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Ontario launches review of Workplace Safety Insurance Board


May 23, 2019
By Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press

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TORONTO—Ontario will be reviewing the agency that administers compensation for injured workers across the province, saying it wants to cut down on fraud and ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability.

Labour Minister Laurie Scott said Thursday that the government has hired two special advisers to analyze the work of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and report back by the end of the year.

“Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the WSIB will provide workers and their families with peace of mind, knowing if they are injured on the job or have a work-related illness, they will receive the benefits and services they are entitled to,” Scott said in a statement.

The review will focus on the WSIB’s financial oversight, administration and efficiency.

The government said the exercise will also provide information on the agency’s operations and how it compares to industry best practices.

It will not be looking at how the WSIB makes claims decisions, sets benefit levels, or decides individual claims.

The NDP critic for the WSIB said workers have suffered for decades because the agency has not properly compensated those injured on the job.

Wayne Gates said he doesn’t believe the review will lead to system improvements and was concerned it could open the door to cuts and privatization.

“It is concerning that the government wants to mimic practices of the private insurance sector when to comes to protecting injured workers in the province,” he said in a statement.

Scott said the government has appointed Linda Regner Dykeman and Sean Speer to review the agency.

Regner Dykeman is currently head of MidCorp Canada, which is a division of insurance and asset management firm Allianz.

Speer is a senior fellow in public policy at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and once served as a senior economic adviser to former prime minister Stephen Harper.

The government said it will be accepting public comment for the review until July 26.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2019