Digest: Workers' Compensation Board v Petkau, 2018 SKCA 85

Date:November 18, 2019
 
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Reported as: 2018 SKCA 85

Docket Number: CA18084 , CACV 3197

Court: Court of Appeal

Date: 2019-11-18

Judges:

  • Caldwell
  • Ryan-Froslie
  • Schwann

Subjects:

  • Statutes � Interpretation � Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Section 178
  • Statutes � Interpretation � Workers� Compensation Act, 2013, Section 20, Section 112

Digest: The Saskatchewan Workers� Compensation Board (WCB) appealed the decision of a Queen�s Bench chambers judge regarding whether the debt owed by the respondent to the WCB, survived the respondent�s discharge from bankruptcy pursuant to s. 178(1)(e) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and if so, what was the amount of the debt. The respondent had pled guilty to defrauding the WCB of a value exceeding $5,000 contrary to s. 380(1) of the Criminal Code in relation to workplace benefits he had improperly received from the WCB. The trial judge found the Crown�s evidence about how much money the respondent had received to be unpersuasive and decided that as he could not calculate the amount, he would �peg� it at $5,001. The decision was not appealed. Before the trial, the respondent had assigned into bankruptcy, listing the WCB as one of his unsecured creditors. After the criminal proceedings, the WCB issued an order under s. 112 of The Workers� Compensation Act, 2013 (WCA) fixing the amount of its overpayment to the respondent at $39,000 and registered the order as an enforcement charge against a property owned by the bankrupt. Having received an offer to purchase that property prior to his discharge from bankruptcy, the respondent transferred title to the purchaser subject to the enforcement charge. He was then discharged from bankruptcy except for debts included in s. 178(1) of the BIA. He applied to the Court of Queen�s Bench for an order discharging the WCB enforcement charge and the WCB applied to lift the stay of proceedings imposed by s. 69.3 of the BIA and to quantify the amount of the respondent�s fraud for the purposes of s. 178(1)(e) of the BIA as a debt owing to the WCB that would survive his bankruptcy discharge. The judge found that the respondent�s conduct was fraudulent and fell within s. 178(1)(e) and would survive his discharge. He lifted the stay of proceedings and then quantified the amount of the respondent�s debt as result of his fraud to be $5,001 as per the finding made by the judge in the...

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