Redae v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal,


2008 BCCA 383

Date: 20081001

Docket: CA036422


Dekan Redae




Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal




The Honourable Mr. Justice Donald

(In Chambers)


D. Redae

Appearing in person

T. J. Martiniuk

Counsel for the Respondent

Place and Date of Hearing:

Vancouver, British Columbia

September 16, 2008

Place and Date of Judgment:

Vancouver, British Columbia

October 1, 2008

Reasons for Judgment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Donald:

[1]                Dekan Redae applies for indigent status and an extension of time to bring an application for leave to appeal.

[2]                On 3 September 2008, she filed a notice of appeal and an application for leave to appeal from the order of Mr. Justice Warren, pronounced 18 July 2008, dismissing her judicial review petition.  In that petition, she sought an order setting aside a decision of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) made on 18 October 2007 summarily dismissing her appeal of a decision of the Review Division of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) dated 24 April 2006, which confirmed an earlier decision of the WCB on 28 October 2005 refusing to reopen her 1993 compensation claim.

[3]                Counsel for the respondent says that Mr. Justice Warren’s order is probably a final order and leave need not be obtained.  I agree with that position.  I will treat the extension application as one concerning the notice of appeal only.  The respondent takes no position on the indigency application. 

[4]                As to her financial circumstances, Ms. Redae gets by on social assistance and a Canada Pension Plan disability payment, both of which total $830.00 per month.  I am satisfied that she is indigent.

[5]                On the merits of the proposed appeal, Ms. Redae was unable to articulate any ground relevant to the legal position in which she finds herself.  The material before me does not suggest any remotely plausible ground of appeal. 

[6]                When asked to say what mistake Mr. Justice Warren made in deciding the judicial review petition, Ms. Redae, whose English is poor, responded that she did not think he made a mistake; rather, it was the WCB which was mistaken in denying her claim for compensation.  She seemed unable to move from a discussion of the merits of her claim to a consideration of the administrative process involved in disposing of her claim, which of course was the proper subject matter of the judicial review.

[7]                I asked Ms. Redae if she had sought pro bono legal assistance and she said she had, on three occasions.

[8]                Mr. Justice Warren had difficulty determining what reviewable error lay in the questioned decision.  He said in his reasons, 2008 BCSC 956:

[2]  The petitioner argues that “the Tribunal erred in denying the appeal, finding that I did not have PTSD or a pain disorder related to my May 1993 claim injury.”  She asks that the matter be remitted back to that tribunal with directions.

[3]  Regrettably, the petitioner does not specify how the tribunal fell into error and her submissions, understandably perhaps from a self-represented litigant whose first language is not English, were brief: she is still in pain from her injuries and leaves “it” up to the court.

[9]                The judge then examined the case with great care, reviewed the history of the claim, searched for any error and, as he explained in his 12 page set of reasons, could find no reason to disturb the order.  He concluded as follows:

[66]  It is my view that the petitioner has been treated with every courtesy and she has been given every opportunity throughout the long history of her claim.  The record clearly shows that the WCAT exercised its discretion appropriately and there is not even a scintilla of a suggestion that it acted in bad faith or for an improper purpose.  The decision was clearly based on relevant factors after taking the statutory requirements into account and the WCAT correctly applied s. 31(1)(f) of the WCA on the basis that the petitioner’s appeal from the 2006 Review Division’s reopening decision had no reasonable prospect of success. 

[10]            As mentioned, Ms. Redae could not say what was wrong with this conclusion.  Her submission was that she fell at work in 1993, she has suffered from the effects of that injury well beyond the four-month period of compensation allowed by the WCB, and, since then, she continues to suffer a disability from that work-related injury and she should be compensated.

[11]            I infer that the error to be alleged in the proposed appeal is that the judge did not correct the WCB’s refusal to compensate her.  In my opinion, that does not amount to a ground capable of supporting an order for indigent status or an extension of time to file a notice of appeal.

[12]            I dismiss the applications.

“The Honourable Mr. Justice Donald”