FOUNDATION TO COMPENSATION MEREDITH REPORT 1914
WCB can not be sued, they have exclusive jurisdiction which means the government can not tell WCB what to do. The only issue that needs to be addressed is what government will address changing legislation as this is a report no the rules and legislation. Over one hundred years of WCB notgoverned and exclusive jurisdiction is unreasonable.
Sir William Meredith is regarded as the founding father of the Workers' Compensation System in Ontario. As the industrial revolution created crowded factories and unsafe working conditions, injured workers and their families had few choices when it came to receiving benefits or compensation for their injuries.
The Government of Ontario realized that changes to the compensation laws were essential. In 1910, Sir James Whitney appointed Meredith to head the first Royal Commission to study Workers' Compensation systems throughout the world and to make recommendations. In his royal commission report, Meredith said that the true aim of compensation law was to provide for the workman and his dependents and prevent their becoming a charge upon their relatives or friends, or the community at large. He identified five basic principles for a compassionate compensation system, the most important of which was the idea of 'no-fault insurance'. This meant that workers would give up their right to sue their employers in exchange for guaranteed no-fault income security in the event of a workplace injury. And employers would pay for the system in return for protection against liability.
In 1913, Meredith presented his recommendations and his draft legislation came into effect the following year. The impact of Meredith's new system was felt throughout Canada and the United States and as such his five principle ideas (no-fault compensation, security of benefits, collective liability, exclusive jurisdiction and administration by independent boards) became known as, and are still known as today as The Meredith Principles
Meredith's report led to the first Workers Compensation Act in Canada. In 1915, Ontario's Workers Compensation Act was proclaimed, based on the five Meredith Principles:
- No-fault compensation, in which workplace injuries are compensated regardless of fault, and the worker and employer waive the right to sue.
- Collective liability, so that the total cost of the compensation system is shared by all employers.
- Security of payment, with a fund established to guarantee that compensation will be available for injured workers when they need it.
- Exclusive jurisdiction, with all compensation claims directed solely to the compensation board.
- Independent board, that is autonomous and financially independent of government or any special interest group.