A man who ran for mayor of White Rock in 2014 was in B.C. Supreme Court for a two-day hearing last week, after filing a petition against the Workers’ Compensation Board.
According to documents filed last April by David Bradshaw, a November 2015 decision by WCB officials to ban him from advocating for injured workers for two years has devastated Bradshaw’s ability to run his business and caused stress to his clients, one of whom has been unable to advocate for himself regarding terminated WCB benefits.
Bradshaw “is concerned that he will be left with no means of employment if he does not regain recognition as a lay advocate soon,” the petition states.
Among Bradshaw’s contentions are that the ban was imposed without jurisdiction; that he was never given particulars of the alleged “unprofessional, hostile and threatening” behaviour that led to it; and that he was never given a chance to respond or internally appeal the decision.
He asked the court to quash the ban and order costs.
In a response filed in June by the WCB, the board opposes the orders, outlining a series of alleged breaches by Bradshaw that occurred between May and November 2015; first, of its standards of conduct, then, of “communication protocol” that was enacted following a May 2015 complaint regarding Bradshaw’s behaviour while representing an injured worker at a meeting.
According to the response, Bradshaw was asked to leave the meeting after behaving “in a discourteous manner” but refused.
“A confrontation ensued during which the Petitioner became progressively agitated…”
The response notes Bradshaw, during a meeting later in May with WCB officials, “did not recall any details of the confrontation.”
In June, he was restricted to a single point of contact with the board; the response lists approximately 30 breaches of that protocol, followed by the November decision to “cease any and all communications with him for a period of 24 months.”
According to the response, Bradshaw’s lawyer Craig Bavis accused the board “of acting without statutory authority, acting in bad faith and denying the petitioner natural justice,” however, the board refuted the allegations, citing a right to “place communication restrictions on an advocate in order to preserve the integrity of its procedures.”
Last week’s hearing was unrelated to Bradshaw’s 2014 mayoral quest, in which his opponent, incumbent Wayne Baldwin, was re-elected.
Bradshaw told Peace Arch News at that time that the decision to wade into politics was sparked by his experiences with city hall, as well as by what he had seen with regard to development in the city.
He later said his campaign was smeared by the publicizing of a grievance he filed against the BC Teachers’ Federation after he was fired for allegedly threatening to “go postal” on his co-workers. The arbitrator in the BCTF case found his termination was justified “on a non-culpable basis.”
Judgment on the WCB matter – heard in chambers in Vancouver on Jan. 4 and 5 – was reserved.
Reached Monday, Bradshaw, noting he no longer lives in White Rock, declined to comment on the proceedings and questioned PAN’s interest in it.
He described PAN’s past coverage as “unkind” to him.
“If I don’t like what I see, I’ll sue you,” Bradshaw said before hanging up.