■a
CO
CC
1
>
0
H
H
o
o
$
Ol
at
X
c
+■
t
fl
S
3
n
o
CJ
CQ
fl
cfl
cfl
■+J
C
QJ
3
01
cfl
>
o
m
<
TJ2
s
c
o
P
z
r% WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 25
In the United States*1* the various percentages of the average weekly wage allowed
are as follows:—(2>
Percentage.
50 Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont. .
50-60 Florida.
50-65 Illinois.
50-66% Montana.
55 Indiana, South Dakota, Virginia.
55-65 Alabama, Idaho.
60 Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Texas.
60-75 -Utah.
65 Arizona, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania.
66% District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New
York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia.
70 Wisconsin.
In Florida, Illinois, Montana, Alabama, Idaho, and Utah, the low rate is for a
"no-dependency" case; the rate increases with the number of dependents or children.
It will be noted from the above tables that 66% per cent, is regarded as adequate
in the United States and Canada and I would draw attention to the following comment
in " Problems of Workmen's Compensation Administration in the United States and
Canada," Bulletin 672 of the United States Department of Labour/3) at page 81 :—
Under present conditions a law may be regarded as setting a high standard if it
provides for benefits at the rate of 66% per cent, of wages, with lifetime payment for
permanent disabilities.
Schwedtman and Emery (op. cit., page 56) are of opinion that 66 per cent, of the
annual wage-rate (300 days full wages) is to be " considered the full equivalent of
complete disability on the theory that ordinary lay-off, expenses for tools, working
clothes, car fare, etc., while at work consume one-third of their annual wage rate."
It has been estimated that an increase in the rate to 75 per cent, would, on the
1940 basis of claims paid, add $377,676.08 per annum to the assessment on industry.
Based on the average of the three years 1938, 1939, and 1940 the increase would add
$328,065.82.    The following table'4' gives the detail of those estimates:—
(1) The list does not include Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, which have different benefit systems.
(2) Hobbs, pages 256, 257.
(3) Exhibit 118.
(4) Exhibit 195. DD 26
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
o
<H
a
o
o
cn
0,
H
m
S
w
o
h
Q
o
H
O
55
H
OS
<!
fi
H
H
BJ
a
H
W
W
H
03
O
«
m
O
<
CD
o
Sh
<D
P.
IC5
t-
Ol
o
CU
ft
s a
s 5
o
OS F*
W
a u
£ S3
ft w
s 3
° w
Ph
2;
o
0)
<
5)
J/J
d
'A
"-•
W
tw
Oh
O
S
-*J
O
o
O
U
^2
h n m ^i
t-   Oi   rH    ta
CM   CO   Ci   IO
t- eg r- eg
M rH *# **
© IO rH t-*
00 O Oi c-
rH Oi ©
IO 00 OJ
00   CM   CO
to IO "* OO ^ CO o
IO Q O) in 9) CO H
CD IO CO tr-   CM CD 00
CO CO t- ©
© 00 N fc- fc- 03 fc-
© Tf t- OO t- CD X
N H t- tN M t IO
oi" oo t-* ■*" o « oo"
CO 00 CO     ,-1
■t 00 t- IO
O CD CO 00
■* "* IO o
Tf eo © in
■* Oi CO o
CD CM id CO
CM (M cn LO
rH © CJ Tf
rH    «* CM t-"
IO IO t- f
00 CO i-l
el oo" e-*
O IO Ol
CD IO O
Tf t* cO
■* cn m
CO CO IO
Tf cn* ©"
n CO N
t- Oi rH y-H CO t- t-
Dl 00 00 © rH CJ ©
CO   rH   i-h   CO   CM   ©   ©
"tf   IO   cN   Tf   CM   rH   CO
C-   CM   Tt"   CO   CD   IO   CD
CM    rH rH
rH Oi   IO   Tf 00 CO CM
W «   •*   O ■* O) ffl
oj io ia a co © ©
eg id co" cm cd* io" cd*
cm t- cm © oo \a ©
eg © Tf rH ** y-t eg
h v w tf ro io  ia
io   ©   iO   ©   ©   ©   CO
CM    t-    rH    O    CO    rH    Tf
© © eg io co
tf  co  co  oo  oo
00    rH   Tf    rH    rH
© rH
© © © eg
.    os   IO   Tf   CM
io io eg  io io
eg Tf © cj Tf eg
eg oo oo © -tf cm
co co io rH  eg
© © io ©
O0 CM Tf r-H
oo co cd id
t- eg cc tjh
tr- co tji co
id co* i> ©*
eg eo © rH
fc- CM rH
©
©
CO
LO
©
©
cr.
00
tJ<
CJ
Ci
00
©
©    rH     W     CO    Tf    CM    ©
rH    Tf    CO    ©    rH    Tf    Tf
© © cm oo eg co Tf
CO   00
rH    ©    CO
CM   rH
t- t- © ©
IO    t-   ©   CO   ©   ©    rH
oo  o>   Tf   co  t*   oj  ia
eg co fc- co" Tf id co
c- eg © © ©
CO    CO    CM    ©    CO
©    O    Tf rH
S M
£ S
cs   3
bo  o
3 *
C «►
cm © in       w
eg Tf io t-
- c
rH     CS
id  © fc- oo oi rH Ph
eg co Tf © oj ©
»   B
S 8
a oj ■?
B   in io
3  8 S
HH
2 a
2 » WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 27
After consideration of the evidence adduced before me I am unable to say that
the present percentage rate of 66% should be increased as suggested; i.e., with the
added cost charged to industry. Perhaps the employees, if the rate were raised to
75 per cent., would be willing to contribute the difference. A little over 1 cent a day
contribution would make up the current yearly additional cost. That aspect of the
matter was not developed before me, although I note that in Oregon the employee
contributes 1 cent a day to the general compensation fund.*1*
RE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM ALLOWANCES.
Closely allied to the proposed increase in the percentage rate are proposals to raise
what may be termed " the ceiling " and " floor " controls over allowances.
By sections 25 and 31 of the Act, the sum of $2,000 is fixed as the maximum
yearly income upon which the percentage rate may be computed. In other words, the
ceiling on the weekly allowance is $25.65; namely, 66% per cent, of $2,000 divided
by 52.
By sections 19 (2) and 21 (2) quoted above, the minimum compensation allowance
(or floor) is fixed at $10 per week, but the floor is not an absolute minimum because if
the workman is earning on the average less than $10 a week he receives his actual wage.
The number of employees affected by the maximum and minimum rates may
be   fairly  well   understood   in   proper  perspective  when   the   following   figures   are
looked at:—<2>
Year.
1936
Percentage of
Employees receiving
Less than $15
a Week.
