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First WSIB rate cuts in 15 years a relief for small business

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Toronto, September 14, 2016 – The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced it will cut rates – by an average of five per cent across all sectors – for the first time since 2001. The move is a welcome one for small business owners looking for financial relief in a climate of rising hydro rates and payroll costs.

“We are thrilled that the WSIB is cutting rates for the first time in 15 years,” said Julie Kwiecinski, Ontario director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “With the cost of doing business rising in the province, cutting WSIB rates offers not only much-needed stability to Ontario’s job creators, but financial flexibility to reinvest in their businesses and the Ontario economy. We look forward to the sector-by-sector breakdown to see how all of our members will be affected.”

Since 2011, the WSIB has reduced its unfunded liability from $14.2B to $5.6B and is on track to eliminate it by 2021. It has also made improvements in customer service, and reduced the length of its claim reporting forms by 60 per cent, in line with CFIB’s recommendations.

“We are particularly pleased with the WSIB’s significant progress on reducing its unfunded liability to make the program sustainable for Ontario’s employers and employees,” added Kwiecinski.

In 2013, WSIB chair Elizabeth Witmer attended seven roundtables with CFIB members across the province to hear their concerns directly.

CFIB remains committed to continuing its work with WSIB officials and government policy makers to ensure the WSIB operates in the best interest of small business owners and their employees.

To arrange an interview with Julie Kwiecinski, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, 647-588-2359, or [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 42,000 in Ontario representing about 500,000 employees.