Saskatchewan’s NDP Opposition says the province’s workers’ compensation legislation needs to be changed to accommodate victims like Charlene Klyne.
Klyne was seriously injured in a shooting at La Loche’s Dene Nation High School two years ago and hasn’t been able to work since.
The substitute teacher recently appealed to the provincial ombudsman for further compensation under existing legislation.
However, in a report released yesterday, Ombudsman Mary McFadyen finds the province has fulfilled its duties because current workers’ compensation legislation makes no allowance for pain and suffering.
Athabasca NDP MLA Buckley Belanger says it is high time the legislation was changed to include just that and accommodate unique cases such as Charlene Klyne’s.
“We all know that there’s certain aspects of violence in our society that never happened 30 or 40 years ago,” he says. “But it’s a real threat in today’s society if you look at some of the school shootings that happened over time.”
For her part, Klyne says she couldn’t agree more.
“Oh definitely, they need to make adjustments,” she says. “This is a catastrophic injury and it’s almost like they figure like nothing like this will ever happen again. And they need to adjust for people like myself and others that were in the building that day that were injured.”
Nevertheless, it appears the provincial government has no interest in changing the existing workers’ compensation legislation any time soon.
In an emailed statement, Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan commends the ombudsman on her decision and says, “Similar to many other jurisdictions across Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan does not cover compensation for pain and suffering.”
Klyne says as a result of the shooting she is completely blind in one eye and has lost 98 per cent of the vision in the other eye.
She says she is now living in Saskatoon and struggling to get by.
Her husband, who was a vice-principal at La Loche Dene High School at the time of the shooting, has also not worked since.
Klyne says she is now considering litigation against the government as a next option.
Four people were killed and seven wounded in the 2016 shooting.
(PHOTO: Buckley Belanger. Photo courtesy Saskatchewan Legislature)