5.53
Percentage of
Employees receiving
$40 to $50 a Week.
1.16
1937	
     4.06
1.84
1938-    	
     4.72
1.72
1939	
 '     3.90
1.82
1940	
     4.18
2.75
(The average weekly wage for all male wage-earners in the Province for the years
1936-40 were respectively $26.36, $26.64, $26.70, $26.80, and $28.11.<3> The average
weekly wage of those receiving compensation in 1940 was $20.34.) <4>
It is suggested by the Sullivan Mine Workmen's Co-operative Committee*5) that the
maximum provision be deleted or alternatively raised to $3,000. In consideration of
this proposal it is necessary to understand the reason it is in the Act at all and then,
why it is in the amount of $2,000.
Reason for Maximum.
The reasons for the inclusion of the maximum principle and the consequent exclusion of the highly paid wage-earner or salaried executive from the benefits of the
Act are generally regarded to be, first, that the Act is designed to protect those who are
unable, because of their low income, to carry any accident insurance. Those in the
higher income brackets are considered able to protect themselves.    Secondly, the com-
(1) It is interesting to note that Mr. Louis Brandlis is quoted in Schwedtman and Emery (op. cit., pages 55, 56)
expressing the opinion " The funds required to make compensation should be raised by contribution from both
employer and employee, preferably in equal shares and proportionately to wages. No system . . . can be just
which does not place the burden of making compensation for accidents . . . jointly upon those who jointly had
the responsibility of preventing them."
(2) Annual Report, Department of Labour, 1940, page E 14.
(3) Annual Report, Department of Labour, 1940, page E 14.
(4) I arrive at this figure as follows: The average daily wage in 1940 of workmen receiving compensation was
$3.39 (see Annual Report of Workmen's Compensation Board, 1940, page 28). Taking the forty-eight-hour, six-day
week as the basis and multiplying $3.39 by 6, $20.34 results as the average. This can only be an approximation
but it is close enough for my purpose.
(5) Page 985 et seq. DD 28 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
pensation awarded highly paid workers would, in hazardous occupations, tend to
increase compensation assessments on small industries in those classes to an unduly
high rate.
I turn now to the second question: Why is it fixed at $2,000 ? The answer to that
query is to be found in two observations: Sir William Meredith, when reporting on the
Ontario Act, said:—(*)
I propose $2,000 as the limit because that sum is probably the maximum amount
earned in a year by the highest paid wage earner.
Mr. Winn, when asked by me why.there was the $2,000 ceiling, answered as follows:—<2>
Well, that was the original basis of all our Canadian laws, with the exception of one,
and it is the general rate on the other side too. It is just an arbitrary figure. Mind you,
when those rates were figured, $2,000 was believed to be the outside limit a workman
would earn, and our Act was passed in 1917, and it has been in force since that time, but
there are men now working for more—railway men and miners and other types, and that
ceiling could well be raised now.
It will be noted that Mr. Winn is of the opinion that the ceiling is now too low.
His view is supported by Downey, who would abolish the fixed maximum. The following passage expresses his conviction:—<3'
Whatever the rate of compensation there can be no rational justification in ethics
or economics for a fixed maximum weekly amount. There is some ground for excluding
high paid executives from the compensation system, but there is no just ground for basing
compensation to a locomotive engineer upon the wages of a track labourer.
I would also draw attention to a resolution proposed by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, as reported in Bulletin 273,
Bureau of Labour Statistics. <4> The meeting was held at Toronto in September, 1919,
and Mr. Winn attended on behalf of this Province.    It is, in part, as follows:—
Resolved, That it is the sense of this convention that workmen's compensation laws
should contain the following provisions:—
" (d.)  All limitations as to total amount of compensation shall be eliminated."
Recommendation re Maximum Allowance.
It is my opinion that it would be in the public interest and in conformity with
general wage levels in this Province to increase the $2,000 maximum to $2,500 and I so
recommend. It will be seen from the table on page 24 that no Province in Canada
computes compensation on an income higher than $2,000, but I see no logical reason why
workmen in the $2,500 bracket should receive compensation at less than the 66% per
cent. rate.
Minimum Allowance.
That leaves for consideration under this heading, the minimum weekly allowance.
It was recorded by the Fifth National Conference on Labour Legislation, 1938, <5)
that:—
The maximum weekly compensation should recognize the right of higher paid
workers to a standard of living above the subsistence level and the minimum should not
be less than the subsistence level.
In this Province, as set out above, the minimum compensation is $10 a week, unless the
workman earns less, in which case he gets paid what he earns.
(1) Page 16 of Final Report, Ontario Session Papers, Vol. XLVI., part XIII.
(2) Page 3353 and see page 3395.
(3) Op. cit., page 57.
(4) Exhibit 15.
(5) Exhibit 17, page 19. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 29
From the table on page 24 it appears that Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have a higher minimum than British Columbia; Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick a lower minimum; while Alberta has the same figure.
It is proposed by the standard Railway Organization (i) and the Victoria District
Trades and Labour Council'2' that the present minimum be increased. The employer
groups represented by Senator Farris agree to an increase to $12.50 a week.*3' In that
suggestion the Petroleum Industries of British Columbia concur.*4' The increase is
opposed by the mining industry*5' and the Canadian Pacific Railway,<6) while the Canadian National Railway and associated companies of the Canadian National system do
not oppose the increase.*7'
Based on the 1940 total of days lost in each class the increase to $12.50 would cost
$30,169.01.    Details are shown on the following table:— <8'
(1) Pages 266, 284.
(2) Pages 1374, 1459.
(3) Argument, page 6.
(4) Argument, page 226.
(5) Argument, page 200.
(6) Argument, page 291.
(7) Argument, page 216.
(8) Exhibit 195.  Cost of increasing Minimum Compensation from $10 per Week to $12.50 per Week.
DD 31
Average
Weekly
Weekly
Rate of
Compensation now
in Use.
Proposed
Weekly
Rates.
Difference in
Weekly
Rates.
Days lost, 1L940.
Increase
in
Minimum
raised
from $10
to $12.50.
Earnings.
1/2.
1/4.
1/5.
1/7.
3.
4/11.
Bal.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10/6.
Bal.
12,
13.
14.
16.
19.
20.
Total.
