Workers Compensation Board review long overdue
Written by Oneil Carlier, MLA for Whitecourt-Ste. Anne. First published in Mayerthorpe Freelancer on June 29, 2016.
Thousands of people benefit from the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) every year and unlike other private forms of insurance, WCB has government legislated specifications for organizational operations, accountability and compensation.
It is also a guaranteed “no fault” insurance option. No matter who may have been at fault for an accident, you will be covered for your workplace injury. That being said, organizations and policy can always be improved upon and benefit from a review.
The previous government had not done a review of WCB in over 15 years, which is why the NDP government felt a review was long overdue for Albertans. To make sure we hear the diverse perspectives of all Albertans, this review involves a thorough public consultation process on how we can improve upon WCB as a resource for workers.
The Workers’ Compensation Board review is part of the government‘s commitment to review its agencies, boards and commissions. It’s being conducted by an independent three-member panel with extensive experience in representing workers and employers through Alberta‘s workers’ compensation system. This review also includes the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation and the Medical Panel Office.
We want to hear from Alberta‘s workers, business owners, labour representatives and industry associations through written submissions and an online questionnaire which will be available until July 15th, 2016.
Following the questionnaire and submissions, the panel will work with these key groups through the fall and winter to examine issues in greater detail. The panel is examining the WCB’s governance and effectiveness, relevant legislation, the principles of compensation and policies - including those related to privacy and confidentiality and the transparency of processes and decision-making.
The panel is expected to provide a progress update to government in fall 2016 and a final report in spring 2017.
You can have participate by going to www.alberta.ca/wcbreview-get-involved.aspx or contacting our office at 780-786-1997/1-800-786-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.