Back in July, I blogged about the death of Valerie Wolski. Wolski was a caregiver who was killed by a client last February. It appears the province contracted out the care of the client but failed to provide the contractor with important information about the hazard he posed to caregivers.
In the wake of Wolski’s death, an OHS order issued in this case required provision of information about dangerous clients. Oddly, it applied only to one of six regions in Alberta.
Paula Simons has some new information. While the government is still considering whether to prosecute the case, the Persons with Developmental Disabilities central region board has appealed some aspect of the Occupational Health and Safety findings.
A three-day appeal hearing will run from Feb. 28 to March 1. The appeal process is closed to the public, the proceedings will remain secret and no explanation for the appeal has been forthcoming from the PPD.
While perhaps a legally permissible process (I haven't read the relevant legislation, but the government says this is legit so let's give them the benefit of the doubt), a secret hearing on a fatality case affecting one arm of the government by another arm of the government is hardly confidence inspiring.
Let's give Wolski's husband the final word: “I was not shocked or surprised. Throughout this entire saga, I have felt as though no one is stepping up and being accountable, and that this is just going to be swept under the rug. It’s the province fighting with the province. No one will win, and I am becoming very disillusioned with the political will, but more accurately, with the sense of making this just go away.”
-- Bob Barnetson