$19.00
$12.67
12.33
12.00
11.67
11.33
11.00
10.67
10.33
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
$12.67
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.50
12.00
11.50
11.00
10.50
$0.17
.50
.83
1.17
1.50
1.83
2.17
2.50
2.50
2.50
2.50
2.50
2.50
2.00
1.50
1.00
.50
174
206
49
102
100
75
60
55
3,788
3,358
3,208
1,554
1,967
1,438
1,214
5,583
638
1,886
416
738
410
1,346
71
205
29
6,184
722
1,629
765
1,370
426
920
1,794
43
76
205
424
2,051
755
9
94
16
3,753
36,450
20,183
25,140
12,006
9,470
9,876
7,149
31,412
2,852
3,409
1,395
1,883
827
3,039
318
1,054
259
18.50
10,156
5,278
8,716
2,400
1,399
2,008
974
6,003
40
73
295
148
12
210
11,854
4,956
5,152
4,011
2,419
2,466
2,133
5,668
1,283
444
168
96
56
323
24
26
133
231
456
117
159
430
93
338
254
191
67
114
4
323
419
610
116
508
259
582
140
620
80
20
155
173
27
19
13
96
87
50
337
307
46
124
37
217
14
143
171
299
213
120
99
29
371
56
675
754
1,035
325
436
320
221
1,859
13
162
7
315
66
239
82
303
5
22:
235,
44:
t
9S;
13t
1,907
1,479
896
462
186
558
694
2,600
218
465
97
197
252
399
21
17
23
7
97
47
54
9
24
168
676
112
152
272
521
506
520
152
24
124
220
157
422
159
22
189
31
443
60
336
445
449
361
447
427
42
964
5
9
38
145
15
79
82
39
171
9
$885.21
18.00
1,441.64
17.50
7
2,980.89
17.00
2,006.72
16.50
2,029.29
16.00
2,581.87
15 50
2,216.19
15.00
43*8
10'
15
25
11,218.57
14.50
1,018.57
14.00
29
23
9
12
77
1,217.50
13.50
66
498.20
13.00
59
20
672.50
12.50
10
295.36
12.00
5
41
110
868.29
11.50
	
9
7
10
	
86
78
68,14
11.00
233
28
81
8
150.57
10.50
18.50
37,712  |   831
41,084
3,171
3,924
1,137
1,542
6,817  j 27,849
14,179
986  | 10,471
324
3,235
1,769     7.457  |  3.640
7
578
9
166,722
$5,591.72
$123.93
$6,605.37
$741.96
$815.53
$191.35
$311.54
$1,487.39 1 $6,030.81
$1,960.20
$239.45 1 $2,226.36
$54.97
$736.40
$360.12   $1,805.68 1  $749.60
$0.83
$134.16
$0.64
$30,168.01
_^ WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 33
RECOM MENDATION.
In view of the relatively few employees involved and the comparatively small cost
to industry at large, but bearing in mind what it means to those individuals affected,
I recommend that the minimum be increased to $12.50 a week.    I would retain the
balance of the section.    It seems to me that if a man is earning less than the minimum
he should not receive more for compensation than for wages.    For reasons which are
dealt with hereafter, I would not recommend that the increase be given a retrospective
effect
THE THREE-DAY WAITING PERIOD.
The relevant section of the Act reads as follows:—
Section 7: (2.) If the injury does not disable the workman longer than the period
of three days, exclusive of any holiday upon which the workman would not in the usual
course of his employment have worked, from earning full wages at the work at which he
was employed, no compensation, other than medical aid, shall be payable under this Part.
If the injury disables the workman longer than the period of three days, no compensation,
other than medical aid, shall be payable for the first three days of disability reckoned
exclusively of any such holiday: Provided that where the disability if of more than
fourteen days' duration compensation shall be payable from the date of disability.
Proposal.
The chief amendment proposed to this subsection is the elimination of the three-
day waiting period. Alternatively it is sought to abridge the fourteen-day period from
fourteen to six days.
In connection with these proposed amendments, representations were heard from
the following groups:—
Standard Railway Organization.
The United Mine Workers of America (Vancouver Island Branch.)
Victoria Trades and Labour Council.
Victoria Typographical Union.
Sullivan Mine Workers' Co-operative Association.
Before considering the merits of the proposed amendments it is of importance to
understand the reason why the section is in its present form.    In other words:   Why
a waiting period?
Historical.
As will appear from the tables to which I intend to refer in a moment it will be
seen that a waiting period is not peculiar to this Province—it is of general application.
Its inclusion in our Act was deemed proper by representatives of labour in 1915. By
agreement (which appears as an appendix to the said Pineo Report) respecting the
medical-aid provisions to be inserted in the proposed Act the British Columbia Federation of Labour and Railway Brotherhoods agreed that " the Act shall contain a provision for a waiting period to the effect that no compensation other than medical aid
shall in any case be allowed for the first three working days of disability."
Under the section as originally passed in 1916*1' the-workman could not recover
compensation for the first three days of his disability no matter how long incapacitated.
In 1925, *2' however, the present retroactive provision was added to the section providing that where the disability is of more than fourteen days' duration, compensation
is payable from the date of the disability.
Reasons.
There are three main reasons advanced in support of the inclusion of a waiting
period in compensation legislation.    First, that without it the Board would be over-
(1) S.B.C. 1916, chapter 77, sec. 6 (2).
(2) S.B.C. 1925, chapter 64, sec. 2. DD 34
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
whelmed by petty claims with attendant increase in administration costs. Secondly,
if compensation were payable in every case from the date of disability trivial injuries
would be made the convenient excuse for holidays at the expense of the Accident Fund.
Thirdly, it is a form of contribution by employees to the fund.
In general the complaint is that where the disability exceeds three days but does
not extend beyond fourteen days, the rate of compensation received by the injured
workman is reduced by the waiting period below the 66% per cent, to which he is otherwise entitled.    That is undeniably so.*1'
On the other hand, the submissions advanced in support of the waiting period
principle are of great weight.
Is it then in the public interest to retain or to eliminate the three-day period? The
answer to that question is to be found, in part at least, in the experience of other jurisdictions as evidenced by their statutes.
The following table presents a comparison of the relevant provisions of the Compensation Acts of the Canadian Provinces:—
Province.
Type of
Injury.
Waiting
Period.
Retroactive
after.
Date to which
retroactive.
Other Provisions.
British Columbia
Alberta 	
Saskatchewan.-	
Disability
Disability _.
Disability  .
Disability
Disability __
Disability	
Disability
Disability
3 days
3 days
3 days
3 days
7 days
7 days
6 days
7 days
14 days
30 days
7 days
7 days
7 days
Date of disability___.
Date of disability....
Date of disability..._
Date of disability....
Date of disability....
Three-day period, exclusive of holidays.
Ontario	
New Brunswick.	
Nova Scotia 	
In P.P.D. cases where disability
does not extend to seven days
Board may pay compensation.
The following table illustrates the comparative United States provisions:—*2'
State.
Type of
injury.
Waiting
Period.
Retroactive
after.
Date to which
retroactive.
Other Provisions.
