August 14, 2019 – Along with dozens of other business groups, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) announced it is withdrawing from the BC Government’s blatantly biased and broken review of WorkSafeBC (WSBC).
Announced in April, the WorkSafeBC review is meant to modernize the workers’ compensation system in BC with an emphasis on making it more “worker-centred” despite the fact the system, which is 100 per cent funded by employers, is designed to be a balance between the needs to employers and employees. Janet Patterson, a former injured worker advocate, was the only individual appointed to conduct the review with no employer representation at all.
“We were willing to participate in a balanced and impartial process to review the system, However, the writing has been on the wall from the very beginning that the review lacked objectivity,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta. “It has become clear the input from the business community is being completely disregarded which is why we have chosen to no longer participate is this biased and broken process.”
CFIB participated in good faith during the initial phase of the consultation with Ms. Patterson. However, after the submission close date things changed. Last Wednesday, a memo from Ms. Patterson was circulated to participants in the consultation, making clear the biased direction it was heading. In this memo, she includes 38 new recommendations not included in the original consultation scope.
Additionally, the memo implies Ms. Patterson’s review will only consider proposals made during public in-person consultation hearings held earlier this summer. This excludes dozens of submissions from employers entered online.
“The current proposals made by the reviewer will add huge new costs to the system, threatening its stability,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta. “Our written submission to the reviewer underlined the importance of maintaining balance in the system. It’s as if Ms. Patterson didn’t even bother to read the input from employer groups. Under these conditions, it is simply not possible for us to continue to participate in her review.”
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Richard Truscott, Vice President, BC and Alberta
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.