si-bregg

Edmonton Transit driver Tom Bregg speaks to reporters in Ottawa about a bill protecting bus drivers. (CBC)

Edmonton bus driver Tom Bregg, who was viciously beaten a year and a half ago, is now fighting the Workers Compensation Board for benefits.

Bregg was savagely attacked by Gary Mattson, a passenger who punched and stomped on him in north Edmonton Dec. 3, 2009.

Mattson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault last year.

The attack left Bregg partially blind and brain injured.

Bregg was supposed to begin a new job this week. Edmonton Transit planned to slowly reintegrate Bregg back into the workplace by having him shadow dispatchers for three hours a day.

But Bregg rejected the offer which threatens the bulk of Bregg's WCB benefits, said Pamela Kirkwood, the city's director of labour relations.

"We were told if he didn't return to work they would suspend his benefits," she said.

Bregg decided he wasn't capable of working or even job shadowing for any length of time in his current mental state, said Stu Litwinowich on behalf of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

WCB must now review Bregg's case, said Litwinowich, but he is hopeful it will be worked out.

"We'll work hard again together to try and find another position for Tom."