Alabama —	
Temporary 	
Incapacity.-	
Injury	
Disability	
Disability	
Total or partial disability
Incapacity 	
Disability	
Disability  „
Incapacity	
Total    disability,
partial disability
Total disability
2 weeks
1 day
7 days
7 days
10 days
7 days
7 days
7 days
4 days
7 days
7 days
7 days
4 weeks
Date of injury	
Arizona	
2 weeks
Date of injury	
day  after  injury.
Connecticut	
Delaware 	
District of Columbia
U.S. Longshoremen's   and   Harbor Workers' Act
4 weeks
4 weeks
49 days
Date of injury
Date of incapacity
Date of disability
-
Waiting   period   includes   day
of injury.
Beginning   with   first   day   of
disability.
One day earlier for each week
of   disability   in   excess   of
four.
3 days after disability
4 weeks
(1) See Downey, op. cit., page 57.
(2) Hobbs, op. cit., pages 254, 255. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY.
DD 35
Comparative United States Provisions—Continued.
State.
Type of
injury.
Waiting
Period.
Retroactive
after.
Date to which
retroactive.
Other Provisions.
Illinois :
Temporary   total
disability
7 days
30 days
Day after injury ____
No compensation payable for
first six working-days after
Indiana 	
Temporary disability,    partial    or
total
7 days
injury.
Iowa 	
Injuries other than
permanent partial
Any injury 	
Disability 	
Injury..... __	
Incapacity to work
Disability	
Any injury	
Any injury	
Temporary disability, total or partial
14 days
1 week
7 days
1 week
7 days
3 days
7 days
1 week
1 week
Extra compensation provided
for fifth, sixth, and seventh
weeks of disability.
Kansas ___. ____	
Kentucky  '....
Louisiana 	
4 weeks
6 weeks
First   day   of   disability
Date of injury	
Compensation begins on eighth
day of incapacity, day of
injury being counted as first
day.
Maryland 	
Massachusetts	
Michigan  	
Minnesota 	
2 weeks
6 weeks
4 weeks
Day of injury	
Date of injury	
Commencement   of
disability
Missouri  	
Disability.. 	
Injury  	
Disability 	
Incapacity, total or
partial
Incapacity, total or
partial
3 days
2 weeks
1 week
7 days
7 days
1 week
4 weeks
6 weeks
3 weeks
6 weeks
7 days
1 week
(Not stated)
Montana 	
Nebraska—	
Nevada ,.'
New Hampshire
Date of injury      |
Date of injury. .  j
Date of injury	
Date of injury	
Date of injury..	
If no dependents residing in
U.S.,  longer period applies.
Waiting period includes day
of injury.
Injury .r...	
Disability	
Disability	
Disability  —
Injury  	
7 days
7 days
7 days
7 days
1 week
New York	
North Carolina.-..—-
North Dakota	
Ohio    .     	
35 days
28 days
7 days
Date of disability.—
Date of disability ....
Date of injury	
(No provision)
Disability	
Injuries other than
death   or   sched
Pennsylvania	
7 days
26 weeks
4 weeks
Date of disability...
Work  relief employees.
Rhode Island	
South Carolina.    ...
uled permanent
Incapacity, total or
partial
Disability	
Incapacity, total or
partial
Disability —	
3 days
3 days
10 days
7 days
2 weeks
14 days
6 weeks
6 weeks
Date of injury	
Date of disability...
Date of injury	
First day after in
Tennessee ~— -
Waiting   period   excludes   day
Incapacity, total or
partial
Injury 	
1 week
3 days
4 weeks
jury
Date of incapacity .
of injury.
Benefits for partial disability
begin on eighth day of disability.
Incapacity.	
7 days
6 weeks
First day  of  incapacity
Injury	
Disability ~
Disability	
Temporary   total
disability
3 days
1 week
3 days
7 days
21 days
10 days
21 days
Waiting period does not include day of injury.
Waiting period excludes Sundays.
West Virginia	
Wisconsin	
Wyoming ~	
Date of disability-
Date of leaving work
Time of injury	 DD 36 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
In England the waiting period is three days with a retroactive provision effective
after the disability lasts for four weeks or upwards.*1' In South Africa*2' the waiting
period is on a sliding scale depending upon duration of disability. No compensation is
payable for:—
I. First three days where disablement lasts for less than two weeks.
II. First two days where disablement lasts for two weeks but less than three
weeks.
III. First day where disablement lasts for three weeks but less than four weeks.
Conclusion re Three-day Period.
From a consideration of the relevant reasons advanced to support its adoption in
this Province, and after giving due weight to its general application, I am of opinion
that the principle of a waiting period is proper and its retention in the Act is in the
public interest.
The period of three days is not unduly long and compares favourably with the
waiting periods in other jurisdictions.
Re Fourteen-day Period.
I would describe the retroactive provisions effective after disablement for more
than fourteen days as reasonably generous when placed in comparison with other Acts
having no such provisions and as comparing very fairly with other Acts having sections
with retrospective effect.
To reduce the fourteen-day period to six days would add on the basis of claims paid
from January 1st to March 31st, 1941, the annual sum of $41,894.88. Particulars
appear in the following table:—*3'
(1) 1925, sec. 1   (1)   (a)  and 1925, sec. 9  (1)   (a).
(2) Exhibit 58 and cp. the English Act of 1906.
(3) Exhibit 195. Number of Days
Number of Workmen
WHO RECEIVED THEIR FlRST COMPEN
jation Payment during
January 1
st to March 31st, 1941
Total
Number
disabled.
1/2.
1/4.
1/5.
1/7.
3.
4/11, 12.
Bal. 4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10/6.
Bal. 10.
12.
13.
14.    !
16.
19.
20.
of
Workmen.
6	
34
24
31
32
31
22
32
40
25
5
2
7
4
4
4
6
2
%
40
39
25
43
33
27
36
30
25
7
6
5
2
5
9
7
3
6
5
4
10
11
5
14
16
13
19
10
15
7
12
4
25
17
16
9
13
9
10
9
1
43
22
20
20
19
29
23
21
25
21
19
9
11
11
13
10
13
7
2
4
2
2
2
3
2
1
2
8
18
8
5
8
4
6
12
7
8
9
8
11
5
4
6
3
4
2
5
2
5
4
6
2
1
2
2
1
3
1
2
1
1
2
4
3
1
2
3
3
3
1
1
9
4 !
1
3i
4|
3 1
8
5
2
1
1
1
3
3
1
2
1
235
7                   	
3
1
1
2
201
8                    	
154
9  	
179
10	
163
11             	
151
12 ._           	
2
1
3
2
166
13   	
167
14  	
2
-
118
Total 	
271
39
298
29
60
110
13
109
222
114
20      |            76
58
27
15
21
37 I            ...   .                 15
1,534
Average daily wage
$3.66
$3,76
$3.04
$3.08
$3.59
$4.24
$2.84
$3.28
$2.86  |          $3.57
$3.83   |          $3.38
$4.34
$3.54  |          $3.88
$3 09
$3.48  |          ......      |          $3.49
	
Add. expense number of workmen
X 4 X 3 X % average daily wage    ...
