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When Laws Collide

SITUATION

Charlotte Tan qualifies for income replacement benefits under workers’ comp after injuring her back at work. She also receives EI benefits. But the EI Commission later discovers that Charlotte wasn’t entitled to those EI benefits. So it orders the provincial worker’ comp commission to redirect her income replacement benefits to the Commission to recover her wrongfully received EI benefits.

Sec. 126(4) of the federal Employment Insurance Act allows the EI Commission to garnish payments of beneficiaries who receive benefits to which they’re not entitled;
The provincial workers’ comp law states that an employee’s income replacement benefits are exempt from seizure.

QUESTION

Can the EI Commission garnish Charlotte’s worker’s comp benefits?

A. Yes, because where federal and provincial law conflict, federal law always prevails
B. No, because provinces have the final say on benefits and other property rights
C. Yes because federal law generally prevails over co...

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