By Jonathan Martin
The provincial government is conducting an operational review of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
The WSIB administers compensation for injured workers across Ontario, including both permanent and seasonal farm workers.
The government will use the information gathered during the review to cut down on fraud and ensure its longevity, a government release says.
"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," said Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour, in a Thursday statement.
Linda Regner Dykeman and Sean Speer are conducting the review. They have been appointed “based on their respective areas of expertise in insurance and public policy.”
Regner Dykeman is the 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. He served as a senior economic adviser to former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Regner Dykeman and Speer will examine the sustainability of the WSIB insurance fund through three lenses.
They will provide financial oversight by looking at the sustainability of the fund and controls over it.
They will also explore the agency’s administration by determining the effectiveness of current board governance and its executive management structure.
Finally, they will look at the cost-efficiency and effectiveness of operations and compare the WSIB to competing jurisdictions and private sector insurers.
The latter drew the ire of Wayne Gates, Ontario NDP critic for the WSIB.
“It is concerning that the government wants to mimic practices of the private insurance sector when it comes to protecting injured workers in the province,” he said in a Thursday statement. “It’s already clear that this review will not lead to improvements for injured workers.”
The review will not be looking at how the WSIB makes claims decisions, sets benefit levels or decides individual claims.
The examination’s results will be presented to Scott by the end of the year.