$7,934.88
$1,173,12
$7,247.36
$714.56
$1,723.20
$3,731.20
$295.36
$2,860.16
$5,079.36
$3,255.84
S612.80  1  $2,055.04
$2,013.76
$764.64
$465.60
$519.12
$1,030.08
	
$418.80
$41,894.88 WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 39
In my judgment no valid reasons have been advanced to justify a recommendation
that the fourteen-day period be reduced to six.
Before leaving this branch of the inquiry there are two matters to which my
attention was called and to which I think it proper to refer.
The first is the three-day period and its relation to sulphur poisoning.
Sulphur Poisoning.
Mr. Edward Boyd, representing the Vancouver Island Branch of the United Mine
Workers of America, said this of a condition he describes as sulphur poisoning:—*x'
In the coal mines we have had considerable trouble in the past with the condition
arising from what we term " sulphur poisoning." We term it that. I don't know
whether that would be the correct interpretation or not. But this is something that
comes while a man is working in his place, and it materially affects—one man his stomach
—another man his eyes; he cannot see. He comes out of the mine, perhaps looking at
his fellow workers; light—everything going round, all the colours of the rainbow. He
wakens up in the morning—as far as that is concerned he can't sleep at night—but he
feels (I have had it myself) as if there were a bunch of sand thrown into his eyes.
It is the usual procedure to keep him in a dark room two or three days and when his
condition wears off in two or three days he goes back to work again. Now, this condition
necessitates this individual losing two or three days' work.
THE COMMISSIONER:    Is sulphur poisoning an industrial disease?
A.—The question of time is the point concerned.
MR. MacINNES: It is a recognized disease, which Mr. Boyd says means a three-
day loss.
A.—Yes; correct. But he may lose a month, going on and off. We feel in this case
it should be compensatable from the first day of accident.
Mr. Matthew Gunniss, giving evidence on the same subject, said:—*2'
MR. BIRD: Q.—Now, what do you wish to say in regard to the elimination of the
three-day waiting period?
A.—Well, it is possible that a workman can lose twenty days per month and still
never come under the claim of compensation for injury.
Q.—How do you suggest that that can come about?
A.—It is possible for a man to be suffering from sulphur poisoning. The maximum
amount of time for that man to be off work at any one time, is seventy-two hours. The
maximum is seventy-two hours, at any one time.
Q.—A man completely recovers from an attack of sulphur poisoning in seventy-
two hours?
A.—Yes, sometimes twenty-four hours.
Q.—Yes?
A.—He goes back to work. He works one day. He may only work one day. The
next morning he is " sulphured " again—if he is in the same place.
Q.—Now, is that due to the further exposure, or does it arise from the initial
exposure?
A.—Well it is from the initial exposure. It is there all the time. You can work in
a place where there is sulphur all the time. Some men are more subject to sulphur
poisoning than others. It affects me in the eyes; my partner, in the stomach. But you
can be off maybe twenty-four hours, and you may recover in twelve hours. You go back
to work, one day, and, sulphured again. That is termed " a new accident " which, in my
opinion, should be considered as one continued accident, and compensation paid as such.
Mr. Winn's evidence on this subject of sulphur is as follows:—*3>
Another complaint is that they want to abandon the three days because of certain
disabilities. There was a complaint some years ago, but in the last five years we have
had only one sulphur case in mines for time lost or for medical treatments. It is no
longer a problem there.
In my opinion Mr. Winn's evidence is not an adequate answer to the question posed
by Messrs. Boyd and Gunniss.
(1) Page 1513 et. seq.
(2) Page 1536 et seq.
(3) Page 3149. DD 40 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
If men are losing wages for recurrent two- and three-day lay-off periods due to
disability caused by sulphur poisoning and are debarred from compensation because of
the three-day waiting period, it cannot be said because they have made no claim that
therefore there is no problem. They have made no claim because the statute says they
have none—but the problem remains.
It seems to me, if conditions are as described by Boyd and Gunniss, the three-day
period under those special circumstances does result in a hardship and a specific section
might well be inserted in the Act to take care of such cases. At this stage I do not go
any further than to recommend that the sulphur situation at Nanaimo be made the
subject of a special study by the Board. The facts before me do not warrant a more
definite conclusion on the matter.
Holidays.
The second subject to which I wish to refer is the three-day period and its relation
to holidays. Some of the representatives of employee groups are somewhat perplexed
as to the interpretation of " holidays " in the section in question. As I read it the
section simply means this: if in the three-day period there is a holiday upon which the
employee would have worked as usual if not injured, that holiday is included in the
three-day waiting period—that is to say, that day is not regarded as a holiday but as
a work-day.
On the other hand if the waiting period includes a day upon which the injured
workman would not have worked anyway that day is not included in the three-day
period.
To put it shortly, the three-day waiting period means a period of three working-
days.
At Trail and other plants where there are staggered hours and shifts, difficulties
sometimes arise as illustrated in the following passage between Mr. Kenneway and
Mr. Winn:—<»
Q.—I would ask you, Mr. Winn, if the Board receives a claim from an employee at
Trail—a shift worker—how does the Board know whether or not Sunday or a holiday was
not excluded in the worker's report?    It may be a regular work-day.
A.—We presume it is lost time unless we are notified to the contrary. We don't
include it.
Q.—You have nothing on the workman's form whereby he could clarify the Sunday
or holiday as compensable?
A.—No.
It is my opinion that the form to be sent in by the workman and his employer in
support of a claim should have a question therein, designed to elicit the information
whether or not the workman would have been regularly employed on any holiday falling
within the three-day waiting period and I recommend that appropriate steps be taken
by the Board to that end.
RE COST-OF-LIVING BONUS.
In addition to an increase in the compensation awards sought under headings considered above, the Sullivan Mine Workers' Co-operative Committee proposes that those
receiving compensation should have added thereto a cost-of-living bonus to be borne by
"the Government" and industry.*2'
To assess this suggestion workmen must be deemed divisible into two classifications—those who will in future become disabled through an industrial injury or disease
and those who are now in receipt of compensation for loss of wages consequent upon
a past industrial injury or disease.
(1) Page 3440.
(2) Page 932. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 41
With respect to those unfortunate enough to be injured in the future and who are
now within the wage groups entitled to a cost-of-living bonus from the employer*1' the
proposal under review presents no difficulty. The Board regards the bonus as a wage
increase and it is taken into consideration as such when average earnings are computed.
