VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, says the government’s proposed amendments to the Workers Compensation Act should be extended to all workers. The government’s amendment, which was introduced last week, further extends workers compensation benefits to first responders, sheriffs and correctional officers who suffer from job-related mental disorders by presuming the mental trauma was caused by the nature of an individual’s work, rather than having to prove it was work related.
“While I’m glad that B.C. is extending these protections to some workers, I am concerned that other British Columbians who suffer mental disorders on the job are being left out,” said Weaver.
Weaver has been contacted by representatives from other professions, such as nurses and 911 emergency communications officers and dispatchers, who experience high rates of job-related trauma. Furthermore, he noted that any worker is at risk from suffering psychological trauma at work due to issues like workplace bullying and harassment.
Weaver rose at Third Reading of the bill to highlight the gaps in the government’s legislation, noting that extending the changes to all workers would bring British Columbia in line with standards already in place in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“Mental disorders incurred from job-related trauma are serious injuries that can be incredibly debilitating. I am glad that the government has recognized this and taken this important step towards supporting British Columbians who suffer from such incidents. I hope they will be willing to engage in a debate in the legislature so that we can determine the best way forward to ensure all British Columbians are receiving adequate protection and support.”
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