A workman in receipt of a cost-of-living bonus—and the great majority of workmen
within the Act are within that category—would be paid if injured, compensation based,
in part, upon the bonus. The cost-of-living bonus is therefore, for that group, a part
of each compensation cheque.
With respect to those who were unfortunate enough to be injured in the past when
not receiving a cost-of-living bonus, the proposal presents problems of considerable
difficulty.
To add a cost-of-living bonus to the compensation cheques of those in the second
category would mean that industries now operating would be forced to bear part of
the burden of past accidents, happening perhaps years ago, for the compensation of
which a capital sum had been set up by assessments on those industries in which the
accident occurred.
It would mean, too, if the principle be adopted that compensation be measured by
the cost-of-living index that when the cost of living dropped below the figure at which
it stood when the compensation was first awarded, compensation cheques would have to
be reduced in proportion.
To my mind compensation is the measure in dollars of the degree of incapacity
suffered as the result of industrial injury. That measure is ascertained by the difference in wages earned before the accident and the actual or estimated wage-earning
capacity left after the accident. When that computation is made, the value of the
dollar is a constant on both sides of the equation. To say, once the percentage of
disability is established and translated into money terms, that future fluctuations in
the purchasing power of the dollar must govern the amount of compensation cheques
is, in my opinion, an unsound proposition.
However that may be, the realities must be kept in mind and the sorry plight the
shrinking dollar may visit upon a disabled workman and" his dependents is something
that should be alleviated. In my opinion, for the reasons expressed above, the burden
of that relief should be borne by the State and not by industry. The granting or withholding of such assistance is, of course, a matter of governmental policy which is not
within my direction.
It is apparent that in 1940 the rising cost of living*2' in England rendered it advisable to pass legislation increasing compensation allowances.*3' The increase seems to
be borne by the employer and applies to accidents giving rise to compensation happening before as well as after the date of the commencement of the said Act. Whether or
not the employer can collect this added allowance from his insurance carrier I am
unable to say. The fact that England has adopted this statutory method of securing
an added allowance from the employer for compensation recipients does not alter my
view expressed above. The English Act does not set up a State-controlled assessment
and insurance system such as we have and for this reason, among others, I do not
regard the English Act of 1940 as a precedent of much weight.
In the result, then I would not recommend that a cost-of-living bonus be paid to
compensation recipients from assessments levied on industry. As pointed out abovb
whether and when the State should grant a subsidy to the Board to augment compensation cheques is a matter of governmental policy not, in my opinion, within the
ambit of this Commission.
(1) P.C. 8253.
(2) From 1915 to 1940 cost-of-living index in England shows an increase of 70 points. For the same period
the Canadian increase is 25 points, see Exhibit 201, " Prices in Canada and other Countries, 1940," Department of
Labour, Canada.
(3) "Workmen's Compensation   (Supplementary Allowances)   Act, 1940." DD 42 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
INCREASED ALLOWANCES TO DEPENDENTS.
So far I have dealt with those proposals the chief effect of which would directly
benefit the injured workmen. Some of the proposals considered would, of course, if put
into effect, also increase the allowance to dependents. The cost-of-living bonus proposal is an example.
I now turn, however, to consider those proposals which, if effectuated, would
directly benefit the dependents of a workman fatally injured in an industrial accident
or who died from the effects of an industrial disease.
The proposals are eleven in number and are as follows:—
1. Allowances to dependent children to continue to 18 years of age.
2. Allowances for each dependent child to be increased from $7.50 a month to
$10 or $12 a month.
3. Maximum of $70 to be deleted from section'16 (2)  (£>).
4. Allowances to orphans to continue to 21 years of age.
5. Allowances for orphans to be increased from $15 to $20.
6. Widow to receive $100 in addition to first compensation cheque.
7. Foster mother to receive $100 in addition to first compensation cheque.
8. Widow to receive $960 upon remarriage.
9. Parents of unmarried worker killed in industry to be compensated in addi
tion to receiving funeral expenses.
10. Parents of unmarried workers killed in industry to be free to resort to
Court action.
11. Maximum monthly allowance to dependent parents in section 16 (2)   (d) to
be increased from $30 to $40.
I intend to examine each proposal seriatim.    Dealing first, then, with 1:—
1.—Allowances to Dependent Children to continue to 18 Years of Age.
Subsection (2) (6) of section 16 of the Act (as amended in 1938) reads, in part,
as follows:—
Section 16:     (2.)   Where death results from the injury, compensation shall be paid
to the dependents of the deceased workman as follows:—
(6.) Where the dependents are a widow or an invalid widower and one or more
children, a monthly payment of forty dollars, with an additional monthly payment of seven dollars and fifty cents for each child under the age of sixteen
years and for each invalid child over that age, not exceeding in the whole
seventy dollars.
The proposed amendment was advanced and supported by various labour groups
and others appearing before me, including:—
Standard Railway Organization.*1'
Vancouver, New Westminster and District Trades and Labour Council.*2'
United Mine Workers of America (Fernie and Nanaimo).*3'
Sullivan Mine Workmen's Co-operative Association.*4'
Workmen's Co-operative Committee of Trail.*6'
Local Council of Women.*6'
(1) Page 165.
(2) Page 321.
(3) Pages 1516, 1532, 1037.
(4) Page 914.
(5) Pages 1045, 1083.
(6) Page 207. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 43
Three main reasons were offered in support of the proposal.    They may be summarized as follows:—
(c.)   It is desirable that the education of dependent children continue until they
attain the age of eighteen.*1'
(b.)  Dependent children of deceased soldiers may receive allowances until 21 years
of age to complete education.*2'
(c.)  Eighteen years is the minimum age for employment below ground in the coal
mining industry and in coal mining centres parents   (especially of sons)
should be granted an allowance to aid in the support of their children until
they are 18 and eligible for underground employment in that industry.<3>
The first heading seems to me to present the most cogent argument in support of
the proposed age increase.    But what is it going to cost?    To pay compensation by an
amendment with retrospective effect to dependent children now on the books of the
Board until they reach the age of 18 years would require the immediate setting-up of
the capital sum of $139,848.64, particulars of which are as follows:—*4'
(1) By the "Public Schools Act," R.S.B.C. 1936, chapter 253, school attendance is compulsory for children
between the ages of 7 and 15 years.    Generally speaking, free tuition is provided to the age of 18 years.
(2) "Pensions Act" (Can.), S.C. 1919, chapter 43; S.C. 1941, chapter 23-; and cp. "Education of Soldiers'
Dependent Children Act," R.S.B.C. 1936, chapter 81.
(3) The 18-year minimum age requirement applies to underground work in metalliferous and coal mines—
" Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act," R.S.B.C. 1936, chapter 189, sec. 26 (2) ; " Coal-mines Regulation Act,"
R.S.B.C. 1936, chapter 188, sec. 4, as re-enacted by S.B.C. 1937, chapter 49, sec. 2.
(4) Exhibit 195. DD 44
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Cost op Increase in Age of Dependent Children from 16 to 18 Years.
Class.
Number of Children
under 16 receiving
Pensions in 1940,
excluding
Life Pensions.
Additional
Cost.
1/2..
1/4.
1/5.
1/7-
4/11, 12..
Balance.
10/6	
Balance.
12..
13..
14.
16.
19.
20..
80
5
683
$28,796.97
1,609.77
14,309.05
894.32
255
$45,610.11
61
10,910.65
49
8,764.30
4
715.44
53
$9,479.74
5
894.32
24
4,292.72
40
7,154.53
21
3,756.13
64
11,447.24
38
6,796.80
41
7,333.39
79
$14,130.19
30
5,365.90
33
5,902.48
16
2,861.81
2
357.72
$122,163.54
There were 683 children in the above classes under the age of 16 in receipt of a pension of $7.50 per month.
79927
Additional  amount required  to   pay  these  children  from age   16  to   18—683 X 7.50 X 12 X 2 X  = $122,163.54.
80435
This does not take into account children already over the age of 16 but under 18 on January 1st, 1940, and it is
estimated that they will increase the above total by V3 or $15,270.44, making an estimated increase of $137,433.98.
Silicosis Fund.
Class.
Number of Children
under 16 receiving
Pensions in 1940,
excluding
Life Pensions.
Additional
Cost.
2  	
12
$2,146.36
This does not take into account children already over the age of 16 but under 18 on January 1st, 1940, and it is
estimated that they will increase the above total by Vb or $268.30, making an estimated increase of $2,414.66. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 45
Counsel appearing before me for various industrial interests agreed to the proposed amendment but with reservations.
Senator Farris said:—<D
We are in favour of the proposal but are opposed to the amendment being retroactive.
Mr. Locke said:—*2>
Mr. Commissioner, with this proviso that the amendment is not made retroactive we
would agree. . . . Now subject to the provision it should not be retroactive I would
support that proposal subject to this limitation that the compensation should be payable
to the children between 16 and 18 years if they are unemployed. If a boy is working
between 16 and 18 in remunerative employment and perhaps some limitation might be
put on that, it doesn't seem to me that his mother or his father, if it is the father who
is the surviving parent, should require the allowance of $7.50 or $10 under the Act.
'   Mr. McMullen said:—<3'
Now as to the increase in the age of dependent children in the case of fatal injury,
from 16 to 18, I suggest that that should be limited to a case where the extra compensation is devoted to education. My reason for that is, of course, that it is to the advantage
of a child to be educated. The compulsory school period now in this Province is 15
years, so under the present law in the " Compensation Act " they are now carried for
a year beyond that period. It is of advantage to the State that a child be educated and
an advantage to the industry, because industry does employ youth, boys and girls under
the age of 18, and no doubt it is of advantage to the industry, inasmuch as they require
to employ people of that age, and that they should be educated, and therefore I would
offer no objection to increasing the age of 18 if the extra compensation is devoted to that
purpose.
Mr. MacLeod said:—*4>
With regard to making any provision for children over 16, the Canadian National
would not object to the incorporation in the Act of a provision similar to Section 23 of
the Manitoba Act. That clause provides that the Board may, at its discretion, extend
the period to which payment of compensation shall be made for the purpose of educating
a child, not to exceed 18 years.
Our contention is that 16 is really the proper age limit. As Mr. Locke remarked,
many boys are working by the time they are 16, and girls are often either working or
married before they are 18 . . . and our contention is that the 16 years ought not to
be disturhed; and if it is disturbed, we agree to the educational provision we have
already mentioned.
Mr. Ellis said:—*5'
They (the Petroleum Industry) are in agreement that the age limit of 16 be increased
to 17 years, on the condition mentioned by Mr. Locke, that the recipient of the pension
is not gainfully employed.
After somewhat anxious consideration of this proposal I have reached the conclusion that the principle of the Manitoba Act*6' referred to by Mr. MacLeod is worthy
of adoption.    The section in point reads as follows:—
Section 23: (1.) (/.) Where in the opinion of the Board the furnishing of further
or better education to a child approaching the age of sixteen years appears advisable,
the Board in its discretion may extend the period to which compensation shall be paid
in respect to the child for the additional period as is spent by the child in the furthering
or bettering of his education but in no case beyond the age of eighteen years. The
Board, however, shall not make any levy or assessment or order any deposit to be made
in any such case, until the child is approaching the age of sixteen years, and the Board
has decided that further and better education should be furnished the child. CA. 1924,
c. 209, s. 24 (1)  (/);  am. S.M. 1925, c. 66, s. 8;  am.
(1) Argument, page 6.
(2) Argument, pages 122, 123.
(3) Argument, page 288.
(4) Argument, pages 217, 218, 219.
(5) Argument, page 227.
(6) R.S.M. 1940, chapter 239.    Adopted in Saskatchewan in 1942, see S.S. 1942, chapter 69, sec. 3. DD 46
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
I would recommend our Act be amended accordingly—such amendment not to be
retroactive. What it will cost I am not able to state as the number of children who
may in future take advantage of the opportunity to remain at school until 18 years of
age is an uncertain factor and I have nothing of an empiric nature to guide me in
making an estimation. I should not think, however, that the added expense will result
in an untoward burden on industry even if, as hereinafter appears, during that two-
year period from 16 to 18 years the allowance is to be increased.
No. 2.—Proposal that Allowance for each Dependent Child to be raised from $7.50 to
$12.50 a Month.
The complaint from labour organizations is general and it is stressed that the sum
of $7.50 per month is inadequate. The allowances in other Provinces of Canada are
as follows:—
Province.
Age-limit.
Allowance.
18 years
16 years
16 years
16 years
18 years
Boys, 16 years
Girls, 18 years
16 years
i
1
Eldest child, $12 a month.
Second child, .$10 a month.
Third   child, $9 a month.
Others,            $8 a month each.
On this comparison this Province and Nova Scotia are the least generous of all the
Provinces.
To pay an increased allowance of $12 a month to the present dependent children
would require the setting-up of a capitalized reserve fund of $178,563. Particulars
appear on the following table:—<*)
(1)   Exhibit 195. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY.
DD 47
Cost of Increase in Allowance for Dependent Children from $7.50 to $12
per Month.
Class.
Number of Children
under 16 receiving
Pensions in 1940,
excluding
Life Pensions.
Additional Cost
to pay $12
per Month.
Number of Children
not Orphans
receiving
Life Pensions.
Additional Cost
to pay $12
per Month.
1/2                                             	
161
9
80
5
$38,614.14
2,158.55
19,187.15
1,199.20
2
	
2
$1,844.08
1/4
1/5                                          	
1,844.08
1/7	
%-...           	
4/11, 12                                	
255
61
49
4
$61,159.04
14,630.20
11,752.16
959.35
4
6
1
$3,688.16
5,532.27
922.05
5	
53
5
24
40
21
64
38
41
$12,711.51
1,199.20
5,756.14
9,593.57
5,036.63
15,349.71
9,113.90
9,833.41
1
2 >
1
$922.05
6                            	
7                            	
8  "
9                                               	
10/6	
12 - -
79
30
33
16
2
$18,947.31
7,195.18
7,914.70
3,837.43
479.67
1
1
$922.05
13 _
14               ....
16          	
19 	
20                  	
683
$163,810.29
15
$13,830.66
At December 31st, 1940, there were 683 children receiving pensions under the Act of $7.50 per month, under the
age of 16. Additional amount required to pay these children $12 per month would increase the present liability of
$273,017.15 by 60 per cent, or $163,810.29.
In addition the sum required to pay life pensions to 15 dependent (invalid) children would have to be increased
by 60 per cent, or $13,830.66.
Silicosis Fund.
Class.
Number of Children
under 16 receiving
Pensions in 1940,
excluding
Life Pensions.
Additional Cost
to pay $12
per Month.
Number of Children
not Orphans
receiving
Life Pensions.
Additional Cost
to pay $12
per Month.
12
$2,878.07
1
$922.05
Industry is agreed*1' that the amount of the allowance be increased to $10 a
month, provided such provision is not made retroactive.
It is my opinion that the Act should be amended to provide for such increase to
$10, and I so recommend. I would, however, recommend in addition, in order, to
provide some incentive for children between the ages of 16 and 18 years to remain at
school, that, if at school, the allowance be increased during those two years to $12.50
(1)  See e.g., Farris, page 9;   Locke, page 125.
J DD 48 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
a month. I do not think these recommended amendments should be made retroactive,
save as they would affect invalid children. There are, at present, only fifteen children
in this latter class and they are scattered throughout the various classes of industry.
To pay them the extra allowance recommended would not, in my opinion, result in any
untoward hardship on the industries affected but would, instead, tend to alleviate to
some degree at least, the hard road that must be travelled by every invalid child.
No. 3.—Maximum of $70 to be deleted from Section 16 (2) (b).
The complaint from which arises the suggested amendment that the maximum be
deleted from section 16 (2) <rb) was voiced by representatives of the United Mine
Workers of America (Nanaimo) <D and the Workmen's Co-operative Committee of
Trail.*2* It was thought that with the allowance to the widow fixed at $40 and the
maximum at $70 it would follow that only four dependent children would receive the
allowance of $7.50 a month. It was contended that the maximum of $70 penalized
larger families.
This submission is based upon a misunderstanding of the present relevant provisions of the Act. There is in practice no limitation upon the number of dependent
children entitled to allowances. This result follows from two sections of the Act; i.e.,
section 16 (2) (/), which reads as follows:—
Section 16: (2.) Where death results from the injury, compensation shall be paid to
the dependents of the deceased workman as follows:—
(/.) Where the dependents are aliens residing outside of the Dominion and entitled
to compensation under clause (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of this subsection, the
Board may, in lieu of awarding such dependents compensation on the scale
provided by clause (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e), award such lesser sum by way
of compensation as, according to the conditions and cost of living in the place
of residence of such dependents, will in the opinion of the Board maintain them
in a like degree of comfort as dependents of the same class residing in the
Dominion and receiving the full compensation authorized by this Act would
enjoy.
And section 17 (2), as amended in 1938<3> (effective from January, 1939), reading
as follows:— >
Section 17: (2.) Where by reason of the payment of such lesser sum to alien dependents residing outside of the Dominion there remains an undistributed accumulation of
money in the reserve provided the Board shall pay compensation therefrom to dependent
widows and children residing in the Dominion as follows:—
(a.)  An additional sum to each dependent widow to increase her compensation up to
the monthly sum of forty dollars:
(6.) The sum of seven dollars and fifty cents monthly for each dependent child under
the age of sixteen years and for each dependent invalid child over that age,
who, by reason of the limitations fixed by the Act, are not receiving the compensation to which they would otherwise be entitled, and where the dependents
are children without any widow or invalid widower, in payment of fifteen
dollars monthly for each dependent child under the age of sixteen years and
for each dependent invalid child over that age, who, by reason of the limitations fixed by the Act, are not receiving the compensation to which they would
otherwise be entitled:
(c.) The compensation herein provided shall be in lieu of all right to compensation
to which any person may be entitled from the accumulation provided under
subsection (1) of this section.
I do not think I can do better than to quote the evidence of Mr. Winn in explanation of the actual application of these sections.    He said:—*4>
SENATOR FARRIS: I do not think this has been explained, as to how you take
care of the case of a widow, a dependent with more than four children.
(1) Pages 1515, 1538, 1544.
(2) Page 1044.
(3) S.B.C. 1938, chapter 67, sec. 4.
(4) Page 3383 et seq. WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION BOARD INQUIRY. DD 49
MR. WINN: Sections 16 and 17 in the Act were a scheme brought in by our own
Board, and not covered by any other Board except Alberta a year ago, when they
brought into being our scheme. Shortly, the scheme is this: when a workman is killed,
no matter what nationality he may be nor where his dependents are, a reserve is set up
on the basis of the amount.
THE COMMISSIONER:   I missed part of that sentence.
MR. WINN: Regardless of her nationality, we set up a reserve that will pay the
widow $40 a month for life or until she is married, and we also set up an amount required
to pay an allowance to each child until the child reaches the age of 16. Now then, under
section 16 we may award to alien dependents a lesser sum by way of compensation,
according to the cost of living and the place of residence, which will maintain those
dependents according to their standard of living. That is the basis on which we pay
dependents of aliens. The effect of that is this: it costs the industry as much to kill
a Jap or Chinaman as it does a white man, but we do not pay the widow of the Jap or
Chinaman in their place of residence on the basis we pay widows or dependents of our
own Canadian men. We place them on the basis outlined under subsection (/) of section 16. The cost of living of a Chinese widow might be $5 or $6 in China against the
comparable cost of living basis of $40 in British Columbia. We set up a reserve for the
Chinese widow of $8,000 or $10,000, but we only need to pay her some $3,000. There
is a saving of $5,000 between the amount set up and the actual